During the swearing-in of members of the Massachusetts Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes, it first struck Deborah “D.J.” Williams ’20: I’m a part of something huge.
“I heard people saying, ‘I’m the district attorney of this place,’ ‘I’m a lawyer at this organization,’ ‘I’m the head of law enforcement in this city,’” she says. “Here I am, an Amherst sophomore, in the same room with these important people. It was a little intimidating. But I knew from day one that we would be able to effect good and needed change.”
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At its inception, the task force divided into subgroups focused on education and law enforcement; Williams chose to be part of the education group. Her responsibility is to represent the perspective of, and to advocate for, youth in the state.