The Origin of Duxbury for All image
A nation-wide cry for justice

When the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage in the U.S. this spring, mainstream America began to waken to a problem that it had brushed under the rug for generations—that African-Americans, as well as Asian-Americans, Jews, Latinos, LGBTQ, Native Americans, and recent immigrants from every country, are targets of discrimination—some of it subtle, some violent in the extreme.

While protests were held across the country, people began to speak out about what they’ve experienced. Local voices personalized the racism and prejudice that exist in even seemingly idyllic communities like Duxbury. Their pain—and the pain of millions across America—was brought home in a way it never had before.

Like so many Americans, members of Duxbury Rotary were deeply moved by what they heard. They felt their club, as a part of an international organization dedicated serving all of mankind, should not only take a stand, but should do everything in its power to address this issue. They decided to publish a public manifesto of their resolve and work with like-minded individuals and organizations to end racism and all forms of prejudice in this community.

Our declaration, published in The Duxbury Clipper, and signed by every member of Duxbury Rotary:

What kind of town do you want to live in?

Imagine a community where everyone is accepted. Where no family is discouraged from buying a home because of their ethnicity. Where no one reports strangers to the police because of the color of their skin. Where swastikas aren’t painted in school bathrooms. Where LGBTQ kids aren’t harassed by their peers. Where women are never sexually intimidated by men. Imagine how nice it would be to live in such a safe, kind and welcoming place.
Does this sound like Duxbury?

You might (or might not) be surprised to learn that all of these unacceptable acts have happened in our beautiful little town.

At the Duxbury Rotary Club, we think it’s time to end prejudice here. To be the safe, kind and welcoming place we believe we are—for all.

As a part of a global organization dedicated to serving people—all people—we at Rotary would like to see our town become a prejudice-free community, and are prepared to work with town leaders, civic and religious groups, and concerned citizens to make this happen. To that end, our first step will be to organize discussions where we listen to each other, build trust, and find collaborative solutions we can all support.

How we've evolved

With that declaration a movement initially called "Prejudice Free Duxbury" was founded. Working in partnership with other local organizations such as the Interfaith Council, the Library and the Senior Center, we hosted a series of educational meetings, book reads and workshops on the subject of racism and prejudice. These events attracted widespread attention and support from hundreds of concerned residents, including Town officials & administrators, and leaders of local business and non-profit organizations.

Speaking with friends, neighbors and colleagues of color, we heard over and over again, "Changing hearts and minds is a marathon, not a sprint." To assure we built support and energy for the long haul, we knew we needed to have a well thought our plan of action. We spent the fall of 2020 polling the community, investigating systemic issues and exploring opportunities for partnerships. That research informed the a strategic plan we will follow for the foreseeable future. This plan includes four key strategies:

  1. Keep  diversity, equity & inclusion in the public eye through regular articles and posts in print, digital and digital media.
  2. Build and update a robust online Resource Center where people can self-educate on related issues.
  3. Engage people in our cause through periodic educational events and workshops.
  4. In partnership with town departments and local organizations, develop programs that promote diversity, equity and inclusion, and work to mitigate the effects of bias.

Over the course of the year, we came to realize that the best way to combat prejudice is to promote diversity. The more we experience different ways of thinking, different cultures, different backgrounds and experiences, the more we will appreciate them, and the faster we will shed our negative biases.

Building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community is now our primary mission. With that in mind, we decided that Prejudice Free Duxbury focused too much on the negative. We brainstormed new names, asked our supporters to vote on their favorite, and agreed that Duxbury for All best represented the mission and spirit of our work.

Rev. Doctor Catherine Cullen

Chairman of the Interfaith Council

Elika Dadsetan-Foley

Tara Downes

Maarten Hemsley

Karl Kunz

President, Duxbury Rotary Club

Fred L'Ecuyer

Bruce Rutter

Karen Wong

Love Duxbury? We can make it even better.

What more could we want than what Duxbury already offers in abundance: history, natural beauty, great schools, a low crime rate, plus the beach, bay and thousands of acres of conservation land?

For starters, in protecting our kids from fear and want, they’re growing up in a bubble, with limited perspective and few opportunities to connect with people outside the majority. As our economy becomes ever-more global, these will be liabilities for them as adults.

With a museum, art centers, restaurants, and thriving school arts programs, Duxbury is far from a cultural desert. But the range of experiences available is quite small. Performing arts that aren’t mainstream? Cuisines other than American, Chinese or Italian? You have to go elsewhere for something different.

An affluent population can be good for business, and it has its downside too—if you run a retail, construction or service business, it can be hard to find employees who want to and can afford to live here. The Town, including Police, Fire, and Schools, faces the same hiring challenges.

And then there’s the rarely discussed dark side of Duxbury—the bullying, hate speech, and slights that people from minority groups experience on a regular basis. Can we really call this a safe and welcoming community when it’s not safe and welcoming for all?

We can address these issues by making Duxbury more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Being largely white and affluent, with limited connections to the larger world, is not an immutable condition. Duxbury has been evolving since the days when Wampanoags hunted, farmed and fished here. From Pilgrim settlement to ship building center, summer colony to Boston exurb, we’ve reinvented ourselves, and become a different and—for many, but not all—better community each time.
Think affluence and diversity can’t go hand-in-hand? Think again. Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Sharon, Sudbury and Wellesley all rank significantly above Duxbury in terms of diversity and have exceeded the state’s 10% affordable housing goal, all while increasing median home valuation.

We can too.

It won’t happen overnight. Making Duxbury more diverse will take planning, commitment and many years of determined action. We need to encourage people from different groups to move here, welcome them when they come, and embrace the differences they bring. Plus build more affordable housing, hire more people of color, and give our kids chances to connect with peers from other communities in the Commonwealth and around the world. The investment in diversity will pay off handsomely: the Duxbury of tomorrow will be far richer, in so many ways, than the Duxbury of today.

How Duxbury compares with other communities in terms of diversity

Duxbury is 95.3% White, 3.7% Latino, 1% Asian-American and less than 1% each Black, Native American or Mixed Race.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is much more diverse, at 71.1% White, 12.4% Latino, 9% Black, 7.2% Asian-American and 2.6% Mixed Race.

Among the 25 most affluent towns in Greater Boston, Lexington, Milton, Andover, Sharon, Newton and Belmont all ranked within the top 50 Massachusetts municipalities in terms of diversity rankings.  Duxbury, one of the least diverse towns  in the Commonwealth, ranked at 297--edged out by only Cohasset and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

See the Results of our 2020 Survey

Check It Out Today!

See what people think about prejudice in Duxbury.