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Massachusetts Commission against Discriminations Assesses Its History

Sunday, February, 21, 2016

Recently in Massachusetts, a panel gathered to discuss the merits of the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination. The group is the state’s leading civil rights agency and has been in operation for more than 70 years. The panel discussed everything from strategies the organization uses to budgeting problems it faces.


The group measures it success by the number of people it is able to help – those who get respectful hearings and decisions without having to fight in court to be recognized. They also take pride in their ability to identify those in the community who need assistance the most.


More than 50 people attended the panel to participate in the discussion. There were speakers there to discuss the agency’s biggest challenges, including those they face now and those they have overcome during their 70 years in existence. They analyzed whether they had resolved many issues in the best way possible and how those resolutions could apply to modern challenges.


Some recognize the organization does good, but question whether something important is lost during mediation. Though problems are resolved, there is no chance to set precedent or gather data. In some ways, some believe, mediation sweeps the community’s problems under the rug.


Going forward, the group wants to continue providing assistance in the community, but also find a way to overcome the challenges it faces. Could there be a better way to resolve community civil rights issues using mediation without losing the benefit of litigation? Only time will tell if the organization can offer a blend of the best of both worlds