Making racial equity real, together

We talk a lot about racial equity at CHV. And it’s a term we hear all the time—it shows up in the work we do, the media we consume, the news we watch, and sometimes even at the dinner table. But what does it truly mean? And how can we make real progress towards that goal?

We’re proud of the impact our programs have in Boston, but we know we don’t have all of the answers. Far from it.

So we recently posed a big question to the people of Boston — and we plastered it on billboards and across social media. “How can we make racial equity real?”

And you responded! Not only did you respond, but you embarked on deep, meaningful discussions with those around you. We appreciated seeing so many diverse perspectives from our community — here are a few of the thoughtful answers we got:

“Learn together about how to talk to each other about racism and the history of racism in Boston.” — Giselle F.

“Build and provide access to affordable, fresh nutrient filled food in EVERY Boston community.” — Sandra K.

“We need to make sure every civic and business investment we make has racial, social, and environmental equity at its core.” — Matt K.

This is a city (and a country) with a complicated, troubling racial history. We aren’t going to reach equity overnight. But if we take concrete steps together we can keep moving in the right direction. We’re here for it. Are you with us?

There’s no equity without all of us

Have you seen CHV’s new billboards around town? Well, now you’ve at least seen a photo of them right here. I am somebody who likes to speak my mind, and I am so proud to be part of an organization where we say the important stuff out loud.

Our new billboards around Boston are aiming to amplify and continue conversations that many of you are having around this city. What does racial equity look like, really? How do we go beyond a ‘level playing field’ and all of the other platitudes we hear all the time, and make true, lasting progress toward a Boston where we see equitable outcomes for all. Where the color of your skin or the neighborhood you live in don’t dictate your opportunities (or your health, or your safety, or your housing… you get the idea). 

We’re quite proud of what we’re building at Camp Harbor View — our free summer day camp is heading into its 17th summer, our year-round Leadership Academy is thriving, and our Guaranteed Income Program is accelerating economic mobility for families with cash payments. But of course we don’t have all the answers, and we can’t do it alone. 

So we’re putting out the call — we want to know what your ideas are for a more equitable Boston.

We’re so grateful to this community for all of the support of CHV’s teens and families, and to everyone working hard to pursue breakthroughs for equity in Boston.

Let’s keep going, together.