‘Know Your Rights’ Training to be Held in Newton

The Massachusetts Commission of Discrimination (MCAD) will hold its workshop entitled “Know Your Civil Rights: Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination Law” on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Newton Free Library in the Druker Auditorium from 6 to 8 p.m. Ashley Cain, an associate trainer and operations coordinator at MCAD, will be the host. 

The primary mission for the presentation is to increase civil rights awareness—both at the Massachusetts state level and the federal level—and what the next steps should be for someone who is discriminated against, or for a bystander who witnesses discriminatory behavior. 

“The motive for this event is out of general interest in educating the public,” said Shin-Yi Lao, the public health nurse educator in the Health and Human Services Department in Newton. “We have had complaints, so we are providing an opportunity to provide this information and resources to the community—it is not a response to any specific case.”

The presentation will cover three topics. The first part will inform the audience of their civil rights in multiple areas, from housing to employment, by defining the purpose of MCAD. Secondly, Cain will discuss what to do if you are a victim whose rights have been violated. Finally, they will discuss what steps are necessary to take as witness or active bystander of a discriminatory act. Questions pertaining to civil rights law are permitted and encouraged.

The event is sponsored by the Newton Medical Reserve Corps, which consists of medical and non-medical volunteers who aid in encouraging healthy lifestyles and preparing for and responding to emergencies with the Newton Health and Human Services Department. Thanks to its recently implemented community outreach program, Health and Human Services ambassadors have been able to invite conversation about emergency preparedness and give information about the various resources and opportunities for members of the community.
The presentation is open to the general public. Citizens inside and outside of Newton are welcome with free admission, but registration is required. MCAD also holds courses that deal with anti-discrimination training and prevention.

Featured Image by Aneesa Wermers / For The Heights