An article last week about Johnson town and village officials seeking volunteers to serve on a committee tasked with exploring racial justice issues omitted a key part of the town’s inclusivity statement.
The official statement reads: “The people of Johnson embrace inclusiveness and together we will build bridges to understanding, ensuring that all who live, work and visit our town feel welcome and safe. We reject racism, bigotry, discrimination, violence and hatred in all its forms. The things we embrace are kindness, gentleness, understanding, neighborliness, peace, tolerance and respect for and toward all. Together we can have a cooperative, sustainable and thriving community where everyone is honored and valued.”
The newspaper erroneously referenced the version of the statement up for adoption at Johnson’s annual meeting last year. That version omitted the line “We reject racism, bigotry, discrimination, violence and hatred in all its forms.”
However, the line — which had been included in an earlier draft but removed in the version adopted by the select board — was added back, after more than an hour of Town Meeting Day discussion among Johnson residents with varying opinions on the statement.
The town select board and village trustees met Monday to discuss the makeup of a racial justice joint committee. According to town administrator Brian Story, details of the committee’s mission are still being worked out, but the committee will include six people — three picked by the select board and three by the trustees.