Wellesley Freedom Team
Who we are
The Wellesley Freedom Team, a non-partisan, community-based initiative, is made up of volunteers who are available to support individuals feeling victimized by incidents of racism and bias that occur in our town. Members include community leaders, educators, and faith leaders, with the support of Town officials. The Wellesley Freedom Team was established in 2021 in response to reports from residents, employees, and employers who experienced incidents of racism and bias that are not defined as hate crimes and, therefore, cannot be addressed under the law. We wanted to be able to provide victims with an opportunity to be heard, offering a confidential and respectful space where they can air concerns and consider actionable next steps to achieve resolution.
What we do
The Wellesley Freedom Team volunteers provide a safe, confidential space for people to air concerns when they believe that they are victims of racism or bias, or when they have witnessed such disturbing behavior. We offer supportive listening and try to facilitate linkage with available resources that can address victim/witness concerns. The Team’s intent is to respond with urgency whenever members become aware of individuals who experience threats, harassment, or violence related to race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, or class. The Freedom Team will be available to discuss past and current incidents, as well as fears of future victimization.
How to contact us
Wellesley residents, visitors, employees, and employers are encouraged to contact the Freedom Team if they experience or witness bias-motivated threats, harassment, or violence. All calls and emails will remain confidential, discussed only by members of the Team.
To contact the Freedom Team:
· Hotline: 339-216-0124
· Email: WellesleyFreedomTeam@gmail.com
Residents who fear for their safety should call 911 immediately.
What happens after you contact us
When a message is left on the Freedom Team hotline, or an email is sent, callers should expect a response within 12 hours. A Freedom Team member will offer a telephone, virtual, or in-person meeting to discuss concerns.
If an incident constitutes a hate crime, the Freedom Team will connect victims to the Wellesley Police Department. Hate crimes include bias-motivated assault, battery, and property damage.
The work of the Freedom Team is in partnership with Human Relations Service (HRS), the Wellesley Police Department, and the Wellesley Select Board.
The Wellesley Freedom Team is part of the Freedom Team Network, which includes the Natick Freedom Team, Waltham Freedom Team, Hopkinton Freedom Team, and Franklin Freedom Team. Other area communities have been in touch with us as they consider forming their own teams.