For Immediate Release - February 25, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK APPOINTS JAMIE WILLIAMSON AS CHAIR OF MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

BOSTON – Tuesday, February 25, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced the appointment of Jamie R.Williamson as Chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). Williamson has served as a Commissioner of MCAD since 2010.

“I am honored to appoint Jamie as Chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination,” said Governor Patrick. “Jamie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help us bring an end to discrimination and promote equal justice.”

Williamson was previously in charge of MCAD’s Springfield office,  where she oversaw the administration, adjudication and education of civil rights matters for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Williamson replaces the previous Chair, Julian Tynes, who is now serving as the Director of Labor Relations for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

“As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I am both humbled and honored to be appointed Chairman by Governor Patrick to represent, lead and serve the Commonwealth’s premier civil rights agency, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination,” said Williamson. “I look forward to carrying out its mission and addressing the current civil rights issues that impact the citizens and businesses of the Commonwealth.”

Prior to joining the MCAD, Williamson served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center in Holyoke, a private non‐profit fair housing organization serving central and western Massachusetts. In 2005, Williamson was appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to serve on the Access to Justice Commission. This Commission was created by the Supreme Court to provide leadership, vision and coordination to the multitude of organizations and interests involved in assuring access to civil justice for families and individuals in the Commonwealth.

In 1995, Williamson became the first African‐American woman to serve on the Pittsfield City Council and the first African‐American to serve at‐large. Over the years she has served on the boards of a number of community and charitable organizations including the Red Cross, Berkshire Medical Center, the Rotary and the Norman Rockwell Museum. She is a graduate of Smith College in Northampton and currently resides in Springfield with her husband William Marley Jr. 

“The MCAD is a vitally important agency in our communities, and the high-quality appointment of Jamie Williamson as Chair is exactly what the MCAD needs,” said Judge William Abrashkin. “Jamie is fair minded, andcommitted both to combatting discrimination and to maintaining balance in the Commission's work. Equally important, she will bringexcellent administrative skills to this position. I know Jamie will work within our communities to build coalitionsand provide public education as we strive towards the goal of ending discrimination in all of its forms." 

"The MCAD Advisory Board has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Commissioner Williamson since she was first appointed by Governor Patrick to the MCAD in August 2010, and we look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role as Chair,” said Thomas Gallitano, Chair of the MCAD Advisory Board.

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