Hello! My name is Harold Salinas. I’m an intern at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). MCAD is the state agency charged with enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing, credit, education, public accommodations, mortgage, and lending. State law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, genetics, military status, and retaliation. In addition to these bases, the Massachusetts fair housing law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of children, public assistance, veteran status, and marital status.
The MCAD has offices in Boston, New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester. I’m currently working in the Boston site. Although I do receive training on housing, employment and public accommodation laws, my responsibilities focus mainly on MCAD’s community outreach program. The Commission’s “Spreading Education to End Discrimination” project (“S.E.E.D.”) aims to provide information about civil rights in the workplace, housing, public accommodations and other areas to members of populations that are likely to experience discrimination.
As a S.E.E.D. intern, I have participated in five days – during my first week – of intensive training on discrimination law, the MCAD complaint process, and presentation skills. Following this training, I have started contacting numerous community organizations that serve disenfranchised populations to introduce them to the outreach program and, wherever possible, work with them to plan outreach programs on site. As I succeed in scheduling programs, I will travel to the sites to deliver informational presentations. At each presentation, I will offer participants the opportunity to initiate the complaint process by meeting with him/her one-on-one to complete an intake form following the program.
My first week here has been fantastic and while eight hours of training for a whole week may seem intense, I have learned so much already and I’m excited for the experience I will gain this summer. My impressions overall are very positive. The work environment is friendly but at the same time very serious. The other three interns I work with are well qualified and we all seem to be on the same boat in terms of our obligations here at MCAD. I have begun to establish a good relationship between my supervisor and I. She is a very smart, humble and respected woman, and I’m looking forward to learning so much from her this summer.
I grew up in Boston, and I’m bilingual in Spanish. I’m a passionate advocate for Latinos, African-Americans, and low wage workers. As a Legal Studies minor, my goal is to use this internship opportunity to expand my skills as a public speaker, and learn more about the law and legal proceedings. This position will offer an ideal setting for me to reach my goals.
One thought on “Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination”
Wow, the work you are doing sounds amazing! I am also interested in anti-discrimination laws, specifically in regards to gender and sexuality, and I was not even fully aware that an agency such as this was right in Boston. I think it’s amazing that you are able to have such a hands on experience with being so active in the community outreach.
I am curious about the work environment at the office, how many people work there? It sounds like a great place and wonderful opportunity! I look forward to reading your next post to see how the presentations are going.
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