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An important goal of Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) is to create a workplace that reflects the communities and consumers the agency serves. With the help of its Diversity Committee, MCB aims to accommodate and capitalize on the needs, values and differences within the agency by commemorating important holidays, for example.

Commissioner Saner delivering remarks

Commissioner Saner delivering remarks

Recently, MCB celebrated National Women’s History Month. For many generations women have made invaluable contributions in shaping American history; nevertheless, their persistency and dedication are oftentimes overlooked. Moreover, it is common knowledge that women have struggled for the very same things that their male counterparts have taken for granted i.e…, the right to vote, own property, equal pay for equal work, etc…

During the 2013 local elections, Boston voters elected Michelle Wu, a young attorney who is the first Asian American woman to serve on the Boston City Council and the third woman.

In recognition of National Women’s History Month, the MCB Diversity Committee invited City of Boston Councilwoman President Wu to share her poignant story of the challenges and triumphs encountered as an Asian-American woman breaking down barriers in a historically Irish-American, male-dominated role in Boston city government. Wu’s captive audience included representatives from several EHS agencies.

MCB Celebrates Women's History Month

MCB Celebrates Women’s History Month

Wu, who is the eldest of four children and graduate of Harvard University and the Harvard Law School, gave an  account of her personal life and how events growing up in the South Side of Chicago to parents who immigrated from Taiwan, prepared her unknowingly for a career in city government. Wu, elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013 at the age of 28, is a former restaurant owner, a legal services attorney, and the legal guardian of her younger sister. Wu’s personal and professional experiences allow her to connect across race and class and in various Boston neighborhoods.

Michelle Wu gives her remarks

Michelle Wu gives her remarks

Wu has worked with neighborhood groups, small businesses, and residents to make city government effective, transparent, and accessible for residents in every neighborhood. Some of her accomplishments include spearheading the Boston Food Truck Challenge, reforming the city’s antiquated permitting system, and introducing and passing the paid parental leave for Boston municipal employees.

As she ended her talk, Wu challenged women in the room as well to invest in the future of women in government.

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The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, an agency of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, provides the highest quality rehabilitation and social services to blind individuals, leading to independence and full community participation. MCB accomplishes this critical mission by working in partnership with consumers who are legally blind, families, community agencies, health care providers, and employers.

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