A path forward. On Saturday, August 19, 2017 over forty thousand people marched in Boston to send a clear message—“hatred, bigotry, racism have no place in our community!” This event was a rally for equity, justice, tolerance, humanity… for love, inclusion, liberty …for a life free of discrimination, persecution, and fear. It stressed the essential constitutional and humanistic idea that “Otherness” was normal, but inciting hatred and violence against the “Other” was not. The voices in this spectacular event echo the values held by the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) since it was founded in 1916. CCF has worked relentlessly with the quintessential “Other”, the underprivileged, vulnerable, immigrant communities in Cambridge, to secure a starting foothold in their lives. We are now confronted with the broader issues beyond those first steps: How do we sustain the spirit of generosity in a community whose long-term success depends on social and economic interdependence? How do we deepen the discourse of Cambridge as an engine of innovation to embrace the breadth of this community? The Foundation serves the community as a neutral convener, connecting people, knowledge and resources, and strives to be a catalyst and a partner to promote the desired changes [...]
At the end of the 19th Century Central Square consolidated its position as Cambridge’s emerging downtown. The business district expanded, erasing the physical distinction between the old villages into a civic center. Cambridge had long since become a heterogeneous city of immigrant working people, college faculty, and commuting professionals, but it was still wrestling with the contradiction between its image as a middle-class city of single-family homes and the presence of a large working class that needed decent affordable housing. Even after the opening of the subway in 1912, Central Square residents continued to shop locally for personal and household goods and services. The number of small businesses continued to grow. Regional and local department store chains sold a variety of clothing and household goods at affordable prices. This was a period where local hardware, furniture, shoe, and drugstores proliferated, and service-orientated businesses flourished. One unique aspect of the place is that many salespeople lived in nearby neighborhoods, contributing to the family atmosphere in the Square.