Friday, June 20, 2014

Boston Idea Week- The Boston Brand Event Summary

As part of the Innovation Districts’ Boston Idea Week, an interactive discussion was held on Wednesday, June 18th at the Courthouse Station about how the Boston Brand has been affected by the busing crisis of the 1970’s and the city’s history of racism. Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, a former MWPC Board Member and endorsed candidate, kicked off the event with a brief speech on the various ways she is trying to make Boston more welcoming to communities of color through legislation. She said that in order to really make progress on this issue people have to come together and “be willing to have an uncomfortable conversation” and be honest about the history of race in Boston. The discussion that followed, moderated by the Boston Globe’s Meghan Irons who posed questions to The Boston Busing/Desegregation Project’s Donna Bivens and President of the Boston NAACP Michael Curry, repeatedly returned to the question of how to start that conversation. There seems to be a universal acceptance that approaching the controversial topic of race with frankness, openness and honesty is key towards creating equal access to education and reducing the impact of racism. However, the key to starting those conversations amongst great division remains up in the air.