NUARI - Needham Unite Against Racism Initiative

Unite Against Racism logo

The Needham Unite Against Racism Initiative is intended to foster a dialogue about racism in Needham and produce actionable strategies to ensure Needham is a welcoming and inclusive community. Residents are invited to share with Town officials their personal experiences with racism or discrimination in Needham, and their concerns and suggestions for improvement. The Town is making available information about relevant policies and procedures including those relative to policing in Needham. This initiative is intended to be an ongoing effort so that together, Town leadership and residents can craft effective solutions to identified challenges. The Town is committed to ensuring that all residents of Needham are safe and free from racism, discrimination and hate.

A NUARI Working group has been formed to recommend a vision for racial equality in Needham and determine guiding principles for future actions.  Members will prioritize areas for improvement including, but not limited to, education, policing, housing and racial and ethnic makeup of Town Boards and Committees.  Members will make recommendations to the Select Board. To contact Working Group Members, please email

All NUARI meetings are open to the public and begin at 6:00 pm.   Meeting links are on the Meeting Agenda. 


               AND MINUTES

Most Recent Agenda (PDF) | View All

Most Recent Minutes (PDF) | View All

Most Recent Agenda Packets (PDF)  | View All

NUARI Interim Report to Town Meeting, April 26, 2021

NUARI Public Comments Spreadsheet from July 21st meeting (PDF)


NUARI Zoom Meetings
NUARI Listening Session Recording, July 21, 2020


Residents and community members are invited to join Town leaders for “Connections: Cops and Community,” a three-part discussion series that will examine policing in Needham and foster greater understanding and dialogue between police and the community. The series will engage participants in conversations around race, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

The series includes a discussion on the history of policing, the Needham Police Department’s approach to working with youth and a third session driven by the community, exploring the relationship between law enforcement and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and discussing issues around policing that are most urgent in the public’s mind. Participants in the first two sessions and community members will be asked to provide feedback on topics of interest to help shape this third session.
Participants organizing these events include members of the Select Board, Needham Unite Against Racism Initiative Working Group (NUARI), Human Rights Committee, Needham Diversity Initiative, Needham Police Department, Needham Public Schools, the Interfaith Clergy Association and Town leadership. Registration for these in-person events is requested for planning purposes. 

Download flyer here.

Connections: Cops and Community Event Details

History of Policing: Then and Now 
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 

7:00 - 8:30 PM
Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Avenue

Event can be view here.

Youth & Police Panel Discussion
Tuesday, May 17th 2022
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Powers Hall, Town Hall and via Zoom

Event can be view here.

Community Conversation
 *Monday, June 13, 2022
7:00 - 8:30 PM
 Powers Hall, Town Hall and via Zoom

*NOTE - this is a date and location change

You may use this register form. However, if you plan to participate via Zoom, you must register to receive the Zoom link.


Vision Statement Endorsement List

NUARI Charge & Membership

List of Initial Recommendations, August 18, 2020 (PDF)

Anti-Racism Statement from the Select Board (PDF)

Town of Needham Announces Launch of Unite Against Racism Initiative (PDF)


The Needham Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all those who live, work and visit Needham. In an ongoing effort to respond to community concerns and suggestions around equitable policing and racial justice, the Department has released a response document that will be updated periodically. In addition, the Department has created a dashboard to provide important information and data regarding police interactions with the community. This dashboard will be updated at least annually and is currently being revised.

Police Department Procedures, Policies & Information of Interest

2022 Annual Needham Police Department Report

Annual Needham Police Dept. Data Reports


Equity in the Needham Public Schools (PDF)
Presentation to NUARI Working Group, December 22, 2020
Daniel Gutekanst, Superintendent of Schools

Equity in the Needham Public Schools (REAL COALITION), August 18, 2020 (PDF)


Civil Rights Violation Attorney General Info

Special Town Meeting Article 17: Resolution to Request a Study of Systemic Racism in Needham – October 2020

Town of Wellesley DEI Community Workshop March 2023 -                                           A Presentation on the Structures that Underpin Systemic Racism:

Needham Lived Experiences Project
    Needham Lived Experiences Project Survey

    The Lived Experiences of Our Community:
    Stories & Data from Needham, MA