Special to the Times
Mayor Michelle Wu announced the Civic Summit, an event focused on uniting neighbors, civic leaders, and non-profit advocates in a dynamic forum featuring panels with local leaders and advocates. The Civic Summit, organized for the first time by the Mayor’s Office of Civic Organizing, will be held Saturday, January 13, at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground at Boston University. This event will feature a fireside chat with Mayor Wu, a networking tea hour, and five additional sessions hosted by community leaders. Up to 200 community members can register for the free event online at www.boston.gov/civic-engagement/civic-summit-2024.
“Boston has always been a leader among cities because of the civic leaders in our neighborhoods and communities. The City of Boston is excited to connect and learn from all our civic leaders at this Civic Summit, which will convene those who know our neighborhoods best to share resources and best practices to empower our residents,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m thankful everyday for the strong civic leadership that drives Boston, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the summit.”
The Civic Summit is designed to foster connections to share knowledge and ignite inspiration for positive change within the diverse communities in Boston. The theme for this year’s summit is “Community Over Everything.” The City of Boston hopes that attendees will represent every corner of Boston to network and to identify opportunities to connect and collaborate after the summit.
“I am so excited to breathe new life into the Civic Summit,” said Nathalia Benitez-Perez, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Civic Organizing. “My hope for this year’s summit is that it serves as a crucible of knowledge, forging insights that empower present and future civic leaders to translate wisdom into tangible actions within their communities.”
“I believe knowledge is power. I am really thrilled about the upcoming Civic Summit,” said Margaret Farmer, Co-Chair of the Jeffries Point Association. “I look forward to connecting with other community members and learning more about how city government works, so I can better advocate for my neighborhood.”
The Civic Summit will offer a fireside chat featuring Mayor Wu facilitated by Jeneé Osterheldt, Boston Globe’s Deputy Managing Editor For Culture, Talent, and Development, and Founder of A Beautiful Resistance.
Featured sessions Include:
• Empowering Change: How to Fund Your Inspiration led by Eric Leslie, Founder and Lead Organizer of Union Capital
• Becoming a Civic Leader – Training the Next Generation of Leaders featuring panelists Lee Pelton, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation; Matthew Broude, Co-founder of The Queer Neighborhood Council; Commissioner Kristen McCosh, The Disability Commissioner for the City of Boston; Brianna Bourne, Boston University Class of 2024
• EmpowerED: Leveraging Social Media for Community Impact led by Emily Schario, Head of Content for Boston Globe’s B-Side
• Sustainable Cities: Empowering Communities for a Greener Future, a fireside chat with Oliver Sellers-Garcia, Boston’s first Green New Deal Director and a cabinet-level Senior Advisor to Mayor Michelle Wu, and Jaye Meakem, Boston Harbor Now’s Community Engagement Manager
“The Civic Summit was planned to empower neighborhood community leaders and individuals in Boston who have a desire to make a difference in their community, but don’t know where to begin,” said Brianna Millor, Chief of the Community Engagement Cabinet. “This is going to be an incredible opportunity for constituents to be in the same space and to get City Hall out of City Hall.”
This year’s Civic Summit is a collaborative effort between community partners, City staff, civic leaders, local businesses, and residents to help shape an event that will be empowering and transformative for all attendees. The City of Boston is excited to work with Anais Summer Day, a local woman-owned event planning company led by Anais Ramos. Ramos is the lead event planner for the Civic Summit. Side Presents, a Boston-based creative production company, will be the Civic Summit’s featured emcee. Boston University is the lead partner of the Civic Summit. Boston University and The Boston Foundation are event supporters.
“Boston University is honored to host the City of Boston’s Civic Summit, in support of Mayor Wu’s commitment to fostering community engagement and collaboration,” said Kenneth W. Freeman, President Ad Interim of Boston University. “The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground with its mission to connect people through creative, shared experiences is a fitting venue for this forum. We’re pleased to play a part in facilitating conversations reflecting diverse viewpoints and experiences as we work to build a more inclusive and vibrant community.”
“Our work at the Boston Foundation has taught us time and again that the best solutions are those that are driven by and responsive to the knowledge and insights of community members and leaders,” said M. Lee Pelton, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We appreciate Mayor Wu for creating this opportunity to listen, learn and share ideas for making Boston a more equitable city.”
The Civic Summit is free and open to the public with registration. A light breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information and to register visit boston.gov/civicsummit.
The Mayor’s Office of Civic Organizing is committed to collaborative partnerships and programs that encourage proactive community engagement, awareness, and service in our neighborhoods. Follow the Mayor’s Office of Civic Organizing on social media @bostoncivicorg and visit boston.gov/civicsummit to register and learn more about the Civic Summit.