BCCR is a community-based organization dedicated to educating residents and the greater community about the value of diversity, the richness of cultural differences, and the sanctity of human rights. We believe that all people want a place in their community, for themselves and their family, where they feel, safe, heard, and valued. BCCR’s community work is guided by the following tenets: ⮚ Compassion ⮚ Teamwork ⮚ Empowerment ⮚ Accountability ⮚ Action ⮚ Collaboration ⮚ Advocacy
BCCR’s four pillars Education—discussions, forums, lectures, speakers, bystander training, and standouts Mobilization—for social and racial justice Creatingnetworks—with individuals, institutions, and other community groups Influencing all levels ofgovernment—speaking out and advocating policy change
History of BCCR
A group of local citizens in Bridgewater have formed an organization, whose goal is to ensure that Bridgewater is a safe, inclusive community, one of civility and respect for all.
The organization, Bridgewater Citizens for Civility and Respect (BCCR), was established in the winter of 2015/2016, in response to two local incidents in which individuals were verbally accosted in public. The cause of this seemed to be that their appearance and perceived cultural identity was assumed to be Muslim. BCCR responded by working towards its goal of enhancing and creating an atmosphere of community welcome and inclusiveness so that Bridgewater should be a place of civility and respect. In the Town, intolerant speech and behavior are unacceptable. The Town remains a safe and respectful place to live, work, play, conduct business, and attend school. A Proclamation stating these goals was unanimously approved on January 19, 2016, by the Bridgewater Town Council. An enlarged copy of the document was officially unveiled at the Academy Building on March 3, 2017. While deploring the incidents of hate speech and verbal assaults, the proclamation states that: “The Town of Bridgewater respects the rights of all persons in our town to:
live without fear of verbal or physical assault
exercise freedom of cultural expression through choices of attire, religious practice, and speech.
BCCR is now inviting local businesses and civic organizations in Bridgewater to support this effort by displaying a copy of the Proclamation on their premises so that those who live, work, or shop in the town will be reminded about the type of culture of civility and respect that Bridgewater deserves.
OUR NAME CHANGE: In 2020, after several months of discussion, BCCR changed its name to Bridgewater Communities for Civil Rights. Three factors motivated this change:u
Several members noted that the words “civility” and “respect” often had negative connotations among BIPOC (black and indigenous people of color) communities, and were frequently used as a way to keep people in their place.
Over time, BCCR’s activities increasingly focused on standing up for and defending the rights of all persons. The promotion of civil rights is truly our major focus.
The use of the word “communities” indicates that our membership is not drawn strictly from Bridgewater and represents our desire to include citizens from our surrounding towns.