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'It Will Take Baby Steps': Boston Residents Hopeful For More Inclusive Future

BOSTON (CBS) - Mayor Marty Walsh is pledging to dismantle racism in Boston. "I pledged my commitment to making Boston, a national leader in healing the wounds of our history and building a more just future," Walsh said.

Hundreds of people turned out to bring awareness to police brutality and social injustice: flooding street corners and a park in Roslindale Square. Some protesters, like Dwayne Davis of Somerville, believe the mayor has a long road ahead. "That's a tall order," Davis said.

No matter how tall the order, all are hoping Mayor Walsh succeeds in his vision. "It will take baby steps, but I think it's possible," said Ajaycia Jackson of Mattapan.

Ajaycia Jackson
Ajaycia Jackson (WBZ-TV)

The mayor participated in a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd Thursday. Floyd was killed after a white officer killed knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis last week.

Mikailia Houston of Dorchester believes progress starts with systemic changes. "It's very much so possible, but those who have that privilege and the power have to take responsibility, because we can only do and say so much," Jackson said.

roslindale rally
Roslindale Square protest (WBZ-TV)

Walsh is vowing to listen. "We are listening," Walsh said. "I am listening to the voices and the messages of our black neighbors, who are harmed by systemic racism every single day."

And so is, race and equity teacher, Kat Callard of Roslindale. Callard teaches at the Park School in Brookline.

"I see my role as a white person to actually work with other white folks. Working on having them reflect on their whiteness," Callard said. "Something they may not have seen, their own racial identity growing up."

Callard's family, standing in solidarity with protesters like Phyllis Bluhm of Roslindale, all hoping for a more inclusive future. "We gotta hold everybody accountable and the easiest thing is at our local level," Bluhm said.

Mayor Walsh says it is time for elected officials to listen and learn.

Additional Resources:

YW Boston, recommended reading list

The Center For Racial Justice, recommended reading list

Embrace Race, diverse children's book list

Sesame Street / CNN Town Hall on Racism

Teaching Children about Anti-Racism, resources from PBS

American Civil Liberties Union, racial justice resources

Violence in Boston Social Impact Center

NAACP, Boston branch

What Matters podcast, from Black Lives Matter

Code Switch podcast, from NPR

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