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Tuesday, October 19 2021
A People’s History of Black Cambridge & Boston
Speakers: Dr. Kerri Greenidge, in conversation with Dr. Kris Manjapra, both professors of Race, Colonialism & Diaspora at Tufts University; Kris is also the Board Chair of Black History in Action for Cambridgeport
Dr. Greenidge shared insights from her awarding winning book Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter. Named a New York Times Best Book of 2019, Black Radical examines the life of Boston Guardian editor William Monroe Trotter (1872 - 1934), whose radicalism was firmly rooted in the African American and African diasporic communities of Boston and Cambridge. Trotter was an ally of St. Augustine's founder, Bishop George A. McGuire, and a seminal figure in the Black radical politics of Cambridge and its surrounding area.
Wednesday, November 17 2021
What Happens to Our Waste? What is Zero Waste Anyway?
Speaker: City of Cambridge Recycling Director Michael Orr
Where does our waste go? What becomes of it? Our trash? Recycling? Textiles? Plastics? Electronics? Compost? Poop? How is Cambridge doing vs. communities across the country? What would a zero waste world look like? Michael Orr told us the latest on waste management as the City’s DPW peels back the curtains…
Monday, February 7 2022, on Zoom
Surviving & (Culturally) Thriving: Cambridge’s Independent Bookstores
Speakers: Charles Sullivan, Cambridge Historical Commission; Jeff Mayersohn, Harvard Book Store; David Sandberg, Porter Square Books; and Ndidi Menkiti and James Fraser, Grolier Poetry Book Shop
As late as 1990 there were at least twenty-five new and used booksellers in Harvard Square; now there are four. This program featured three of Cambridge’s surviving independent bookstores: the Harvard Book Store, the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, and Porter Square Books. Over the last decade, each has met existential challenges with new owners, expanded programs, new partnerships, and, in the case of the Grolier, a LLC, foundation and press. Bookstore owners or managers at each of these iconic shops shared their business models, what distinguishes them, and how they are preparing for the future.
Tuesday March 15 2022, on Zoom
Vital Cities Have Vital Arts: Our Art Spaces, Lost & Found
Panelists: Jason Weeks, Ex. Director, Cambridge Arts; Sal Zinno, Sr. VP, Development, BioMed Realty; Amy Green Deines, Dean, Lesley’s College of Art & Design, and Michael Monestime, Business Strategy and Development, Morningside Group
Between 2016 and 2019, Cambridge lost four important art venues: Johnny D’s (2016), Ryles Jazz Club (2018), the EMF building (2018, a studio for artists and musicians), and Green Street Studios (2019, a dance rehearsals, class and performance space). In response, in 2019, the City set up a Mayor’s Arts Task Force, which produced a report with recommendations. What progress have we made? How have the City, developers and our universities collaborated to protect and create art spaces, to encourage the arts? What’s in the pipeline?
Monday, April 11 2022, at the Parish Hall at St. James’s Episcopal Church
Should We Fear Intelligent Machines?
Speaker: Gerald Jay Sussman, Panasonic Professor of Electrical Engineering Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT
With the recent explosive application of AI technology, we are faced with a problem: a technology so powerful and pervasive can have both beneficial and harmful consequences. How can we ensure that applications of this technology are constrained to provide benefits without excessive risk of harm? Although this is primarily a social, political, and economic issue, Sussman will also reveal the significant technical challenges.
Walk the Port with Marian Darlington-Hope
Sunday, April 24 at 4pm
Meet at the Lamplighter Brewing Co. at 284 Broadway (corner of Broadway & Columbia)
New Cambridge Club member Marian Darlington-Hope was born in the Port and lived there for most of her life. Seeking opportunity, her parents moved to Cambridge from Barbados in 1945. Many other family members were already in the Boston area and New York.
Marian shared the changes she’s observed over the decades, from being a neighborhood of immigrants in the 1950s and 60s (from Ireland, Greece, the Caribbean, Portugal, Italy, Puerto Rico and Central America), to its current mix. According to 2019 Cambridge stats, the community is now: 60% white, 20% black, 12% Asian/Pacific Island and 7% other—many of these Hispanic.
In the 19th century, the Port was an early hub if the American candy industry. Eilias Howe, Jr. also invented the sewing machine there and the Port was the site of the first reciprocal telephone conversation in 1879 between Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson.
Friday, May 13 2022 at St. James’s Parish Hall, 1991 Mass. Ave.
Forty Six Years for Cambridge, Our Fair City
Speakers: City Manager Louis A. DePasquale in conversation with former Vice Mayor Kathy Born
Is Cambridge really as unique a city as its citizen like to believe? What’s changed over the last 50 years? And what hasn’t changed? What policies, people, or happenstance have contributed to our current success? How have our priorities changed? What goals remain stubbornly elusive? There is no one better informed in “our fair city” on these topics and others than our own City Manager, longtime City employee, Louis A. DePasquale, who retired in July after dedicating 46 years to the City of Cambridge.
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