Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) hosted “We Are Boston 2020: From Resilience to Equity on November 19, 2020. The annual end-of-the year reception celebrates Boston immigrants and their contributions to the City. This year’s virtual program focused on honoring frontline workers and immigrant-serving nonprofits for their tireless work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It also highlighted how together we can move towards equity for all residents. 

“This year we have been tested in every way imaginable and our immigrant friends and neighbors have played a vital role in our response to the COVID-19 crisis, here in Boston and all across the United States,” said Mayor Walsh. “But I’ve always said that a city shows its true colors during the hard times. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, we’re going to keep supporting one another, and we’re going to keep fighting to protect the wellbeing, the rights, and the dignity of everyone who calls our City home.”

The Mayor awarded the 2020 “We Are Boston Community Champion Award” to Rita Lara, Executive Director of Maverick Landing Community Services, for her instrumental role in the coronavirus response. Lara organized a collaborative of East Boston organizations to provide relief and food to those in need, including those who do not qualify for any benefits. The 2020 “We Are Boston Corporate Leadership Award” went to Eastern Bank for their commitment to diverse communities by helping nonprofits and businesses apply for PPP and for their annual Social Justice celebration. 

Before the reception MOIA hosted workshops with corporate sponsors and community partners exploring the roots of systemic racism and ways to build inclusive cultures in the workplace and everyday life. 

“Our work to root out systemic racism and elevate the power and agency of residents, workers and families who have been excluded from the City’s prosperity begins with each of us. Opportunities to learn together, to strategize, organize and advocate is the bedrock of a just democracy,” said Chief of Equity Dr. Karilyn Crockett, the keynote speaker for the reception. 

Thirty-three corporate sponsors funded this year’s We Are Boston. Their donations totaling more than $159,000 will go towards capacity-building for immigrant-serving nonprofits. This year’s champion sponsors are Arbella Insurance Foundation and State Street Corporation and the visionary sponsors are Eastern Bank and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Last month, MOIA awarded $100,000 in mini-grants to 20 diverse nonprofits funded by We Are Boston 2019 corporate sponsors. 

“Thank you to the Mayor and my colleagues at City Hall for prioritizing our immigrant communities. Thank you to our nonprofits for helping families survive this pandemic, to our sponsors and those who bought tickets for your heart and generosity, and to our immigrant residents for keeping Boston diverse and making it this wonderful City that we love,” said MOIA’s Director Yusufi Vali.

Director Vali spoke about MOIA’s work over the past year and the City’s goal to keep moving forward on equity this next year. 

“We Are Boston 2020: From Resilience to Equity” is available to watch on MOIA’s Facebook page.

About the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement

The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) strives to strengthen the ability of immigrants to fully and equitably participate in economic, civic, social, and cultural life in Boston. MOIA also promotes the recognition and public understanding of the contributions of immigrants to the City. To learn more, visit the Immigrant Advancement website.

Contact Department: Immigrant Advancement

Publish Date: Fri, 11/20/2020 – 6:15am

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