The proposed FY22 Library Budget includes a new division that will be run by a Director for Equity and Social Justice. The decision to add this position to the Library is the recommendation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Human Rights established in early 2019 and was approved by the Board of Library Trustees in December 2020.
2) Funding: The salary for this position is to be approved and allocated by the Town to the budget for the Reading Public Library. The Director for Equity and Social Justice may pursue grants and accept funds raised or donated by outside groups as appropriate. All funds will be clearly identified as Equity and Social Justice accounts.
3) RAESJ Appointment Process: The new director will oversee appointment of 8-14 members to RAESJ. This includes advertising, soliciting applications, and any related reviews or interviews. Individuals, including elected officials, town employees, and community members may suggest candidates to the Director, but all interested candidates must complete the application and interview process.
- a. Originating RAESJ: The selection committee for the originating RAESJ will consist of the Director and representatives from both the former HRAC and Ad Hoc Human Rights Advisory Committee.
- b. Subsequent RAESJ Appointments: Subsequent selection committees will consist of the Director, 2 members of the current RAESJ.
- c. Ex Officio: The Director may name representatives of Reading’s municipal and school departments as ex officio members of the RAESJ without going through a formal interview process.
4) RAESJ Composition: RAESJ will reflect a diverse (in all senses of the word) cross-section of persons who live, learn (or whose children learn), work, or worship (or a member of the clergy whose congregants live) in the Reading community, and who are prepared to work to support the mission of the organization. Members may include, for example, Reading Public Schools students and staff, senior citizens, and members of other community organizations or committees. Each person may serve for two- or three-year terms and may re-apply at the conclusion of their term.
5) Changes to the Structure: With a majority approval from RAESJ and the Board of Library Trustees, the Director may alter the process, terms, or composition of RAESJ as needed.
Board of Library Trustees: A six member-elected board established by the Article 3, section 3.4 of the Town of Reading Charter.
Human Relations Advisory Committee (HRAC): An advisory group for and appointed by the Board of Selectmen. HRAC promotes and encourages respect for the human and civil rights of all Reading residents. HRAC sponsors outreach efforts and educational programs to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for diversity.
Reading Coalition for Prevention and Support: Established in 2006 and formerly knowns as RCASA, the Coalition started as a community initiative focused on improving community collaboration and reducing substance abuse. Since then, the coalition has built capacity within our community to address this complex issue and implemented a number of prevention initiatives.