Published On: July 30th, 2021

2019 Imagined in Cambridge! Award winner has advice for this year’s applicants.

Whenever Sisters Unchained Executive Director Ayana Aubourg talks about the abolitionist work that she and a collective of young women are leading, she can’t help but use the word “beautiful”.

Sisters Unchained creates a safe space for young women with incarcerated parents to heal and advocate for their parents’ release. Through programs centered in mutual support and healing, mentorship, collective action, learning, and advocacy, they strive to end generational trauma and foster confident, Black and Brown women leaders. No doubt—their unique approach to building unity, solidarity, and ground-up solutions is, well, beautiful.

One of the nonprofit’s proudest moments this year was seeing two past participants step up and shine as mentors for a new cohort of girls.

“I’m trying not to use that word again,” she said with a smile, “But when I step back and look at what investing and trusting in youth leaders can do, it’s a really beautiful thing to see.”

Ayana encourages folks starting grassroots initiatives to apply for this year’s award, not be afraid to fail, and to turn to their communities for strength.

“Look left and right to find the people who you can really build change with,” Ayana said. “Our community is so multitalented and brilliant—let’s invest in each other.”

Do you know someone with a bold idea to support Cambridge?

  • Nominate them today for the Imagined in Cambridge! Social Innovation Award!
    • Simply send their name(s) and email(s) to [email protected], and we’ll invite them to participate.
  • If you’ve got the idea, take five minutes to applyDeadline is Sept. 9.