Task Force

We are a network of local leaders dedicated to education and dialogue on the issue of race,
ethnicity and effecting change to create a safe and inclusive community.
Goals and Action Steps
1. Goal: To stay informed about racism and support the diversity in our community action.
  • Mobilize the network to respond to incidents of discrimination and prejudice-by attending rallies, writing letters, mediating, educating.
  • Support educational efforts conducted by BRIDGE
  • Produce a newspaper column that addresses of diversity
2. Goal: Increase the opportunities for social interaction among diverse populations
  • Provide opportunities for continued discussion of racism issues by holding follow up Dialogue on Race events.
  • Increase number of school that do “mix it up lunches” to include at 3 new middle/high schools throughout the county.
  • Expand cultural competency training in schools and workplaces starting with preschool
  • Recognize individuals and agency annually who demonstrate a commitment to reducing racism in our community.
3. Goal: Promote a diverse workforce
  • Assist in the creation of environments that supports a diverse workforce with policies and practices for creative recruiting (e.g. fact sheets, identifying local qualified potential employees, engaging with regional diversity employment agencies in collaboration with BRIDGE and other Task Force members)
  • Connect potential candidates of diverse ethnic, cultural and racial backgrounds with local employers.
Task Force:
Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant, Chair
Peter Dillon
Chief Michael J. Wynn
Reverend Natalie Shiras
Chief Richard B Wilcox
Marjorie Cohan
Mark Siegars
Luci Leonard
Anaelisa Vanegas-Farrerra
Bob Austen
Joyce Armstrong
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier
Abdullah Abdul-Rahim
Will Syldor
Yevin Roh
Task Force North:
Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant, Chair
Al Bashevkin
Rachelle Smith
Judy Williamson
Kate Merrigan
Dr. Rose Ellis
Tom Alexander
Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed
Mayor Richard Alcombright
Otha Day
Stewart Burns, PhD
Darius Jonathan
Task Force Meeting Times
Task Force covering Central County
Meets first Monday of each month
Time: noon – 1:30pm
Location: Pittsfield
(please email us for location)

Task Force North covering North Berkshire County
Meets first Friday of each month
Time: 3pm – 4:30pm
Location: North Adams/Williamstown
(please email us for location)