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Boston’s Subtle Racism Needs To Be Addressed

Fenway Park made international news earlier this month after Adam Jones, the Baltimore Orioles' center fielder, told reporters that a Sox fan had called him the N-word before hurling a bag of peanuts onto the field. (He referenced the incident again over the weekend when he donated $20,000 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.) The night after Jones reported the incident, another fan was kicked out of the park -- banned for life -- after he used that same ugly epithet to describe the Kenyan singer of the national anthem.

The Red Sox organization moved aggressively to apologize to Jones and denounce the act. The fact that the fans gave a standing ovation for Jones the following night and the incident with the Kenyan singer was reported by a 35-year-old white male fan gave me more hope.

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A Reflection on the First Year of Open Door Grants

As we entered the final quarter of the first year review process for our Open Door Grants program, I find myself reflecting back at what a tremendous experience it’s been. As a Foundation, we’ve had the opportunity to connect with organizations we’ve never worked with before, and reconnect with organizations that we haven’t worked with since establishing our impact areas in 2009. We’ve supported pilot efforts as well as long-standing programs and organizations with decades of success under their belts. And, given the recent shifts in the federal landscape, I am especially proud that we were able to show up for and support organizations that work to protect and support immigrants and other marginalized communities.
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Interview with Darcy Brownell, Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Boston

This month, the Giving Common team had the opportunity to interview Darcy Brownell, the Executive Director of Social Venture Partners (SVP) Boston, a network of philanthropists who strengthen nonprofits, invest in collaborative solutions and help individuals achieve greater impact with their giving. We were excited to learn more from Darcy about her personal connection to philanthropy, the impact of her work, and the ways the SVP Boston team is able to support local nonprofits.

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Pledge 1% Boston Member Spotlight: Cuseum

Brendan Ciecko is the founder of Cuseum, and a proud early member of Pledge 1% Boston. Growing up in Massachusetts, he got his entrepreneurial start as a teenager and has always been dedicated to making our region more vibrant and engaging. Brendan built and scaled a successful company in the fast-paced music industry and was named one of America’s top entrepreneurs by Inc. Magazine – all before he could legally buy a drink.

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An Unexpected Cultural Exchange

On April 5th, I covered the 21st Annual Immigrants’ Day at the State House, sponsored by MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy) Coalition, an organization the Boston Foundation supported with seed funding 30 years ago and continues to support. Recently MIRA and other groups received emergency grants from the Foundation because of the tremendous increase in tensions in the immigrant community and other vulnerable communities.

One of the great rewards of working at the Boston Foundation is that we are constantly exposed to the tremendous diversity of our community and the immeasurable ways in which it strengthens Greater Boston. This is apparent through the data we analyze, the people we meet and the stories we tell.

As Michelle Obama said in her final speech as First Lady, “Our glorious diversity—our diversities of faiths and colors and creeds—is not a threat to who we are; it makes us who we are.”

The following is a personal story, but I can’t help but think that my receptiveness to the events depicted here were profoundly influenced by everything I have learned through the many years that I have been privileged to write about the work of the Boston Foundation.

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About the Blog
As Greater Boston’s community foundation, the Boston Foundation is focused on the myriad factors which make our city unique and successful.  Read about what we’re up to in the City of Ideas blog.

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