Brookline is My Home


In June 2021, the Town celebrates the progress and accomplishments of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer community.  On May 11, 2021 the Brookline Select Board unanimously voted to recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month in the Town of Brookline.  You can read the Proclamation here.   

On June 2, 2019 the Brookline community came together and painted a PRIDE Crosswalk outside of Town Hall.  Families and residents of all ages had a great time being a part of this community event. . The painting of a Pride Crosswalk in a prominent location is a symbolic and meaningful public demonstration of our community’s commitment to supporting equal rights for the LGBTQ community. In 2020 due to COVID -19 DPW committed to painting the PRIDE Crosswalk outside of Town Hall. 

This year the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations and the Brookline Department of Public Works partnered with students from the Brookline High School GSA and Elementary School GSAs to paint Pride Crosswalks at each of the interested schools over the last month! 9 Schools, 18 Crosswalks, and 1 Sidewalk!  Students, teachers, parents, and Town employees alike all had so much fun bringing some PRIDE to our school communities! 

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Caitlin Starr, MPH, CDE at or at 617-730-2345. 

Image Description: A slideshow of still images of students from nine different schools painting rainbow colored crosswalks throughout Brookline.  

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month - May 2021

May AAPI Virtual Display

To learn more about Asian Pacific American Heritage and the incredible work being done by AAPI here and throughout the country, you can click on these links:

AAPI Community Quiz, Town of Brookline

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month National Site

Asian American Commission of Massachusetts

Brookline Asian American Family Network

30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 26, 2020, is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). July is known as ADA Month/Disability Pride Month.

Instructional video: How to Guide a Person with Vision Loss

Many people would like to assist a person with vision loss when appropriate but hesitate because they don’t know how. The Town of Brookline, Massachusetts has just released a new instructional video telling and showing via demonstration clips, how-to guide a person with vision loss in a variety of common situations.

Produced by the Town’s Commission on Disability, along with Brookline Age-Friendly Cities TV and Brookline Interactive Group, the video is simple and offers repetition in the demonstrations to make learning and remembering easy.

This video is free to all and may be used by any agencies, organizations, groups, or individuals who find it useful. The Brookline Commission on Disability welcomes questions, feedback, and reports on how it is being used.

Contact the Town of Brookline’s Community Relations Specialist and ADA / Section 504 Coordinator, at 1-617-730- 2326, TTY 1-617-730-2327

As of April, 2020, The ADA Coordinator is: Sarah E. Kaplan,, 617-730-2329, in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations.

 Assisting people with vision loss during the pandemic

People with vision loss often turn to strangers in various public places for assistance in getting to their desired location, whether it is to cross the street or to find an elevator in an office building or hospital. Most people are generous in offering help in these circumstances but may hesitate during the pandemic since it is difficult to stay 6 feet apart when guiding a visually impaired person. The Town of Brookline has produced an instructional video on standard guiding techniques, but some modifications are desirable during the community’s concerns about virus transmission.

When guiding a visually impaired person, both the individual and the guide should be wearing masks; note that they are facing in the same direction so are not directing their breath toward each other. A plastic bag or piece of cloth can keep them from touching bare hand to bare elbow skin. Additional ideas for safe guiding with increased distance include placing hand on the guide’s back rather than the arm, putting a shopping cart between the two people (guide in front), using an extra cane as a guiding pole, each holding one end, and guiding verbally from behind. In all cases, the person with vision loss should also be using a mobility aid, such as a cane.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Signing Ceremony, July 26, 1990

This video documents the experience of people who worked hard to get the ADA passed. Hear directly from them about the importance of that day and what the ADA means to them. 

Museum of disABILITY History

Located in Buffalo, New York

People with Disabilities in Brookline

This image shows three graphs about People with Disabilities in Brookline. The first pie chart shows that in the 2019-2020 school year, 16.3% of students in Brookline Public Schools were identified as students with disabilities (according to the MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education. The second pie chart shows that according to statistics from the US Census Bureau, in 2014-2018, 3.5% of residents of Brookline under the age of 65 identified as a person with a disability. The last pie chart concerns the 2018 National Citizens Survey in which 6% of the respondents in Brookline answered "Yes" to the question: "Does any member of your household have a physical handicap or is anyone disabled?"  
People with Disabilities and Brookline

May and June 2020 Brookline's Diverse Community Virtual Display

This year, due to the current state of social distancing and uncertainty about what to expect in the months to come, our Office has decided to curate an online, virtual display celebrating the many diverse communities, heritages, identities and stories within Brookline. Below are images and videos submitted by Brookline residents that represent an important recipe or item from their family heritage or culture.  

 We continue to invite everyone to submit an image, video, drawing, or any creative medium to share a specific item, tradition, meal, etc that is important to your heritage, culture, or identity along with a sentence or two on WHAT and WHY it is important to you or your family. Submissions can be made to Caitlin Starr, MPH, CDE at

Artwork submitted by Junie Levine for Asian American Heritage Month
"A tribute to ancestors heritage faith for they live on forever" 
Submitted by the Brookline Asian American Family Network
Submitted by Frances Shedd-Fisher
recipe part 1
recipe part 2
Submitted by Miriam Rosalyn Diamond
Jewish Spicebox
Submitted by Jonathan Margolis
Submitted by Cathleen Cavell
Silver Goblet
Submitted by Tommy Vitolo

Indigenous People's Day

Native American Tapestry

Brookline Recognizes Indigenous People’s Day

On October 14, 2019, the Town respectfully recognizes the contributions, sacrifices, and tribulations of our nation’s indigenous people and others throughout the world.  We ask that our community members take pause on this day and take time to learn about cultures that were here long before it became what we now call home.   

Flyer Indigenous Peoples Day 2019

2019 Local Events 


In 2016, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously to start celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October. In 2018, they were followed by the cities of Brookline and Somerville, joining Amherst, MA and Northampton, MA. This name change is part of a growing movement across the country to change the narrative of history towards a recognition of the survival, resilience, diversity, and strength of Indigenous Peoples, who are among us as residents in Massachusetts and indeed across New England, the United States, and the world.

Below is a list of state wide events! Please help us spread the word!

Saturday, October 12–Monday, October 14, 9:00 am–5:00 pm - Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Enrich your museum visit by listening to an evocative playlist of contemporary poems by Native American authors. Wander freely across the first-floor galleries to see where the poems take you. Borrow a free audio player from the front desk.

Monday, October 14, 10:00AM-5:00PM - Museum of Fine Arts

Enjoy free admission and special events at the MFA for Indigenous Peoples’ Day—and the Fenway Alliance’s 18th annual Opening Our Doors Day. Join tours and discussions in the galleries, check out music and dance, and drop in on engaging art-making activities and demonstrations—all led by Native educators and artists. Co-created and presented in partnership with Akomawt Educational Initiative and Jonathan James-Perry, Tribal Citizen of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Nation.

Monday, October 14, 10:00AM-4:00PM - Isabella Gardner Museum

This Indigenous Peoples' Day, the Gardner Museum is honored to collaborate with choreographer and Neighborhood Salon Luminary Marsha Parrilla of Danza Orgánica to present local Indigenous artists from the Massachusett, Nipmuc, Mashpee Wampanoag, and Aquinnah Wampanoag tribes.

The theme for the day is “Abundant Voices,” emphasizing the necessary perspectives and incredible work of these creative leaders. Enjoy hands-on art making, interactive performance, storytelling, a special performance from Gardner Museum Choreographers in Residence All Ready with local youth performers and more. Explore additional hands-on activities and performances organized by The Fenway Alliance throughout the day across the street from the Gardner Museum in beautiful Evans Way Park.

Monday, October 14, 1:30-5:30PM - Four Winds School

#StandWITHMashpee Walk-A-Thon 

After a half day of classes in the morning of October 14th, 2019, Four Winds School will be hosting our first ever Walk-a-thon fundraising event from 1:30 to 5:30pm. This event is a student-initiated fundraiser to help benefit Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, who are the descendants of the first Native Americans that the Pilgrims interacted with upon their arrival in the 1620s and were the topic of study in humanities class last year.

Monday, October 14, 7:00PM Science and Cooking Lecture series: “Hominy and Posole: The Science of Native American Cooking”

Science Center Lecture Hall C, Harvard University

Freddy Bitsoie (@chef_fjbits), FJBits Concepts, 2013 winner of the Native Chef Competition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Tufts University Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration - Academic Quad, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 4:00 PM.

Come join for our 4th annual Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration. Featured will be Indigenous speakers, singers, dancers, and food!

Harvard University Indigenous Peoples Day - Performances will begin in front of Matthews Hall at 2 PM and will transition to Ticknor Lounge at 4 PM. 2:00PM – 5:30PM

Hosted by Harvard University Native American Program and Native Americans at Harvard College

The Charter of 1650 committed Harvard to furnish, "accommodations of buildings and all other necessary provisions that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country in knowledge and godliness." In affirmation of this commitment, members of the Harvard community are invited to join Native Americans at Harvard College (NAHC) in celebration of the resilience of Indigenous peoples here and across the world. Performances will showcase the diversity of Indigenous identities present here at Harvard and across Greater Boston as we work toward University-wide recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Day. All identities are welcome to participate, and food will be provided.

Wampanoag Perspectives on Land: Acknowledging Indigenous Space - 2:00PM – 3:00PM

Hosted by the Fruitlands Museum and The Trustees

Join Elizabeth James-Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag) on Indigenous Peoples' Day at Fruitlands Museum as she presents "Wampanoag Perspectives on the Land: Acknowledging Indigenous Space." Elizabeth James-Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag) is a multi-medium traditional and contemporary artist, with specialties in wampum shell carving and reviving natural dye techniques for her finger-woven sashes, bags, and baskets. Her old-style wampum was published in the publication Native New England at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, and was exhibited at PEM’s acclaimed Native Fashion Now exhibition, curated by Karen Kramer. James-Perry has trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, Shoals Marine Lab, and she holds a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and has earned state and national awards at the annual Heard Museum Art Show; the 2014 Traditional Arts Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Perry has conducted research at many museum archives and was consulted by Amherst University Professor Lisa Brooks on her 2018 publication, Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War. She was employed for the last decade in the Aquinnah Tribal Historic Preservation Department.

Indigenous Peoples Day Children and Family Event in Wellesley, MA - 11:00AM-1:15PM at Schofield Elementary School • 27 Cedar Street, Wellesley, MA 02481

Please join the World of Wellesley in honoring Indigenous Peoples Day with a children and family event that will explore Indigenous history, culture and traditions. Professional educator Claudia Fox Tree, M.Ed. (Arawak/Yurumein), will lead our engagement together with a presentation centered on Native American (First Nations People) identity, culture, and history. Indigenous food options and pizza will be served. Opening ceremony begins at 11:00 AM. FREE and open to the public. We as people who reside, work, and engage in Wellesley acknowledge this town is located on the traditional territory of the Massachusett People. More info

Indigenous Resistance and Resilience in 1670s Lowell Tour - Lowell National Historical Park, 1:00PM – 2:30 PM

This free walk begins at the Visitor Center (246 Market Street) at 1 p.m. on Monday, October 14th. Free parking is available at 304 Dutton Street. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.

In 1892 and 1893, America was busy celebrating the 400th anniversary of the landing of Columbus in the Americas, and Lowell was teeming with parades, sermons, and lectures delivered in his honor. Two hundred years before the great industrial city of Lowell sprung up, in the 1670s, the Penacook people were actively challenging the invasion of their homeland in the Merrimack Valley by land-hungry English settlers. This 90 minute walking tour explores how Indigenous people living in greater Lowell in the 1670s confronted and resisted colonialism through combat, and through their command of the Algonquian and English language. The walk will also discuss how nineteenth century Lowellians selectively remembered and celebrated their past, and what implications that has for our understanding of Lowell’s past.

Friday, October 18, 2019 - Film Screening at Cambridge City Hall “500 Years”

From a historic genocide trial and the organized defense of the land to the overthrow of a corrupt President, 500 Years tells a sweeping story of resistance in Guatemala's recent history through the actions and perspectives of the majority indigenous Mayan population, who now stand poised to reimagine their society. Official Selection of 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Friday, October 18th, 7:30pm - Cypher- hip hop performance on the steps of Cambridge City Hall

In celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day (Monday, October 14) and the end of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), the Office of the Mayor is hosting a Cypher at City Hall event on Friday, October 18, 2019, on the front steps of City Hall. Mashpee artists Mwalim DaPhunkee Professor and Zyg will be performing.

Cypher at City Hall is a collaboration with the Cambridge-based Hip-Hop Collective, which brings together local artists to perform monthly in Central Square’s “Graffiti Alley,” the Arts Council, the City Manager, the Office of the Mayor, and the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB).

Brookline celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month | September 15th-October 15th

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National celebration of Hispanic Heritage.

Hispanic Heritage display image

SELVA VIRGEN | Brookline connections to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru

Julia Alegria's daughter and son-in-law are Brookline residents. Alegria lives in Loreto, Peru, where she owns and privately preserves 25 hectares of rainforest, called Selva Virgen. She works to protect the air, water, flora and fauna in the area and maintain the biodiversity of the rainforest. Some of the trees on her land are over 500 years old! Although she is retired from teaching school after 26 years, she believes she has a responsibility to continue teaching people about the world, land, and environment, especially as threats like global warming continue to loom. For the last 15 years, Alegria has been working with other private land owners as part of a cooperative to preserve Peru's wildlife. But it's not just nature that they're protecting- there are ancient, indigenous cultures that reside in the Amazon. By protecting the land that belongs to these communities, their customs and practices are conserved.


When you walk around the Town of Brookline, imagine all the houses were the same shapes and color, and all the flower banks in fronts of those houses were all purple lilacs. The monotony and sameness would make it dull. No one would be attracted to it. But we all enjoy the different colors that complement what attracts us to admire the beauty of mixing different colors. We often under-appreciate diversity in our town. This project will encourage us all to embrace what makes us different and recognize what makes us the same.

What is this about?:

Do you have ideas to promote our diverse community? Please email Lloyd Gellineau.

"Cultural diversity is important because if it wasn't for cultural diversity then man will not be able to evolved into better smarter and cleaner individuals."

Cultural Events

Since religion played a major role to assimilation in American society, the church as another faith-based organization continues to play a vital role in advocating on behalf of immigrants to assimilate in American culture. While adapting to another culture, religious faith remains as an integral part of the immigrant culture. Deeply rooted faith sustains the individual’s transition to a new way of life. The influence of social gatherings, involving: music, dancing, and sharing ethnic foods broker of common bonds. Every ethnic culture contributes to the landscape, which is called the melting pot of the United States of America.

Cultural Displays

Brookline is My Home display's cultural artifacts around the Town.

Past Displays:

Argentina is a Country of Immigrants

Photo Gallery of Haitian Art Display in Brookline Town Hall.

Irish History in Brookline

Informing the community about diversity

Cultural gatherings: The chance to share culture within a particular community and to also share it with people who live in the Town of Brookline who are not from that group. We have to work to make them curious about a culture which is not one they know about! We have to make it comfortable for them to come.

Besides the gatherings themselves, I think a booklet or a newsletter about each group could be published with oral histories, family stories and "coming to America" stories), folktales, songs, recipes, sometimes recipes are the only thing offered in cultural exchanges), also games, customs, holidays. Moreover, some statements about life in the town within this particular ethnic.

Multimedia Presentation in different languages

Acknowledge a specific cultural group. What will they tell about their country, where they from in their native language. “Brookline is my home”. This avenue will help to find out about their country of origin: allowing many different ideas that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. Embracing diversity will evolve individual into a better understanding.

Pictures of people with their native country’s flag

Events for all different generations, children including: the old settlers to the newly arrived. Ethnic storytelling and music; African crafts and drumming; Brazilian and Caribbean’s Carnival, etc. Mask’s making for Day of the Dead celebrations (Hispanic.) The influence of social gatherings, involving: music, dancing, and sharing ethnic foods broker of common bonds and a major role to assimilation in American society. Having a costume parade, displaying arts, crafts, food and music

Spotlighting on different cultures

The history of immigration shows that most immigrants at the beginning lack support from wider based social organizations, and thus have been forced to take on the responsibility by socializing themselves or with the assistance of their families or ethnically based organizations when they first arrived. To be understood and recognized by the rest of Brookline. The fact is that many members of long- time established Brookline cultural groups (Irish, Italian, Jewish, English, African-American) have almost no idea that, for example, how the Latino community lives, the Afro-Caribbean. Just to be very specific, an Irish or Swiss or Jewish person living in Brookline may very well have never met a Latino with it vibrant culture.

United States of America has opened its doors to many immigrants, has always recognized the countries where they from. Most settlements were composed of complete family groups with several generations already established in America.

Town wide annual events

Showcase a town wide exhibit for each particular ethnic culture.

Every individual has a gift to offer and to share with others. People need people in their lives, by building relationship from diverse backgrounds. People can learn from each other in partnership and by engaging in common bond to access to opportunity. Building relationship and creating a community that can come together and making better connection toward to begin to come together as one.