About the Program:
Co-presented with the Boston Foundation and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.
Over the past year, the Boston Foundation conducted an ambitious pilot initiative that invested in the shared places of communities throughout the region. Called the Place Leadership Network, the initiative convened and funded a disparate field of community-led, place-based organizations that are responsible for shared places -- and social infrastructures -- of their neighborhoods.
The notion of “place” is slippery -- conflating geographical boundaries and personal identities -- and highly emotionally charged. Place is also under intense pressures from a rapacious real estate market and rising tides. And, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, place serves as a powerful determinant of health, often marking the boundary between life and death. Yet our tools for understanding, investing, and assessing impact at the scale of place are still limited. Even as philanthropy exerts influence over housing access, climate change, and creative placemaking -- each of which implies place-based practices -- supporting equitable and resilient places overall remains elusive.
In this special session we will consider foundational ideas about place and justice. We’ll hear directly from community leaders responsible for the public realms of their neighborhoods. We’ll candidly share learnings from the Place Leadership Network pilot. We’ll draw connections between economic development, cultural belonging, public health, and spatial justice that are striated in place. Ultimately, we’ll highlight the key role of community leaders in self-determining vibrant, resilient, and equitable public places.
Speakers include Michael Monestime, executive director of the Central Square Business Improvement District, and Anita Morson-Matra who manages the Roxbury Cultural District: both participants in the pilot initiative. They will be joined by Theodore Landsmark of the Dukakis Center for Regional and Urban Policy. The conversation will be moderated by F. Philip Barash, who conceived and led the Place Leadership Network pilot at the Boston Foundation.
This event kicks off our 2021 Power & Equity series of programming.
Zoom information will be sent via email in advance of the program.