Marra Stepping Down From Human Rights Commission

The Revere Human Rights Commission (HRC)
held its regular monthly meeting last Thursday in the City Council Chamber and via Zoom.

Chairperson Janine Grillo Marra and fellow commissioners vice-chair Chai Hossaini, Kourou Pich, Rev. Tim Bogertman, Fire Chief Chris Bright, Molly McGee, Rachid Moukhabir, and Dr. Lourenco Garcia were on hand for the meeting.

Marra opened the session by announcing that she is stepping down from the commission, with this being her last meeting. Marra has served as the chair of the HRC since it was reconstituted by former Mayor Brian Arrigo and has guided the HRC both adroitly during the pandemic and patiently during meetings that often were marked by disruption by those who have opposed its mission.

Vice-chair Hossaini then stepped up to co-chair the meeting with Marra.

After starting with the usual Land Acknowledgement (in which the commission acknowledges the Pawtucket Tribe as “the original overseers of this land”), Marra led the group through a brief meditative session in order “to fully arrive and become comfortable in our body, heart, and mind” prior to getting into the business of the evening.

The commissioners then recited the HRC’s Mission Statement:

“The Mission of the Revere Human Rights Commission is to promote human and civil rights and empower all people of Revere by ensuring that everyone, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized, have equitable opportunities, equal access, and are treated with dignity, respect, fairness, and justice.”

The commissioners also recited their newly-created Vision Statement which they recently adopted.

“A thriving Revere where all community members live free of racism, poverty, violence, and other systems of oppression, and where everyone has equitable access, opportunities, and resources, as well as a sense of belonging.”

Hossaini then moved on to the monthly acknowledgements for May and mentioned that this is the month recognized for those of Jewish American, NAAPI, Haitian, and Indian South Asian heritages. May also is Older American Month and Mental Health Awareness Month.

The group then discussed the HRC’s internal Norms/Shared Agreements, an ongoing conversation that the commission has been having for the past few months. After discussing the phrases such as “safe space” and “hate speech” and their definitions, the members voted to approve the Group Norms/Shared Agreements document.

The commissioners then revisited and reevaluated its Working Groups, which were created a year ago, and which is another topic that the commission has been discussing for the past few months.

The commission ultimately voted to create the following working groups: Cultural Events and Celebrations (Hossaini, Moukhabir, Bright); Education, Research, and Evaluation (Garcia, McGee, Bogertman)  and Community Outreach and Organization (Pich and McGee).

The meeting concluded with Marra’s colleagues presenting her with a Certificate of Commendation from the mayor’s office in recognition of her service and leadership on the HRC. Chief Bright, who handed the commendation certificate to Marra, took a moment of personal privilege.

“You did this with a lot of grace and dignity and kindness and you will be sorely missed,” said the chief.

“I want to thank each of you,” said Marra. “It’s been an honor to serve with all of you. I thank you all.”

The commission then adjourned until its next meeting in June.

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