For the Martha’s Vineyard Diversity Coalition’s (MVDC) Truth and Joy events this weekend, the narrative will travel full circle, from the hard reckoning of history, to the potential for celebration.

According to Sandy Pimentel, a member of the MVDC board, this is the only way to tell the story about race on the Island.

“We thought that starting with the truth and an explanation of history validates the cause we are working for,” Ms. Pimentel said. “By honoring truth, you are honoring history. Before you can feel the joy as a community, you must acknowledge the past.”

The coalition was created in 2019 to promote racial justice and fight racism on the Vineyard through fostering dialogue in the community and in the schools. The Truth and Joy weekend takes place at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. On Friday evening there will be a plaque dedication by the African American Heritage Trail and a discussion about the history of early residents of color at the Camp Meeting Association. Urban Bush Women, a dance troupe in residence at the Yard this week, will also perform. The events begin at 5:30 pm.

Festivities return to the Tabernacle the following day, where a diversity fair takes place, beginning at 2 p.m., featuring food vendors and artisans reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the Island. There will also be representatives from Martha’s Vineyard Community Services to share information, including a job fair with information about opportunities around the Island.

The events conclude with live music and entertainment curated by Laurel Redington of MVY radio.

For Ms. Pimentel, the weekend is a perfect opportunity for the Vineyard to define its culture as it transitions into the summer season.

We live on an Island where people come from everywhere,” Ms. Pimentel said. “We picked this specific weekend because it is the beginning of the summer and we knew people would be here from all over the place. We are hoping the diversity coalition can show everyone how we’ve created a beloved community of trust.

For more information about the diversity coalition, visit