A brand new committee tasked with vetting bills related to racial equity, civil rights and inclusion plans to hold its first hearing at the start of the week to solicit input on its priorities for the five-month-old 2021-2022 Massachusetts legislative session.
"The committee will hear from members of impacted communities and racial justice leaders on the bills and issue areas they see as most critical for the Legislature to tackle over the next two years," a press advisory said.
Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano announced the creation of the committee in early February and later tapped Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and Rep. Bud Williams to lead the group.
"Calls for addressing systemic inequities and racism have been heard loud and clear, and so we are prioritizing this urgent endeavor for the Commonwealth through the creation of a joint standing committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights and Inclusion," Spilka and Mariano said in a statement at the time. "This committee will advise the legislature, review existing laws and policy proposals, make policy recommendations, and conduct impact assessments so that the legislature can craft policy to begin to dismantle systemic racism and promote equitable opportunities and outcomes for all residents."
The Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion meets Monday at 10 a.m. with an agenda that includes remarks from Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Dr. Atyia Martin, CEO and founder of AllAces, Inc, and a group of lawmakers.