A December report and a monthly series of conversations have illustrated the major shortcomings of our child care system, impact of the pandemic on the sector, and potential strategies for rebuilding the system to better support children, families and workers.
As Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House, Rep. Katherine Clark is one of the most powerful leaders in the chamber, and one of its most passionate advocates for early education and wage equity. She talks with us about the need to treat child care as essential infrastructure.
The Chelsea 2021 initiative brought together donors, Chelsea residents, civic leaders and nonprofits in a series of monthly conversations and other connections designed to give Chelsea residents and leaders a stronger voice in the strategy and decision-making for $825,000 in grants.
With the sixteen artists of 2021 cohort, the Brother Thomas Fellows program has given more than $1 million in unrestricted funds to 72 artists from ceramics and other disciplines - made possible by the generosity and vision of Brother Thomas Bezanson, and a partnership between TBF and Pucker Gallery.
When I assumed the role of President and CEO of the Boston Foundation in June of 2021, I was no stranger to the Foundation’s influence in Boston and especially its ability to convene thinkers and doers to drive real change. I made the promise that we would be bold, courageous, even daring in our role as a civic leader and ensure that we are elevating voices that have been ignored for far too long.
Since joining the Foundation I have been meeting with leaders who are at the forefront of work in the field of reparations on the local, state and national levels. As a result of this background work and conversations with the board and staff of the Foundation I have determined that our convening role can be useful in expanding the conversation about reparations to a broader audience.
Beginning in February, the Boston Foundation began hosting a series of Dialogues on Reparations. In the first, held on February 17, I spoke with Dr. Jemadari Kamara, Chair and Associate Professor of the Africana Studies Department at UMass Boston, and Imari Paris Jeffries, Executive Director of King Boston, about the history of reparations. Our goal for these sessions is to make progress in building a collective understanding of the term so that we can understand more fully its importance and its nuances.
To those of you who already have made contributions to this important issue, we owe you a debt of thanks and welcome your feedback. To those new to this topic, I encourage you to join us.
The newest member of the Boston Foundation’s Board of Directors is Kate Walsh, President and CEO of the Boston Medical Center (BMC) Health System. “Kate is a nationally respected leader with a keen understanding of Boston and its unique assets and challenges,” said Board Chair Linda Mason when Walsh began her tenure in July of 2021. “Under her leadership, the BMC Health System has grown and embraced not just the health needs of the community, but how those needs intersect with areas such as housing, education, race and social justice.”
The appointment of Walsh to the Board marks a milestone for the Boston Foundation. It’s the first time the Foundation’s Board of Directors has reached gender parity. Ten of the 20 directors are women, including six women of color. Overall, nine of the 20 seats are occupied by directors of Black, Latino or Asian backgrounds.
As President and CEO of the BMC Health System, Walsh works to advance health equity within the communities it serves, striving to meet the complex needs of patients, which often transcend traditional medicine.
Meet our staff and Board at tbf.org/who-we-are/people.
Register to attend our events and webinars at tbf.org/events.
THE BOSTON FOUNDATION DIALOGUES
ON REPARATIONS, PART 1: UNDERSTANDING
February 17, 2022
Boston Foundation President and CEO M. Lee Pelton, University of Massachusetts Boston Africana Studies Department Chairman Jemadari Kamara, and King Boston Executive Director Imari Paris Jeffries, joined in this first of a four-part series to explore the history of the movement for reparations on both local and national levels.
MENTAL HEALTH, TRAUMA
AND HEALING IN OUR HIGH
January 29, 2022
As we approached two years since the start of the pandemic in Boston, a panel of teachers, staff and students discussed how Boston schools were faring in addressing the mental health burden on the entire school community.
BUILDING AAPI POWER: REPRESENTATION,
VOICE AND ADVOCACY IN AAPI COMMUNITIES
December 16, 2021
Leaders and activists reflected on the growth of the Asian American Pacific Islander population in Massachusetts—and what has kept that growth from being translated into greater political and civic power.
2021 ANNUAL MEETING: CLOSING
BOSTON’S EQUITY GAP
December 9, 2021
The pandemic kept it virtual, but hundreds of people joined the Boston Foundation for its 2021 Annual Meeting, the first under new President and CEO M. Lee Pelton. The focus: equity.
ON THE MOVE: CHILDREN’S PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN
SCHOOL-BASED PROGRAMS IN BOSTON
December 2, 2021
This forum looked at how COVID-19 affected ongoing efforts to improve physical activity in Boston Public Schools and recognized the innovative work from Greater Boston nonprofits to take physical activity into the virtual space.
MULTIRACIAL IN GREATER BOSTON
November 17, 2021
Researchers and panelists gathered to discuss Multiracial in Greater Boston: The Leading Edge of Demographic Change, a Boston Indicators report that explores trends in the growing multiracial population in Greater Boston. The data reveal that not only is racial diversity increasing in the aggregate, but a growing number of families are forming across racial and ethnic lines.
THE FIRST 1,000 DAYS
November 4, 2021
The First 1,000 Days Program is a novel intervention that works across early-life systems to prevent obesity, promote healthy routines and behaviors, and reduce health disparities among young children and their families. Dr. Elsie Taveras presented results from the First 1,000 Days assessment study, which suggest a scalable model of obesity prevention and sustainable health for families.
Boston Community Pediatrics (BCP), the first nonprofit, pediatric private practice of its kind in Massachusetts, recently received an Open Door Grant from TBF. Its mission is to bring equity to pediatric health care by giving all children—including those on MassHealth—direct access to a primary care provider and comprehensive, prevention-oriented medical care. BCP opened in November of 2020, but already is seeing close to 1,000 patients. In an innovative partnership with Camp Harbor View, BCP will be providing COVID vaccines and advice about how to cope with the lingering effects of the pandemic to kids in Camp Harbor View’s summer camp—and encouraging their patients to enroll in the free summer camp. “Camp Harbor View’s mission is closely aligned with ours,” says BCP’s Founder Robyn Riseberg, MD. “We both aim to promote health and self-esteem through physical activities. Our patients and their campers will greatly benefit from this partnership.”
This is a regular column that highlights some ways our many partners are promoting equity in all areas of community life.