Kelly Bates: A 2023 Living History Maker in Hyde Park, Massachusetts

June 22, 2023 Leave a comment

IISC President Kelly Bates was honored this Juneteenth holiday as part of the groundbreaking launch of a new exhibit titled “Living History Makers of Color in Hyde Park”, a pictorial installation of Boston residents and leaders of color who have made historical contributions locally and nationally.

The exhibit features 13 Hyde Park residents of color who are having a positive and enduring impact in the local and national arena and who have committed themselves to service in addressing marginalization, disparities, and inequities. Consisting of larger-than-life pictorial stands of each honoree, the exhibit is scheduled to travel to various sites around the state over the coming months and will have its home during the winter months at the Hyde Park Branch of the Boston Public Library. 

The exhibit was conceived and produced by the Forum for Racial Equity in Hyde Park, led by Marcia Kimm-Jackson. The Forum for Racial Equity in Hyde Park via Educational Experiences (FREEE) believes that acknowledging modern Black and Brown contributions and history is important for many reasons. First, it allows us to eradicate the pervasive and damaging myth of inferiority that has been perpetuated throughout history about communities of color. By highlighting the achievements and successes of Black and Brown residents, we challenge this false narrative and promote a more truthful and positive view of the residents and the broader community in Hyde Park and beyond. Second, by recognizing the valuable contributions of Black and Brown residents, we can help to create a more inclusive city and state that values and respects the diverse experiences and perspectives of all individuals. And third, acknowledging the contributions and history of Black and Brown residents is a crucial step towards achieving racial justice and equity.

The full list of honorees, in addition to Kelly Bates, includes:

  • Reverend Dr. Bruce H. Wall – “Defining the Church Without Walls” – Groundbreaking pastor/activist/changemaker
  • Aisha Francis-Samuels, Ph.D – “Educator at Heart” – First female college president at Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
  • Conan Harris – “Purveyor of Fortitude and Foresight” – Esteemed purpose-driven leader and mentor
  • Segun Idowu – “Man of the Moment” – Exemplary economic and equity leader
  • Wyatt Jackson/Dianne Walker – “Ambassadors of Black Creativity, Giants in the Arts” – Impactful educators and award winning and historic artists
  • Ruthzee Louijeune, Esq. – “Working for the People, Advancing Equity” – First Haitian American city councilor; accomplished attorney
  • José C. Massó III/José Fabio Massó – “Voices for Change, Pride and Unity” – Award-winning broadcasters for equity and unity and living the legacy of love in service
  • Pat Odom – “Trailblazer” – First female of color in Massachusetts Army National Guard
  • Imari Paris Jeffries, Ph.D – “Keeper of Stories” – Exemplary and influential nonprofit leader & equity advocate
  • Ayanna Pressley – “Policy is my Love Language” – First Black woman elected to represent Massachusetts in Congress
  • Tanisha Sullivan, Esq. – “Courageous Leader and Fighter for Collective Advancement” – Visionary and impactful attorney, humanitarian and civil rights leader
  • Ricardo Arroyo, Esq. – “Making Space for All” – First city councilor of color in Hyde Park

Congratulations to all!

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