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Past Organizing Efforts
CCI has participated in numerous organizing efforts since its inception in 1968. Among these efforts:
- Boston Society of VULCANS (organization of black and other minority men and women firefighters):
Organizing in an effort to reform fire department’s racist policies in hiring and promotion, CCI initiated meetings and collaborations between the Vulcans, the Greater Boston Coalition for Civil Rights, and Kathy O’Toole, at that time the acting chief and Commissioner of Boston Fire Department. This led to the formation of the Coalition of Firefighters for Civil Rights.
- Massachusetts Alliance to Save Affirmative Action (MASAA):
MASAA was organized by the Union of Minority Neighborhoods to challenge Governor Mitt Romney’s attack on Affirmative Action for state employees. Active throughout the history of MASSA, CCI played a major role organizing a public hearing in front of the Governor’s Commission on Affirmative Action in June 2004. Co-sponsored by the Black Congressional Caucus’s, this hearing was attended by more than 400 people, enough to pressure Romney to stop the process to change the AA policy.
- Racial Health Disparities: CCI organized the Angry Heart Task Force to promote awareness and action surrounding racism in health care institutions. Community Change and Brigham and Women’s Hospital presented the “The Angry Heart,” a stirring documentary capturing the impact of racism on heart disease among African-Americans. This film exposes health care workers to institutional racism in health care organizations and alerts the community to the racism in our health care facilities. The Angry Heart Task force began as part of CCI’s monthly Brown Bag series of events designed to foster dialogue about the struggle against racism and to provide opportunities for networking and taking action. Angry Heart forums have been held throughout Massachusetts and the United States. Film maker, Jay Fedigan credits the work of CCI and the task force with getting the documentary out to a national audience.
- Prison Advocates Strategy Session: In collaboration with American Friends Service Committee and the Campaign to Build Safer Communities, CCI worked to identify ways to influence the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission and to develop next steps for advocacy and action in order to help end the inhumane treatment of our fellow brothers and sisters in prison.
- Participation in civil rights amicus curiae brief to the MA Supreme Judicial Court: In collaboration with GLAD, CCI responded to the state Senate’s request for an advisory opinion on a bill restricting marriage but providing civil unions to same-sex couples.
- Fund the Dream Alliance: Universal Health Care, Affordable Housing, Quality Public Schools, co-sponsor.
- Boston Social Forum (BSF): CCI staff and interns sat on the Planning Committee for the BSF and provided workshops on: Racism and Healthcare, Racism and Progressive Organizing, White Privilege, and Gentrification.
- Organizing White Anti-Racists in Boston:
Working with other Boston area antiracist whites to host three large-group organizing meetings, continued participation to build white antiracist group and continued work with white antiracist men’s group.
- Developed relationships with antiracist organizers in Northern Vermont: This has led to work planned for fall 2005 with faculty at Lyndon State College. We are also working to connect with organizers in Montpelier.