Published On: November 3rd, 2023

CCF President Geeta Pradhan with Lori Lander.

Being in the living room of a friend feels like a hug. It’s warm and welcoming; there’s camaraderie and community. That’s the way we felt at our former board member Lori Lander’s home, where we presented our new strategic plan yesterday.

It was the first time in nearly four years that Lori has hosted one of her popular weekly Wednesday Breakfast Conversations in person and online. For 14 years Lori has brought people together to discuss the challenges Cambridge faces and possible solutions. Since the pandemic the conversations have been held virtually with topics ranging from education, opportunity gaps, to city leadership and current events.

We presented the two new focus areas in our strategic plan – economic mobility and social cohesion. The space and exchange was real time expression of social cohesion – people connected, shared their ideas, and built community together.

It was also an opportunity to recognize Lori for her incredible contributions to Cambridge and CCF after concluding a decade of service as a CCF board member. Lori served as vice chair last year and was the long-standing co-chair of our Grantmaking & Programs Committee, serving alongside Rev. Lorraine Thornhill. She also helped found our Imagined in Cambridge! Social Innovation Award and with Lorraine led our COVID-19 emergency response, which included the distribution of cash grants to nearly 1,300 residents.

“Lori, you are a Cambridge treasure,” said Geeta Pradhan, presenting her with a map of Cambridge. “What you do for Cambridge is incredible. You are a big part of the civic heart of Cambridge. You keep the community connected and invite all neighbors to share their perspectives and learn from one another. Thank you for all you do.”