Human Rights Comm. Reconvenes After Hiatus

The Revere Human Rights Commission (HRC) held its first meeting in four months last Thursday evening (September 7) in the City Council Chamber.

Chairperson Chaimaa (Shay) Hossaini and fellow members Molly McGee, Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Inclusion and Chair of the Equity Advisory Board of the Revere Public Schools Dr. Lourenco Garcia, Kourou Pich, and Revere Fire Chief Chris Bright were on hand for the meeting. The HRC’s Executive Director, Claudia Correa, who is the city’s Chief of Talent and Culture, also was on hand.

The members opened the meeting  with the usual Land Acknowledgement in which the commission acknowledges the Pawtucket Tribe as “the original overseers of this land”.

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.” 

Hossaini began the meeting with the announcement of the various observances scheduled in the upcoming month: National Guide Dog Month, National Grandparents Day (Sept. 10), Hispanic Heritage Month (from 9/15-10/15), World Peace Day (Sept. 21), National Native American Day (Sept. 22), Yom Kippur (which starts 9/24), European Languages Day (9/26), and Succoth (Sept. 29-Oct. 6).

The members then briefly discussed the various events that they either attended or in which they participated over the summer.

McGee presented a brief overview of her research project into the history of immigrants in Revere and her goal to place her research in the context of the HRC. Hossaini added that she would like to see McGee’s project delve into the history of the Moroccan community in Revere, while Pich spoke about her experience as a recent Cambodian immigrant and the history of Cambodian immigrant refugees in the city in the 1980s.

“Understanding our past will allow us to understand the present,” said Dr. Garcia. “It will give us the tools to analyze some of the behaviors in our community of both immigrants and non-immigrants.” 

“I think it will be important and enlightening for residents to understand the history of their city,” added Chief Bright.

The commissioners then discussed the upcoming observances of Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day. 

“We are in discussion with Strong Oak lefebvre (the Executive Director at Visioning B.E.A.R.Circle Intertribal Coalition), who essentially will spearhead a discussion surrounding Indigenous People’s Day in a Circle Practice,” said Hossaini. Information about the Circle Practice event will be forthcoming on the HRC’s web site in the coming weeks.

Hossaini then addressed the need for additional members who might want to join the HRC. She noted that there are open seats on the HRC in the wake of the departure of members in recent months.

Before adjourning, Hossaini mentioned the Shirley Ave. Cultural Festival that is set for September 23.

The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 5.

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