Meet Sudeshna Chatterjee, Reading’s New Director for Equity & Social Justice

Reading, MA—On March 1, Dr. Sudeshna Chatterjee begins in the newly created role of Director for Equity & Social Justice. This role was developed after more than two years of thoughtful and thorough conversation and received broad, town-wide approval. Recommended by the Ad Hoc Human Rights Committee, this position fosters and supports a Reading culture of equity, diversity, and belonging primarily via programs and initiatives that educate, empower, and connect the community. In this role, Sudeshna will work and communicate collaboratively with town departments, organizations, businesses, and individual residents. Anne Landry, former Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee, stated “I could not be more pleased to learn the position has been filled and I look forward to welcoming Dr. Chatterjee. This position will play a necessary role in facilitating important community conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as serving as a critical resource to the town, schools, and broader community.”

Sudeshna is a scholar-practitioner in the field of human rights, social justice, and inclusive governance. Sudeshna served as a certified diversity and outreach associate at Opus Search Partners, an executive search firm in higher education and academic medicine. In addition to her work as adjunct faculty at Lesley University and Babson College, she is also active in several service and networking initiatives in higher education, such as the Racial Equality Task Force at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston University’s Center for Anti-Racism Research Affiliate Network Program 2022-2023. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Also welcoming our new Director is Sherilla Lestrade, Chair of the Reading Human Rights Advisory Committee. Ms. Lestrade, who served on the DESJ search committee says, “I am excited to welcome Dr. Chatterjee. As the Chair of HRAC, I can’t wait to collaborate with her on many projects to educate and enhance our community to ensure that everyone who moves through Reading feels included. I am excited to learn from her experiences and share her knowledge. I am even more excited to see the change that comes as a result of the DESJ position, making Reading more like a large community of family members becoming leaders in diversity and equity work that other communities can follow.”

Monique Gnanaratnam, RPL Board of Trustees, and another member of the DESJ search committee commented, “It is fantastic that Reading has hired an individual who is excited to play this integral role in our community. We look forward to supporting and fostering the success of the position. Encouraging collaboration and communication will assist in facilitating opportunities for learning, integrating into the community, setting goals, and creating space for exploring the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.’’

Please join us in welcoming Sudeshna to Reading.

The Reading Public Library is committed to evolving together to strengthen communication, equity, collaboration, and learning in our community. Our mission is to be a center and resource for learning and civic engagement. We provide a place and platform of, by, and for the people who can benefit as individuals as well as contribute to the well-being of the community. We work to achieve these goals and commitments by focusing on education, equity, accountability, and access.

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