Following his untimely resignation as Chair of the MVDC Board of Trustees due to failing eyesight, Dr. Walter Collier, revered co-founder of Friends For Life which became the Martha’s Vineyard Diversity Coalition, has been named Chair Emeritus by unanimous acclamation of the Trustees. This honorary title will permit him to continue to have an impact on MVDC’s important work as an advisor and regular attendee at Trustee Board meetings.

A renowned and widely published social scientist as well as strong leader for the Board, Walter is also notably appreciated for his important participation in data analysis of police stops as part of MVDC’s Criminal Justice Committee. Our initiative with the island police chiefs in implicit bias training of police officers requires his analytical skills and experience for the training to have its intended, long-term effect on community policing. Dr. Collier’s book “Why Racism Persists: An Uncomfortable Truth” is widely referenced for his insights and unique perspective on matters of racial bias. He is frequently sought for his insights into racial justice and most recently participated in MVY Radio’s four-part series on racism. We are delighted that he will be able to continue to participate both in the ongoing public dialogue about racism in the US as well as his work on the Criminal Justice Committee.

MVDC Co-founder Sandra Pimentel said of her colleague, “Dr. Walter Collier has been a grounding force in the formation and establishment of the MV Diversity Coalition. It is a privilege to call him my friend and colleague and fitting that he is a Trustee Emeritus of MVDC.” Dr. Robert Tankard, another MVDC co-founder, said of Walter, “Walter has brought the strong sense of professionalism we needed to develop our new organization. His willingness to continue to serve as an advisor in this new honorary role is very much appreciated and I am proud to call him my friend.”

With Walter’s formal resignation, Sandra Pimentel, formerly Board Vice-chair has assumed the position of Interim Board Chair.