FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2023
PHRC Executive Director sworn in as commissioner on Presidential Advisory Commission
HARRISBURG, PA –This week, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW attended the swearing-in ceremony for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunities for Black Americans.
"It is an honor to be in Washington, D.C. for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunities for Black Americans swearing-in ceremony," said Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. "I am thankful to join this group of dedicated Americans working to develop practical solutions to dismantle systemic and institutional racism and create more economic and educational opportunities for Black Americans. We spent yesterday and today attending meetings and learning about the important role this commission will play within the Department of Education. "What we learn on this commission will have a profound impact on the students across the country, and right here in Pennsylvania."
The Commission will primarily focus on: 1) promoting career pathways for Black students through programs such as internships, apprenticeships and work-based learning initiatives, 2) increasing public awareness of the educational disparities Black Americans face and providing solutions to these problems, and 3) establishing local and national relationships with public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit stakeholders to advance the mission of equity, excellence, and economic opportunity for Black Americans.
Lassiter is a national expert in the field of American race relations who has worked on race, peace and poverty-related issues in the United States, Africa, Canada, Haiti, Israel, and Norway. As executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, he has developed and launched a "No Hate in Our State Townhall" to address the surge of White Nationalism in Pennsylvania, a "Social Justice Lecture Series" providing an outlet for communities to discuss imperative issues and serves as a Racial Reduction Response team for those communities impacted by hatred. Lassiter has also developed programs such as the "Global Social Justice Initiative," "Black and Jewish Beloved Community Dialogue," and the "College Race Dialogue Initiative."
Lassiter received his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Social Work, where he was the A. Phillip Randolph Award winner in 2001 and was the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Involvement Award in 2008. Lassiter is the co-founder and current president of The Black Men at Penn School of Social Work Inc., an organization within the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, the first Ivy League Black male group of social workers. In 2019, he was inducted into the School of Social Policy and Practice Alumni Hall of Fame.
Lassiter was recently chosen as the National Association of Social Workers- Pennsylvania chapter's Social Worker of the Year for 2021. He was the recipient of the 2023 International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies' International Award. He has also been recognized by City & State's 2022 Pennsylvania Fifty Over 50; City & State's 2022 Pennsylvania Impact 50; and City and State's 2022 & 2023 Pennsylvania Power of Diversity: Black 100.