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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.
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 tells us the latest on waste management as the City’s DPW peels back the curtains…
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.
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?
The State of Our Schools
CPS Superintendent Ken Salim
How are our schools serving our kids? Above average and below average kids, kids with IEPs, new immigrants, artists, nerds, athletes, the girls, the boys, the kids of different colors, rich and poor kids, and those in voke tech? How are the CPS schools preparing our children for the future? How has this spring’s online education worked? What have we learned from it? How can we improve upon it?
Parks, Playgrounds, Playing Fields & Urban Wilds: Getting the Open Spaces We Want
Robb Johnson, Executive Director, Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition; Melissa Peters, Director of Community Planning, City of Cambridge; Bob Simha, longtime MIT planner; and open space advocate Sara Mae Berman
As Cambridge becomes more densely developed, it's critical to preserve existing parkland and seize opportunities to create new public open space. How can City resources and public/private partnerships be leveraged to make progress? What kinds of new open space should be prioritized, and in what parts of the City? How can concerned residents make a difference? This forum will provide an overview of tools for creating and protecting public open space, new data from the City about the distribution of open space in Cambridge through the lenses of equity and climate change resilience, opportunities to provide input into the City's pending Open Space and Recreation Plan, and ways that citizen activism can make a difference.
The Health of Cambridge: A Tale of Two Cities
Claude A. Jacob, DrPH(c), MPH, Chief Public Health Officer, City of Cambridge
Cambridge attracts bright, creative people from around the globe, but it is also home to residents with fewer advantages—people of color, immigrants, individuals with disabilities—who are at risk for serious illness and early death due to social and environmental factors largely beyond their control. Mr. Jacob, who oversees the nationally accredited Cambridge Public Health Department, spoke about the department’s policy and systems work to address health inequities and build a healthier, more resilient community. He also shared data and insights from the city’s new Community Health Assessment (click to download), as well as the department’s response to COVID-19.
This lecture, honoring Cambridge Club member and extraordinary civic contributor Frank Duehay, was introduced by CC member and former mayor Henrietta Davis. Deborah Klein Walker, CC member and past president of the American Public Health Association moderated the Q&A.
Pop Up: What’s Next for Public Libraries?
Dr. Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries; Susan Flannery, Former Director of Libraries
A talk with Dr. McCauley and other members of the Cambridge Public Library staff about future directions for the library.
Max H. Bazerman, Ph. D., Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Dr. Bazerman presented a framework to be smarter and more efficient, honest and aware—to attain your “maximum sustainable goodness.” Harvard professor and recipient of the Aspen Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Max has formulated a deeply researched, prescriptive roadmap to approaching our own decision-making and ethics with the goal of doing more good with our own limited time on the planet, and see greater satisfaction in the process.
Our Annual Meeting
The Future of News
Al Ortiz, Vice President, Standards and Practices, CBS News
How can we expect the gathering and delivery of news to change in the future, and what effect will that have on our democracy?
News has always been shaped by the technologies available to gather and disseminate it, and by the habits and preferences of news consumers. Over the last 20-30 years the biggest change factors have been the ability to gather and transmit information and news video instantly and cheaply, together with the explosion of personal data now available to news organizations, government agencies, and advertisers. What can we, as news consumers, do to shape this future?
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