MCAD Marks Bill-signing Date on May 23rd
70th Anniversary of Agency's Creation
To mark the date, 70 years ago, when Governor Maurice Tobin signed into law the bill establishing The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), nearly 150 civil rights advocates, lawyers, legislators, state officials, federal partners, advisory board members, and others joined MCAD staff and commissioners for a 70th anniversary commemorative event at the State House.
Standing at the base of the Grand Staircase, MCAD Chairwoman Jamie R. Williamson opened the program, outlining the agency’s recent major accomplishments – reducing the case backlog, overhauling the website, and strengthening the agency’s Language Access Plan. Commissioner Suni Thomas George gave an overview of the Commission’s 70-year history, highlighting various cases and jurisdictional changes.
Commissioner Charlotte Golar Richie, who moderated the program, acknowledged the presence of several former MCAD Chairman: Leon Braithwaite, Chuck Walker, Walter Sullivan, and Julian Tynes. Commissioner Richie then introduced Director David D’Arcangelo, Governor Baker’s appointee to the state’s Office on Disability, who kick-off the speaking program. He was followed by several notable civil rights champions: Sheila Decter, the Executive Director of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Justice (JALSA); Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice; and Michael Curry, President, Boston NAACP.
In addition to recognizing MCAD’s history, work and mission, the Commission honored State Representative Gloria L. Fox, a longtime champion of the MCAD and pioneer for women leaders, who is retiring from the House of Representatives after three decades of service to the 12th Suffolk District of Boston and to the Commonwealth. Speaker Robert DeLeo, who was joined by Majority Whip Byron Rushing, gave remarks about his service in the House with Rep. Fox and presented MCAD Commissioners with a citation recognizing the success of the agency on its 70th Anniversary.
About the MCAD: The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) was established in 1946 as the state’s chief civil rights agency charged with the authority to investigate, prosecute, adjudicate and resolve cases of discrimination. Led by three Commissioners, one who serves as Chair, the MCAD enforces the state’s anti-discrimination laws in these areas Employment, Housing, Credit, Public Accommodation, and Access to Education. The MCAD protects individuals in numerous protected categories including race, color, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The MCAD is an independent agency of the Commonwealth, which receives funding from the Massachusetts Legislature and through contracts with its federal partners, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Commission also is a training center for employers, housing professionals, and the general public.