Perspectives: MCAD at 70
A Panel Discussion Among Four Former Chairs and the Current Chair of the MCAD
Amidst an afternoon blizzard in February that forced Boston businesses and state agencies to close early, the MCAD held an educational event for the public, titled, “Perspectives: MCAD at 70” a panel discussion of four former Commission Chairs and the current Chairwoman of the MCAD, moderated by Commissioner Richie and with remarks by Commissioner George. The panel, representing five decades of Commission leadership, featured Jane Edmonds (Chairwoman ’77-’80), Alex Rodriquez (’85-’91), Michael Duffy (’91-’96), Charles Walker (’97-’00), and Jamie R. Williamson (’14-present).
The packed event started with a performance by Urban Improv, an improvisational theater troupe founded in 1992 that leads workshops to teach violence prevention, conflict resolution, and decision-making. The troupe set the stage for the conversation with three brief skits depicting instances of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation, all based on cases adjudicated by the MCAD. The former Commissioners recalled with great emotion the progress, setbacks, lessons learned, and discussed what they would do differently at the agency. Chairwoman Williamson acknowledged the ongoing need for additional funding.