Goal of meeting

Learn how to more directly engage with the Town’s current initiatives and help ensure they lead with a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


  1. Introductions
  2. Land acknowledgement 
  3. Brianna Markoff dissertation research project 
  4. Intro to Town initiatives and opportunities for DH involvement 
  5. Initiative deep dives: Envisioning Future Holliston, Housing Production Plan, and open elections
  6. Pillar updates and open discussion


  • Share your stories of marginalization in the Holliston Public School System with graduate student and former Holliston resident, Bri Markoff (markoffb@msu.edu)
  • Run for local office or encourage your neighbors to do so
  • Save the date for the next two Town Meetings: May 13 and October 21
  • Hang posters around town about the Housing meeting and other issues we want the people of the town to know about
  • Engage on multiple media platforms to reach ALL community members
  • Consider community organizing training for members of Diverse Holliston
  • Contact Barb (barb.fritts@gmail.com) if you’re interested in volunteering for this year’s HolliPride event – which will be bigger and better than ever!

Key takeaways

  • Land acknowledgements need to include educating ourselves about the people whose land we are occupying: https://www.nipmucband.org/knowing-nipmuc/ 
  • When many towns in the area were integrating in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Holliston chose to maintain its status as a white community with a good education system. Michigan State University student Bri Markoff is studying how those decisions affect today’s families and students in Holliston and she is hoping to interview anyone who has experienced marginalization in the public school system. Contact her at markoffb@msu.edu to share your story – all data will be anonymized and de-identified.
  • The Town of Holliston’s Envisioning Future Holliston committee has created (and the town has adopted) a five-year strategic plan with focuses on education and enrichment, environmental sustainability and resource, financial stability, a flourishing economy, robust infrastructure, and a thriving and engaged community. 
    • All of these elements are intimately connected to one another and all of them feed into the first priority outlined on the plan: diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    • For example, affordable housing is critical for DEI, but with no town sewer system, multi-family housing is difficult (but not impossible!) to address
    • How can we as a community engage with this plan and help ensure its success, primarily for that first priority?
    • Under the DEI priority, 100% of town employees, elected officials, and committee members must undergo DEI training – but that’s not enough. Diverse Holliston and our community members need to hold the town accountable and to continue pushing the need to lead through a lens of equity and inclusion at every level of Town practice and policy
  • How do we get people in the town to PAY ATTENTION? 
    • Mobilizing people with like interests to get out there and make issues known to the committees
    • Engaging people in the whole community, including those who do not agree
  • Flag policy mobilized the community, but if the Select Board just ignores the 170 individuals who voice their thoughts, what is the point of engaging? 
    • This work is hard and emotionally taxing – but we need to KEEP PUSHING
  • The town is working on a Housing Production Plan (HPP) with consultants JM Goldson and will be hosting a meeting on March 26 at the High School library from 6-8pm. 
    • Review our info sheet for more details on this project
    • We need to flood the meeting and make sure as many people learn about this work as possible
    • If we get the HPP wrong we developers will be able to leverage changes in zoning laws, meant to increase density and affordability, to increase their profits without increasing density or affordability.
  • Town meeting is the most common form of town government in Massachusetts, and it’s how the HPP will be voted on – voting is only available to those who attend IN PERSON so we need to get as many town members to attend as possible!
  • Town Election is on a different day and is when we will choose who will fill the 16 open openings (across 11 positions) in our town government.
    • If you are at all interested in running, DO  IT!
    • If you know anyone who might be interested, encourage them to run
    • You’ll need to get 50 signatures before April 2 to be included on the ballot and pull papers at Town Hall
  • Diverse Holliston has a responsibility to educate the community about the issues that address all of us – please tell us if you have ideas on how best to do this!
  • HolliPride will lead the next steps on engaging on the Pride Flag, which will begin with a bigger and better than ever Pride event in June – they need volunteers so contact Barb if you’re interested