In July of 2020, a group of Hopkinton community members joined together to create the Hopkinton Freedom Team, whose mission is "preserving freedom through unity in the community." Its members meet regularly to explore ways of offering dialogue and support to individuals or groups who experience bias, harassment, or microaggressions, with a goal of promoting love, inclusion, and trust (“LIT”) and moving beyond tolerance to embracing, celebrating, and sharing our community’s diversity.
In partnership with the Hopkinton Police Department, the Freedom Team has established a hotline for town residents who have experienced or witnessed bias-motivated threats, harassment, or violence related to race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, or class. The Freedom Team will offer a safe, confidential, and respectful space to process and discuss the incident using a transformative justice model not only to try to repair the harm through inclusion, trust, and equity, but also to educate and strengthen the community. To reach the hotline, call 774-278-4455.
Team members include a cross-section of individuals working at Hopkinton institutions, including the schools, the Police Department, Youth and Family Services, School Committee and the Select Board, as well as local residents. The Freedom Team plans to offer educational forums and training on a variety of topics, such as anti-racism, LGBTQ+ inclusivity, upstander training, among others. The team will collaborate with Freedom Teams from other area towns and other organizations with similar missions: South Asian Circle of Hopkinton (“SACH”), OUT Metrowest, Hopkinton Youth & Family Services and True Story Theater as a start.
On November 17th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Freedom Team is co-hosting with Hopkinton Youth & Family Services the first in a series of Community Connections. The first Community Connection will be about sexual orientation, gender and the LGBTQ+ community. OUT Metrowest’s presentation, LGBTQ+ Basics and Beyond, will give updates about LGBTQ+ trends, clarify confusing terms, and highlight gender-related topics like pronouns. Then, from November 20th through 22nd, the Team is partnering with SACH to celebrate Pride during the Diwali celebration of lights on the Common - Hopkinton Lights Up as One, November 13th - December 11th. These events are for everyone in helping to support and welcome the LGBTQ+ and South Asian members into the community. To register or learn more about these events and the Freedom Team please visit our website at www.hopkintonfreedomteam.org.
Every year our town of Hopkinton becomes world-renowned as a place of world-wide unity and common ground for thousands of people who come here from all over the world to run in The Boston Marathon. In a way, this is the intention of the Freedom Team. Our wish is to promote this same sense of being a welcoming town to all its residents as well as visitors by growing more inclusive-minded and welcoming as a community for all people. Our ultimate dream goal is to have every resident of our town sign up for general membership to the Freedom Team and its mission to promote love, inclusion and trust within our community. You are invited to sign up for general membership to The Freedom Team by submitting a pledge form on www.hopkintonfreedomteam.org and sharing what you have done and pledge to do to bring more unity, peace and acceptance to Hopkinton and beyond. Support the Hopkinton Freedom Team’s mission by liking the Freedom Team on Facebook @hopkintonfreedomteam or following on Instagram @hopkintonfreedomteam.