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Board of Trustees
Byron Rushing

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State Representative Byron Rushing was appointed to the Boston Public Library’s Board of Trustees by Mayor Thomas Menino on Sept. 16, 2010.

Rep. Rushing, who has represented Boston residents in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1983, is a member of the House Leadership. He is the Majority Whip and a member of the Rules Committee.

Rushing’s legislative priorities are human and civil rights, and the development of democracy; local human, economic and housing development; and housing and health care for all. He has served in numerous capacities and offices in the legislature.

From 1972 to 1985, he was President of the Museum of Afro-American History. Under his direction, the Museum of Afro-American History purchased and began the restoration of the African Meeting House, the oldest extant black church building in the United States. In 1979, Byron oversaw the lobbying effort in Congress to establish the Boston African American National Historical Site, a component of the National Park Service. Byron led the Museum in the study of the history of Roxbury; the Museum conducted the archaeological investigation of the Southwest Corridor for the MBTA. Byron stays involved in this work: as a legislator he sponsored the creation of Roxbury Heritage State Park. He occasionally leads walking tours of African American and working class neighborhoods in Boston and Roxbury.

Born in New York City, Byron has lived in Boston since 1964. During the 1960s he was active in the civil rights movement--working for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) in Syracuse, NY--and as a community organizer for the Northern Student Movement in Boston. He directed a group of organizers, Roxbury Associates, who helped to found the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation, one of the first CDCs in the nation, and who began some of the earliest organizing in a black community against the war in Vietnam.