Holly Ryan was appointed to the Newton Human Rights Commission Feb. 21 by Mayor Setti Warren. Ryan, a former chair for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and lifelong Newton resident, is the first transgender woman appointed to the Commission. Her term lasts for three years.
“This is an important step for the transgender community to have openly identified transgender woman appointed to a city commission. This shows that society is changing and because of that, we all benefit when citizens like Ms. Ryan are given the opportunity to participate in her community this way,” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the MTPC.
Ryan is the Director of Purchasing and Food Service for the Middlesex Human Service Agency, a nonprofit multi-service organization caring for the homeless and assisting those battling substance abuse in Waltham. Ryan served as chair of the MTPC Steering Committee from 2005 to 2009 and has been an advocate, trainer and consultant for the Boston area transgender community for the past twenty years.
“This [appointment] will give me another opportunity to be engaged with my neighbors on issues of diversity in my city and to also be able to educate my community on the issues transgender people face,” said Holly Ryan.
The Newton Human Rights Commission (HRC) was established by the City of Newton to assure mutual understanding and respect among all persons in the City by promoting acceptance of diversity and combating discrimination. This volunteer board, whose members are appointed by the mayor, identifies and addresses issues of prejudice within the City and organizes programs for community education on human rights matters.