Guest Op-Ed: Will Revere Lead or Fall?

By Revere CARES members

Racism in its many forms, especially structural racism, is a reality. That is not debatable. Those who deny racism’s existence and influence are missing its harmful and far-reaching effects on the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of our communities. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare longstanding inequities in health for people of color—in Massachusetts, across the nation, and here in Revere, Black and Brown people have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.  The death of George Floyd and others has reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and bolstered calls for racial equity and justice.  As a result, organizations of all types are revisiting their commitments to end racism, and leaders at all levels are urgently trying to figure out how to make meaningful change.

Will Revere lead or fall behind? As the leader of an organization that has worked in this community for more than 20 years, I have come to admire the ease with which this community rallies and comes together for important causes—my expectations are high.

During its June meeting, the City Council decided to table the appointment of Dimple Rana as the executive director of the newly activated Human Rights Commission. This appointment would have finally put the commission into action. Failure to do so has delayed the formation of an important body of local government, charged with ensuring the protection of equal rights and opportunities for all. Cities and towns around the state have recently activated their own human rights commissions, with a focus on protecting immigrant communities, a frequent target of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, credit, schools, and public service, among others. Each of these areas impacts health, a point emphasized by Mayor Brian Arrigo when he declared racism a public health crisis and moved to staff such a commission.

Revere CARES stands by Mayor Arrigo and his appointment of Dimple Rana as executive director of the Human Rights Commission. We have known and worked with Dimple for 10 years, and her accomplishments during this time have significantly benefitted Revere. We appreciate her strong leadership, capacity to be fair and flexible, and to continue to learn. Quite simply, Dimple Rana is one of the community’s most passionate advocates.

On behalf of Revere CARES, I encourage the City Council, on Monday, July 27, to approve the appointment of Dimple Rana as the executive director of the city’s Human Rights Commission. This important step will jumpstart the critical community-wide work that I believe we all are committed to advancing.

Sylvia R. Chiang

Revere CARES Coalition Director

Community Coalition supported by the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement

Reverend Nicholas Granitsas

Founding member of the Revere CARES Coalition

Carol A. Tye

Founding member of the Revere CARES Coalition

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