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SVP Boston Just Hosted Its Inaugural New Partner-Focused Forums!

On Thursday, October 5th, SVP Boston held the first of its revitalized, rebranded Educational Partner ForumsThe Power of Us: Working to Close the Gap. The event, which was held at TheUnderground Café & Lounge on Northeastern University's campus, featured three inspirational speakers native to the Boston area.

In an informal setting with SVPB partners, volunteers, staff and guests at the local café, three influential women, Kim Janey, former Boston Mayor, Letta Neely, a Spoken Word Artist, and Sarah Girma, an Emerging Leader in the arena of STEM, delivered powerful messages around the themes of community development, social innovation and DEIB initiatives across Greater Boston.

To launch the evening's program, Letta Neely gave a commanding performance in reciting an eloquent, original composition about social injustices of the past, enabling us to look at underserved communities through a lens of veracity, compassion and respect. A.J. Lucky, VP of Programs at SVPB, puts it wisely, "Spoken word has long been a language for populations in the margins. When marginalized people think about doing transformative work with community, the first step is actually listening."

After that, Sarah Girma, an alumna of Science Club for Girls--SCFG is a current grantee of SVPB--shared a deeply personal story about family hardships, sacrifices and capitalizing on amazing opportunities for studying science through SCFG's ingenious program. It's a moving account of how the journey subsequently led to Sarah becoming a student at Harvard College, majoring in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Mathematics. Now in her final year at Harvard, Sarah continues to serve as Senior Mentor and an inspiration to a new generation of young learners in SCFG's science-based program.

Rounding up the engrossing forum--which lasted two hours--Kim Janey, the evening's keynote speaker, and a celebrated social and political change-maker in Boston who needs no introduction, spoke to the audience about her work as former Mayor of Boston, and her present role as President and CEO of EMPath (Economic Mobility Pathways), a local organization that empowers and guides those affected by poverty in employing tools and strategies needed to move up the economic ladder. This riveting discussion was followed by a brief Q & Awhere Kim Janey addressed a range of burning questions from several guests.

That evening, three charismatic speakers, along with our incredible partners and guests, helped to cast a spotlight on our Social Impact Priority Framework, the crux and core of SVP Boston's philanthropic work across emerging social ventures throughout Greater Boston. For those who may be unfamiliar with this framework, in essence it zeroes in on three significant aims: food security, housing access and education and workforce preparedness. And this is only the beginning of our educational forums, with many illuminating sessions yet to come. Stay tuned!

We also wish to thank the following businesses and sponsors: Nia Grace of The Underground Café for the venue • Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen for event catering • Copley Healthcare & Partners - New England Medical Group - AVIV at NEMG for donating raffle prizes

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