A great Annual Meeting but Collaborate Boston wins the night | City of Ideas

Posted 11/18/2016 by James Burnett, Director, Public Relations & Social Media, The Boston Foundation

But even more than a rousing update, the highlight of the evening was the prize presentation ceremony for the 2016 winners of our Collaborate Boston open prize competition for community-led, collaborative ideas. Four winning teams split $100,000 - $25,000 apiece.

And the winners are:

  • Immigrant Youth Leadership Initiative , a collaboration of the Center to Support Immigrant Organizing African Community Economic Development of New England , and Margarita Muñiz Academy . This initiative will groom a team of 25 teenage high school immigrant leaders, along with six immigrant college-aged mentors from Latino, African, and Chinese communities. The leaders and mentors will provide leadership training to 100-plus immigrant teens in facilitation, membership development, and root cause analysis. The ultimate goal of the trainings is to help the youth leaders use their new leadership skills to address the challenges of appropriate language learning in the Boston Public Schools.
  • Youth Police Unity Project , a collaboration of the Center for Teen Empowerment , the Boston Police Department , and the Somerville Police Department . This project has, for the past three years, brought together groups of teenagers and police officers, with a goal of building positive and respectful relationships between the two that will tear down stereotypes. After a period of bonding and development, the youth half of the collaboration will lead both sides in the creation of a public art project.
  • Nomadic Civic Sculpture , a collaboration of the Urbano Project CJET Consulting , and Urban Edge . The Nomadic Civic Sculpture is the result of work made by the Urbano Fellows, high school aged program alumni who have participated in Urbano’s programs for at least two semesters, for spring 2016. The Fellows created interactive art that activates nontraditional public spaces, and crosses symbolic barriers to demystify the notion of art as a luxury and use it as a tool to engage with and transform the community. The Civic Sculpture serves a multifold of functions ranging from portable gallery to interactive data collection tool. The piece was inspired by the concepts of identity, BPS budget cuts, public space usage, and youth violence.
  • Beat 58 Personal Training Studio , a collaboration of Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts HoodFit , and ACCEPT Personal Training School . The aim of this initiative is to position urban youth as leaders that increase the life expectancy and enhance the quality of life of residents through accessible, engaging fitness opportunities, reversing the trends of preventable chronic disease that disproportionately affects low-income, Black and Latino youth and adults. In the next year, Level Ground Student Trainers will serve an estimated 600 community residents through Beat 58 Initiatives.

"I came away with a real feeling that our younger generation in Boston is passionate, thoughtful and really committed to making Boston a city of opportunity," Edgerley said. "And they really do embody that spirit of collaboration. I think it was fun to see the teenagers sharing the stage with police officers, for example, highlighting that they really can work hand in hand to promote peace. All of them really spoke from the heart. I just feel like there couldn't be a better investment than the one we're making in youth."

It's easy to get caught up in the moment or even take an event like the TBF Annual Meeting for granted, and you always get my opinion. So I asked a few of our newer employees for whom Thursday's gathering was their first annual meeting to take a step back and share their thoughts of the night, instead.

From Amanda Holm, Manager, Nonprofit Effectiveness and a TBF employee of nearly two years: "Working in Nonprofit Effectiveness, I have the opportunity to connect with thousands of nonprofit leaders on a number of different topics- and that's absolutely my favorite part of my job. But there's something so incredible about seeing people in person, hearing their stories, and understanding their impact that makes me so proud to work for an organization like The Boston Foundation which recognizes their impact and supports their work every day."

From Jordan Biggers, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Program and a Foundation employee of less than six months: "The spirit of the evening truly embodied the Annual Meeting’s theme: This Is How We Build Boston’s Future—One  Opportunity at a Time. Each conversation I participated in resounded with a shared sentiment that access to opportunities is a top priority for building a better future for Boston. I could not have been more humbled by everyone’s level of commitment to the betterment of our city."    

From Corean Reynolds, Associate on the Jobs & Economic Development team, and a TBF employee of eight months: "The annual meeting experience is comparable to a Thanksgiving gathering you would have at home. Donors, grantees, partners and employees you saw last week or last year, all coming together to celebrate one another with food, laughter and conversation made it a personal event. And seeing and listening to the teens who won the Collaborate Boston prizes helped us feel ownership because we were seeing at the podium the results of community programs that work."

And from Harrison Bush, Staff Accountant, and a seven-month Foundation employee: "I thought the Annual Meeting was a mind opening experience.  I was able to meet and interact with a couple of board directors and donors, which made me feel even more of a valued employee at The Boston Foundation."

 On that note, have a great weekend, folks!

@JamesBurnett

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