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Monthly Archives: February 2019

February 2019

In the spirit of Martin and Coretta: equity, justice and power

2019-03-21T18:19:29+00:00February 21st, 2019|Press Release|

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta drove a movement that elevated the people. On February 9, 2019 at the 33rd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Brunch, a power-house crowd of elected officials, civic leaders, social justice architects, and engaged Cambridge residents, both young and old, came together to honor their legacy and nurture the flame of the civil rights movement, which is very much alive in our community. The Cambridge NAACP entitled the event “A Tribute to Women” and honored and acknowledged six exceptional Cambridge women and their tireless efforts toward social justice and community building, as well as all those in our community who fight for justice. The voice of every speaker was strong and resolute, from the invocation by Reverend Brenda Brown, to remarks by NAACP leaders, including the Cambridge branch’s President Kenneth Reeves and First Vice President Richard Harding, to elected officials and the honorees themselves. But one voice rose up among them all. Photo credit: Seacia Pavao “The oppressed and marginalized are not voiceless, they’re simply unheard,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley in her keynote address. “When we actively listen to the people, when we are motivated and [...]

Family Independence Initiative: Trusting and investing in families

2019-03-21T18:28:59+00:00February 21st, 2019|Press Release|

A group of FII families meet to support one another to achieve their goals. By Jessica Taubner As a society, we’ve come to view government and the social sector as the experts on the needs of people but the reality is that while government and funding priorities often shift, the industriousness and drive of families doesn’t waiver. What if we considered families the experts and allowed them to define their own success? We are conditioned to be a helper or a helpee in this country. Data shows that families know what they need, and the systems meant to help are getting in the way of their initiative and innovation. We are intentionally creating and practicing new ways of being in relationship with people, and that is what I love about being FII-Greater Boston’s Site Director. The Family Independence Initiative (FII) has been listening to families for the past 17 years. Instead of the client services model typically deployed in the social sector, FII, aided by a widening pool of philanthropic partners, is trusting and investing in families. This means investing direct dollars in the initiatives of families, giving them choice and control over their funds, and charting the incredible progress they [...]

Through the Bob Shea Memorial Fund, a friend’s memory lives on

2019-03-21T18:19:18+00:00February 20th, 2019|Press Release|

Bob Shea, a homeless man, lived on the streets of Cambridge for 30 years. He served three tours of duty with the army in Vietnam. He suffered from alcoholism and possibly neurological conditions. He bounced in and out of jail and rehab. At best he was a colorful character. At worst he was one in an army of invisible people living in the shadows of wealth and privilege. To those lucky enough to know him, Bob was something more: a protector of the weak, a raconteur blessed with an almost encyclopedic memory, a man with an eye for beauty and grace in unlikely places. For CCF Board Member Phil Johnson, founder and CEO of PJA Advertising + Marketing, Bob was above all a friend. “I was attracted to his strong sense of humanity, his wit, and his often sharp insights,” said Phil. “All the best qualities you would look for in a friend. He was easy to be with.” Bob drifted in and out of Harvard Square for more than 30 years, and he was in Phil’s life for 25. Their first slightly awkward encounter took place on Arrow Street where Phil had an office. Begrudging nods turned to [...]

Housing crisis grips Cambridge

2020-11-24T18:56:06+00:00February 20th, 2019|Press Release|

Cambridge’s growing housing crisis is putting a financial burden on many people in Cambridge, and renter households in particular. From low-income to moderate and middle-income families, everyone is feeling the squeeze. The cost of housing in Cambridge is staggering: The median market rate of a single-family home in Cambridge was $1,377,500 in 2017. A condominium in Cambridge cost on average $730,000 in 2017. The average rent for a Cambridge apartment was $2,337 for a one-bedroom unit, $2,689 for a two bedroom and $2,827 for a three-bedroom unit in October 2018, according to’s rent index. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in Cambridgeport a renter must earn $44 dollars per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, more than three times the current Massachusetts minimum wage ($12/hr. as of 1/1/2019) Why is this happening? What does it mean for our families? And what can we do to address such a complex problem? CCF spoke with leaders in the local housing arena to gain insight. This is what we learned. Why is this happening? There was a time when Cambridge lost residents to suburban towns, but today, the desire for urban housing is on the rise. People [...]

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