A few weeks ago, I attended a most incredible event – a Historically Black Colleges and Universities admissions conference in Boston put together by two of my former BHS colleagues. I brought a minivan full of BHS students to the Reggie Lewis Center, where each one was admitted on the spot into multiple HBCUs. We listened to alumni from Spelman and Howard speak passionately about the profound nurturing and sense of belonging they experienced when they were enveloped by the culture of community at these institutions.
The experience reaffirmed for me how important it is for us at The Brookline Teen Center to seek out every opportunity to replicate that culture in our space. I came away determined to work with my METCO colleagues to pull off an April vacation tour of HBCU’s for BTC and BHS students. This year, our outgoing executive director Alicia Adamson, piloted several affinity groups in which students from similar backgrounds come together and with the help of a facilitator, engage in regular discussions in an atmosphere of mutual support. In January, two graduate students in social work will join our team and help run these groups.
The quest to become and remain an organization that walks the walk, not just talks the talk, about racial and social justice is an ongoing and never completed process. It’s about speaking out and letting our kids know we have their backs when the ever-present fount of racism in our society erupts and overflows. It’s about hiring a phenomenal leadership team and staff whose identities reflect those of our teens. It’s about striving to achieve that same demographic balance on our board.
All of these initiatives require resources. Your contribution to BTC’s Annual Appeal will help keep us on stable financial ground and position us well to keep fighting the good fight.
Please consider donating to support this important initiative and BTC as a whole: www.brooklineteencenter.org/give
Gratefully,
Paul