Happy Pride from the MCSW

From the Desk of Program & Planning Committee Chairwoman Rebecca Bact

Dear MCSW Community:

What an exciting moment in history! This month, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) is slated to celebrate our 25th anniversary. The gala will be an unforgettable evening – an in-person gathering of past commissioners, current partners, and leaders from across the Commonwealth committed to uplifting the lives of women and girls. You won’t want to miss it.

As the current Chairwoman of the MCSW’s Program and Planning Committee and an appointee to the Commission in 2017 by former Governor Charlie Baker, I am deeply honored to announce our two keynote speakers for this year’s anniversary celebration. The speaking program will feature a fireside chat between current Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Kim Driscoll and former Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift, the first woman to perform the duties of the Governor of Massachusetts. The fireside chat will be moderated by award-winning journalist Lauren Melendez from NBC10 Boston. The event will also include a comedy performance by Tooky Kavanagh and a musical performance by ToriTori.

This evening truly represents to me what the MCSW is all about – women from all sides of the aisle working together to build a brighter future that represents us all – and bringing some joy to the work in the process.

I am also proud to acknowledge the start of Pride Month 2023. I am proud to be a part of—and work for the liberation of—the LBGTQ community, through my work on this Commission, on the Massachusetts Commission for LGBTQ Youth, and in my professional life as a litigation counsel at Robins Kaplan LLP. I am thankful for these opportunities through my Commission work and in my day job. At the Commission this year, I am proud to have worked with our incredible staff and outside partners to issue a report on the experience of women and the LBGTQ community—please look out for that in the coming months.

At Robins, my pro bono work is supported and nurtured, and I am especially proud of my work representing incarcerated trans women seeking adequate health care and housing. At Robins, I also have the amazing joy of working nearly exclusively for incredible women partners (and some wonderful men), and recently had an incredible experience of my two worlds coming together after my colleagues in the Women of Robins Kaplan group joined me last week as mentors for the girls track at MCSW’s Advocacy Day 2023 at the Massachusetts Statehouse.

Every year, I am proud to work for women, girls, the LGBTQ community, and to elevate and bring to full equity all voices that are diminished by our current power structure. This year in particular, I shine a light on the struggle of my LGBTQ siblings, who are facing an onslaught of oppressive legislation elsewhere in the country. I hope that all of us will remember this Pride Month that, paraphrasing the great Marsha P. Johnson: “There can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.”

The work continues, and with the work, celebration, and joy of our progress. Please join us on Thursday, June 22, 2023, to celebrate our 25th Anniversary of elevating all women and girls across the Commonwealth. 

In solidarity,

Rebecca Bact, Auburndale

MCSW Program & Planning Committee Chair