Turning insights into action is a full community effort. On Thursday November 2, 2023, the Brookline Community Foundation welcomed community members to Our Community, Our Story: The Understanding Brookline Launch event for an evening of collaboration, connection, insights and action.
Held at Florida Ruffin Ridley School, the evening began with lively music from Brookline’s own Washington Square Jazz Ensemble. Guests then convened for a full evening event program. BCF’s Executive Director Aba Taylor welcomed guests, before a moving speech from Ginnelle Vasquez, MSW, LICSW, Former Tenant of Brookline Housing Authority, which received a standing ovation. Following Ginnelle’s powerful reflections, BCF Communications Director Meghan Guidry presented the first-ever look at the new Understanding Brookline Community Indicators Database.
Following the database preview, Aba Taylor welcomed panelists Malcolm Cawthorne (METCO Director, Public Schools of Brookline), Dr. Chris Chanyasulkit (President, American Public Health Association), Dr. Raul Fernandez (Senior Lecturer, Boston University), Dr. Linus J. Guillory Jr. (Superintendent, Public Schools of Brookline), Kim Janey (CEO, Economic Mobility Pathways [EmPATH] and former Mayor of Boston) and Bob Van Meter (Executive Director, Brookline Community Development Corporation) to the stage for a panel discussion. The discussion examined data from BCF’s Understanding Brookline reports and database, offered expert insights into the systemic origins of economic challenges and provided inspiring calls to action.
BCF Board President Gioia Perugini and Representative Tommy Vitolo then gave closing remarks and actionable next steps for our community. Guests enjoyed grab-n-go desserts made by Tappan Green before saying goodbye.
Brookline Interactive Group was on the scene to record the event, which you can view on their YouTube channel or below, Ashley D’Souza from the Brookline Hub wrote a detailed recap of the event that’s out now, and you can see some of our new research mentioned in the Boston Globe’s recent spotlight article Beyond the Gilded Gate.
Thank you to everyone in the Brookline community for making this event a success!