Mead joins state panel on new Americans, refugees

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PITTSFIELD — The executive director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center is one of five Bay Staters who've been chosen to be on a panel that's focusing on addressing the needs of the state's immigrant and refugee communities, the state Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday.

Brooke Mead, of the Pittsfield-based center, was appointed by Attorney General Maura Healey to serve on her office's Advisory Council on New Americans.

A Williamstown native and former high school Spanish teacher, Mead joined the Berkshire Immigrant Center in 2002.

Mead and her cohorts join 20 other refugee and immigrant leaders in the commonwealth who advise AG Healey and her staff on issues affecting their communities, including civil and consumer rights issues, health care, workers' rights and housing, according to the AG's office.

The new council attended their first meeting at the AG's Office on Wednesday.

"It is an honor and privilege to serve alongside such a dynamic and dedicated group of leaders," said Mead in a statement. "Additionally, I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with the attorney general as she attempts to ensure that new Americans know that they, too, can access all of the services her office provides."

The other new members of the council are Antonio Amaya, executive director of La Comunidad Inc. in Everett; Jean Marc Jean-Baptiste, executive director of the Haitian American Public Health Initiatives in Boston; Grace Corporan, site director of the Families and Youth Initiative/Patch in Lawrence; and Mojdeh Rohani, executive director of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center in Cambridge.

Launched in 2016, the council is an initiative of the AG's Community Engagement Division and its members work with office staff to coordinate efforts to support immigrants and their communities. Massachusetts is home to more than one million residents who were born outside of the country, according to the AG's office.

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