BOSTONIANS FOR YOUTH
about BFY 2021
The 14th annual Bostonians for Youth gala will unite the Trinity Boston Connects (TBC) community as we strive to ensure all young people in Boston, especially youth of color, are healed and supported as they realize their enormous potential and promise. They will be the leaders of the next generations in this city. Our theme, Healing for an Equitable Boston, is a call for creating a movement of healing from the traumatic effects of structural racism in this national moment of reckoning. The virtual format offers us exciting new opportunities to learn from thought leaders and have informed discussion in community. We will celebrate the joy and resilience of our city’s youth and honor our Leader of Change, Dr. M. Lee Pelton, president of Emerson College and upcoming President of The Boston Foundation. Join us as our Host, Bekah Salwasser, Executive Vice President, Boston Red Sox, and Executive Director, Red Sox Foundation, guides us through a dynamic evening!
keynote presentation by Isabel Wilkerson
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, has become a leading figure in narrative nonfiction, an interpreter of the human condition, and an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country, and our current era of upheaval.
Through her writing, Wilkerson brings the invisible and the marginalized into the light and into our hearts. Through her lectures, she explores with authority the need to reconcile America’s karmic inheritance and the origins of both our divisions and our shared commonality.
Her debut work, The Warmth of Other Suns, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, and the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a daughter of the Great Migration, the mass movement that she would go on to write about. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1994, as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. She then devoted fifteen years and interviewed more than 1,200 people to tell the story of the six million people, among them her parents, who defected from the Jim Crow South.
As for her new book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, the venerable U.K. bookseller, Waterstone’s calls it an “expansive, lyrical and stirring account of the unspoken system of divisions that govern our world.”
honoring M. Lee Pelton
The Leader of Change Award recognizes an individual who is making, or has made, deep impact in helping to create a more just and equitable Boston through critical and sustainable change. We are elated to announce Lee Pelton as this year’s honoree! Lee served as the 12th president of Emerson College in Boston since 2011 and is the newly appointed CEO & President of The Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s leading philanthropic organizations.
Lee is a well-respected thought and innovation leader, known internationally as a spokesperson on the value of a liberal arts education and the importance of leadership development, civic engagement, and diversity in higher education. Most recently, Dr. Pelton was named one of The 100 Most Influential People in Boston and appointed Boston Racial Equity Fund (chair), with an accompanying $100,000 Racial Justice Grant in his honor, to be distributed to selected non-profits. Numerous additional recognitions have been bestowed upon Lee over the last 9 years. In a June 2020 Boston Globe Op-Ed article viewed around the world, he characterized the killing of George Floyd as a “legalized lynching” and shared several of his raw encounters with racism. He went on to share that he has dedicated his life’s work to social justice in just about every aspect of American life, but especially for young people who grew up like him. We honor his candor, courage, and leadership.
our host, Bekah Salwasser
Bekah Salwasser is the Executive Vice President, Social Impact, for the Boston Red Sox. She joined the Boston Red Sox in January of 2018 as the Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation. Bekah is responsible for the overall success of the Foundation’s giving strategy, programming, fundraising and sponsorships, capacity building, and various events and projects that help build the brand and strengthen the impact of the Foundation within the New England community.
In March 2021, the Red Sox promoted Bekah to serve as their Executive Vice President, Social Impact. This new position formalized Bekah’s ongoing work as the chair of the club’s Social Justice Equity & Inclusion Committee. Formed in June 2020 the Committee aims to use the Red Sox platform to promote and amplify racial and social justice causes that align with the organization’s core values, and to develop sustainable initiatives that promote social justice, equity and inclusion. In addition to these new responsibilities, Bekah continues to serve as Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation. Bekah is also a co-founder of the Women in Non-profit Network (WIN) which seeks to facilitate the sharing of best practices, strategies and resources among women nonprofit leaders.
We hope you will join us in creating a more just and equitable Boston and choose to be a sponsor of the evening. Boston is ready to heal, and there is growing demand for TBC’s work. Please help us carry our healing mission forward. Funds raised support the full portfolio of Trinity Boston Connects innovative programs. Please click below to proceed with sponsorship.
Thank you for supporting the Bostonians for Youth virtual gala. With over 700 attendees, the live broadcast was a resounding success as we raised over our minimum goal of $400,000! You can watch the rebroadcast of the program below. Gifts are still welcome as we reach toward $500,000 to ensure our young people’s dreams continue to be affirmed in these uncertain times.
text “BFY2020” to 44-321 to donate or click below
We’d appreciate your feedback as we plan for next year’s BFY. Once you’ve viewed the gala, please take the 2 minute survey linked below to share your feedback with us.
thank you to our sponsors
* denotes Trinity Boston Connects, Board of Director
David* and Stephanie Lawrence
Alexandra Burke and Christopher Birch
Goldhirsh Yellin Foundation
Elizabeth L. Johnson
Mike* and Martha Parker
Rae Family Charitable Foundation Trust
Dan and Jeanne Ross
Ann-Elizabeth and Phil Rueppel
Judith and William Steul
Pamela Warren and Peter Lawrence
The Reverend Rainey G. Dankel
Sula Fiszman* and Jack Bergman
Sophia and Edward Garmey, MD
Stephen Hendrikson and David McCord
Kathleen Hirsch and Mark Morrow
Barbara and Amos Hostetter
Abigail Johnson and Christopher McKown
Justice Resource Institute
Judith and Mark King
Akindele* and Muna Majekodunmi
Martin Richard Foundation
Morgan Lewis, LLP.
Margaret and Albert Mulley
Public Welfare Trust
Joel Rosen* and Addie Swartz
Christopher Smart* and Shari Loessberg
Elizabeth* and Robert Smith
Alice and Peter von Loesecke
Pamela and Peter Voss
Lisa Frost and Paul Zintl
Shawmut Design and Construction
Joan and Colin Diver
State Street Foundation
Megan and David Zug
Ronald Akie and David Mooney
Martha and Robert Cowden
Matt* and Nicolle Diver
David* and Allison Donelan
Judy and Doug Fitzsimmons
Katherine Gross and Peter Thorne
Laura McTaggart and Tom Nolan
Elizabeth and Keith Morgan
Sheila and John Peterson
Lisa Rubin-Johnson and Glenn Johnson
Janet Shipman and Jay Cushman
Lynn and Peter Smiledge
Helen and Joe Soussou
Pipier Smith-Mumford* and Gregory Mumford
Olaf* and Margaret Thorp
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