Amherst’s Race Amity Day slated for Sunday online


Staff Writer
Published: 6/9/2021 11:37:32 PM

AMHERST — A day that celebrates the oneness of humanity, and promotes social justice and overcoming prejudices of anti-Blackness, takes place Sunday.

Race Amity Day, which is held on the second Sunday in June each year, will be in a virtual format via Zoom when it begins at 4 p.m. 

Ash Hartwell, co-president of Citizens for Racial Amity Now, said the event will include a tribute to the late Ray Elliott, who founded the organization as a regional effort that aims to break down barriers between people and promote the concept of one human family.

A video will show Elliot providing words of wisdom prior to his death at 95 in 2019, Hartwell said.

There also will be a presentation of the Race Amity Day Proclamation by the Town Council, which notes the United States’ “rich cultural, ethnic and racial diversity of its inhabitants” and that “civility, respect, kindness and friendship are commonly shared values of the collective citizenry of the town of Amherst.”

The event also examines racial injustices and inequalities in Amherst and in the country, Hartwell said.

Leaders of the Community Safety Working Group, Brianna Owen and Elisha Walker, will discuss a vision for making the town more welcoming.

The day is capped off with a roundtable discussion on the meaning of Race Amity for Amherst with Marcie Sclove of the League of Women Voters, Charles “Chuck” Cooper of the Citizens for Racial Amity Now, Peter Blood for the Interfaith Opportunities Network and Marita Banda for the Amherst Baha'i community.

An open forum, music and prayer will follow the roundtable. The even can be viewed online at

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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