Top Left: Boston Red Sox Award Top Right: Adam Jones Bottom: Awardees Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree & Carole Copeland Thomas
Full disclosure. As a native Detroiter who has lived in the Boston area for more than 35 years, I cringe when I hear stories about racism in my adopted city. As a diversity speaker and trainer for 30 years, the pain of these stories runs deep. For nearly a week, I have read the newspaper reports about a stupid local fan who yelled out the “n-word" during last week’s Boston Red Sox - Baltimore Orioles game at Fenway Park. The victim, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, tempered his anger, even after the same fan or another one threw a bag of peanuts at him, missed and hit a police officer. The incident threw Boston back in the news as a city that can’t ditch racism no matter how hard it tries.
It's now become a national news story that forces us to remember that The Red Sox were the last team to recruit a black player in the major leagues. Its owner at that time, Tom Yawkey, had no use for black people, including rising baseball stars like Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. That history was buried when the new owner, John Henry II, took a very pro-active stand to make his team more diverse and inclusive.
Other players have also been called the “n-word” at Fenway, which makes it even worse.
Those are the facts. Lingering racism remains with the diehards who just can’t accept the realities of a changing city and nation where multiculturalism is a mainstream choice for most.
Clearly, city and state elected officials have beaten the drums about making our region more inclusive. Boston’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker immediately condemned the ballpark incident as intolerable, socially and morally unacceptable. The Red Sox team president, Sam Kennedy, stated, “I find it despicable. There’s no place for it.” And so go similar comments uttered in board rooms and community centers. Boston is NOT a city of hate. Boston rejects racism of any kind.
The fans made that point very clearly during the ballgame between the rival teams the next day. They gave Adam Jones a prolonged standing ovation to show their support for him despite the previous night’s ruckus.
There’s another side to consider when you look at what happened at Fenway Park. Boston HAS changed. I should know as a 35 year resident of the region.
Many factors have led to the transformation of Boston. Both governmental and private initiatives have worked diligently to mute the angry and hateful voices of the past. Take, for example, the efforts of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB). They created a Multicultural Committee, designed to transform the image of Boston (www.crossculturalboston.com). The first committee was launched in the early 1990s as the city geared up for some high-profile national minority conventions scheduled to come to the city. One of them held in 1995 was the national conference of the National Black MBA Association. I served on the Multicultural Committee and as the local chair of that event that hosted over 5000 black professionals from around the United States and beyond. The efforts of the Multicultural Committee combined with support from corporate leaders and then-Mayor Thomas Menino led to one of the most successful conventions in the association’s history.
The Multicultural Committee took a hiatus for a few years in the late 1990s and relaunched in 2003 under GBCVB President & CEO Pat Moscaritolo. He appointed me as the committee chair, and we have been rocking and rolling ever since. Our committee of nearly 15 ethnically diverse business owners, hospitality leaders, and GBCVB staff meet every month except for July and August. We commit to serving in this volunteer role because we care about the image and reputation of our city. The committee formulates ways that we can support the Bureau’s efforts to attract conventions of color. We attend various functions and serve as a welcoming body when executive boards and association leaders come to town.
Our enthusiasm mounted in 2014 when both the National Association of Black Journalists and The Eastern Regional Conference of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. hosted their meetings just weeks apart. Both groups left Boston with renewed levels of confidence that the city was embracing diversity and inclusion in powerful new ways. Other conferences, including The National Council of La Raza, The Asian American Journalists Association, Blacks in Government and The Urban League have all had national meetings in Boston, with much success.
One of my finest moments was a sunny afternoon in August 2016 when the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Church League honored me and several other civic, social justice and business leaders on the playing field at Fenway Park. We stood on that bright green turf, heard our names announced over the PA system and received the cheers from thousands of fans across the ballpark.
No-one shouted the “n-word.”
No-one threw bags of peanuts at us.
No-one audibly disrespected us.
Our families and friends cheered with the crowd in support of our achievements. It was a shining moment for all of Boston and us.
As a diversity trainer and speaker, I choose to look at the glass half filled. The days of forced busing in South Boston are long gone. The confrontations and racial divisiveness of the past have been replaced by a city that is now a progressive international destination that welcomes the world. We condemn the actions of ignorant fans who can’t let go of their racism. They have been ejected from Fenway Park and shouldn’t be accepted anywhere else. They do exist, and I grudgingly acknowledge their existence. But they do NOT represent the life blood of a city that’s turning the corner and closing the chapter of its racial past, never worth reliving.
Bostonians are resilient as evident during the 2013 Marathon bombing. And Bostonians rose up last week, delivered a standing ovation, and told Adam Jones and the rest of the world that it’s a city too big to hate and too proud to let the actions of a few stand in the way of progress.
As an award-winning speaker, trainer and global thought leader, since 1987, Carole Copeland Thomas moderates the discussions of critical issues affecting the marketplace. She has her pulse on the issues affecting working professionals and regularly consults with industry leaders. She has spent 30 years cultivating relationships and partnerships with local, national and international sponsors, including Walmart, Amtrak and Emirates Airlines. Carole has worked with clients throughout the United States and seven foreign countries. Carole is the past president of The National Speakers Association -New England Chapter and is on the board of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Carole is a blogger and social media enthusiast using various technology platforms to enhance her business development activities.
Carole has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Black Enterprise, ABC Radio and CBS News.
She is the author of four books and is the Past National Vice Chair of the National Black MBA Association
Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau Multicultural Committee
Members of the GBCVB Multicultural Committee. Standing Left to Right: Turner Skenderian, Dr. ErinnTucker, Tiffany Probasco, Darrell LeMar, Ola Akinawuni Seated Left to Right: Suzanne Grogan, Carole Copeland Thomas, Michael Munn, Donna DuPee, Kelley Chunn
Master Barber & Purple Heart Recipient The Late James Guilford Honored At The March 3, 2016 Breakfast
He was a barber to the stars, and won a Purple Heart during World War II. He lived to be 104 years old before passing away last December 2015. We will the late James Guildford, Jr. at the March 3, 2016 Black History Breakfast. Lest we forget....
Article Source: The Boston Globe
by Byran Marquard
A master barber, James E. Guilford Jr. was a stylist to stars of a storied era in Boston jazz, when a shave and a trim cost barely a buck at his Tremont Street shop. He could also spin stories as elegant as the fine lines that filled his sketchpads after he traded scissors and razor for the pen and a paintbrush of an artist later in life.
Mr. Guilford, who died in December 2015 at 104, liked to tell how singer Billie Holiday performed a run of shows at Boston’s famed Storyville club in April 1959 “and gave beautiful performances. I was there every night.” After Holiday’s Saturday show, less than three months before she died, a party was thrown in her honor at another Boston club and “I drove her from Storyville in my Cadillac,” he recalled in a 2005 Globe interview.
“She was wearing all black. Her lips were black and her nails were black. We were sitting at a table with about 10 people having cheese and crackers, and they wanted her to sing, and she says to me, ‘Jimmy, what do you want to hear?’ I said, ‘Well, “Lover Man,” ’ and she got up, took the mike, and sang it right next to where she’d been sitting.”
A Roxbury resident since birth, Mr. Guilford was the oldest living graduate of Boston Latin School when he died in the Laurel Ridge care facility in Jamaica Plain after his health failed.
He began barbering at age 12, cutting hair from 1923 to 1979, and he was awarded the Purple Heart after being injured while serving as an Army sergeant during World War II. When the war ended, he returned to his Roxbury barbershop.
“People who were traveling could always come to Boston if they wanted their hair done and have a do. They could come to Jimmy Guilford’s hairstyling salon,” he said in an interview for the WGBH program “Basic Black.”
“I had acquired quite a name where I was called ‘the hairstylist to the stars,’ ” Mr. Guilford said. “In my business were such stars as Sugar Ray Robinson and Duke Ellington. Nat Cole and Oscar Peterson. I even did Sammy Davis’s father, but Sammy, he did his own hair. A lot of show people that came to Boston came to me.”
Over the years he also sold real estate before devoting much of his time to art. His portrait of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled in January 1982 in the Central Square branch of the Cambridge Public Library, when Mr. Guilford was 70.
“I think the creative part that comes along with being a hairstylist started to express itself on canvas,” said his daughter Marsha Guilford Davenport of Owings Mills, Md. “My home is filled with his artwork. He’s worked in every medium – charcoal, acrylic, watercolors, oil. He even does pen and ink sketches. Art is just something that blossomed in him.”
One of four children, James Edward Guilford Jr. was born Oct. 7, 1911, in a third-floor apartment in Roxbury. “He would tell you he grew up in what they called a cold water flat,” his daughter said.
His father, James Sr., was from Petersburg, Va. His mother, the former Nannie Belle Haskins, was from Lynchburg, Va.
At Boston Latin, Mr. Guilford was the only African-American on the track team in 1926 and was part of a relay squad that set a record while defeating Boston English in late March. His teammate fell behind on the first leg, “but on the back stretch of the second lap James Guilford of Latin passed M.I.
Linsky of English and handed over a four-yard margin,” the Globe reported. Latin’s anchor runner held on to win by inches.
The Black History Month Breakfast will be held on Thursday March 3, 2016 at the Boston Colonnade Hotel from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.
Roundtable Topic At The Conference: Boston's Pioneers In Diversity
Speakers: Co-Authors Don West and Ken Cooper
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE NOVEMBER 5TH MULTICULTURAL CONFERENCE
Now that Boston has officially become a “Majority-Minority” city, with 53% of its residence non-white, it’s time to showcase the many contributions of its diverse citizens. That’s now been done in a graphically rich new “coffee table” book: Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute To Leadership.
Portraits of Purpose is a visual chronicle of 127 Boston-based African American leaders and their allies who have continued the pursuit of freedom and justice in a post-civil rights era. Renowned Boston photographer Don West and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kenneth J. Cooper teamed up to capture the images and shared the stories of these significant individuals of conscience. From Charles Ogletree, Jr. and Cheng Imm Tan to Elma Lewis and the up and coming Tulaine Montgomery, these leaders of action are portrayed for the significant contributions they have made to the region…and the country.
In addition to their Roundtable, their book will be available for sale at the conference.
A seasoned photographer and consummate professional, Don captures the spirit and character of people, places and events. A newsman at the core, he likes to be where the action is.
West began his career as a freelance and news photographer, working for United Press International (UPI) and the Bay State Banner, Boston’s black weekly paper. He has since gone on to a host of photojournalistic assignments that have taken him throughout the United States, Latin America, Africa, China, Europe and the Middle East.
He is particularly proud to have served as Nelson Mandela’s photographer when he first visited Boston after release from prison, in South Africa; the official photographer for Mel King’s historic “Rainbow Coalition” Mayoral campaign; and to be called upon to cover special events of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign in New England.
Likened to a “griot,” or people’s historian, Don uses his camera to provide visual witness to our rich diversity and collective contributions, capturing images and telling stories of individuals at work, at play, with their families, and in struggle for what they believe.
Kenneth J. Cooper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and editor, veteran of 30 years at a major newspaper including The Washington Post and the Boston Globe. Currently, he is the editor for The Trotter Review, an annual scholarly journal focused on the history and culture of African Americans, published by the William Monroe Trotter Institute at UMass Boston. Independent writer for national magazines, freelance editor and consultant on journalism projects, Cooper is exploring new interests in the Middle East and is developing a major writing project, a historical narrative set in Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Learn more about the book at www.portraitsofpurpose.us
The Multicultural Symposium Series is pleased to announce its Luncheon Keynote Speaker at the upcoming November 6th Multicultural Conference. Newly appointed Chief of Education for the City of Boston Rahn Dorsey will deliver an exciting message that will present his vision of global diversity and education for the region.
Rahn served in the non profit community for many years before Mayor Martin J. Walsh appointed him for this newly created position. Prior to joining the Mayor's Cabinet, Dorsey served as the Evaluation Director for the Barr Foundation. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dorsey has his pulse on the issues in greater Boston and will use his strategic background to serve as an important liaison across all educational platforms in Boston.
We hope that YOU will attend this upcoming conference. It will be held at the University of Massachusetts - Boston Campus on Thursday November 6, 2014 from 8am to 3pm. Tickets are only $99, which includes a 12 month membership in the Multicultural Symposium Series.
Click Here to register for the Multicultural Conference.
Click Here to learn more about the Multicultural Conference.
For further information contact Carole Copeland Thomas at 508 947-5755 or
Mayor Walsh announces Cabinet-level Chief of Education
For Immediate Release
September 03, 2014
City of Boston
For More Information Contact: Mayor's Press Office
BOSTON—Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that he will appoint Rahn Dorsey his Chief of Education for the City of Boston. The newly-created position is reflective of Mayor Walsh’s campaign promise to implement a long-term strategy based on equity, access, accountability, transparency, and collaboration among all educational platforms in the City of Boston.
“Boston is a city deeply rooted in education, and to create groundbreaking, innovative milestones in this world, we have to start making significant changes in the way we focus on education across the board,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Rahn Dorsey will be an exceptional addition to my cabinet. He shares my vision for this position creating a bridge between City Hall and all facets of education, from colleges and universities, to BPS, to parochial and private schools, to adult continuing education.”
“In his five-plus years with the Barr Foundation, Rahn has made significant contributions to our education work, always keeping us grounded in the needs of students and families and helping us build relationships with countless partners across the city to improve educational outcomes,” said James E. Canales, President of the Barr Foundation. “The City of Boston will be the fortunate beneficiary of his considerable skills and thoughtfulness, and we look forward to a new phase of partnership with Rahn in this new leadership role for Boston.”
As the Chief of Education, Dorsey will be responsible for Boston’s education landscape and tasked with crafting and executing an education agenda for the City. From early childhood education, to kindergarten, to junior high, to higher learning institutions, to educations for seniors, Dorsey will implementthe Mayor’s vision for academic excellence across the City — including nontraditional and traditional practices.
Since 2009, Rahn Dorsey served at the Barr Foundation as Evaluation Director, leading development and implementation of data monitoring and evaluation frameworks for Barr’s investments. Prior to Barr, Rahn gained over 15 years of experience as a program evaluator and researcher with Moore and Associates and Abt Associates. During these years, his work spanned public policy, education, community change, and public health issues.
Dorsey currently sits on several Boston and New England boards and community organizations such as: The Black Philanthropy Fund, Boston Afterschool and Beyond, Third Sector New England, Bethel A.M.E. Church, The Boston School Quality Working Group, and Project Hip Hop.
by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
Last week I had the privilege of working with seven remarkable young teenagers who participated in a FREE week long workshop called JSHOP. Sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists. JSHOP transformed these students from curious young adults to working journalists in five short days.
The vision of veteran journalist Russell Lacour JSHOP is in its fifth year, with a goal of bringing out the best in student critical thinking.
The NABJ JSHOP is an opportunity for high school students all over the country to experience a hands-on journalism workshop in conjunction with the NABJ national conference.
Held in Boston between the Hynes Convention Center and Boston University the students crafted story ideas, were given deadlines and covered key events during the 39th Annual Convention of the National Association of Black Journalists.
At the end of an intense week, the students completed a newsletter and several video clips featuring their personal profiles and the convention's Town Hall meeting.
I congratulate Russell and his team of seven faculty members, the parents who encouraged their children to participate and the students themselves who worked long hours to complete their assignments. No one dropped out of the program. Every student graduated! It was indeed a joyous opportunity to shape the lives of student power in action.
Visit their website and read the student articles and learn more about JSHOP:
To learn more aobut the National Association of Black Journalists visit:
Your comments are welcome.
What a wonderful conference we had on November 7th!
22 Speakers in Total
Outstanding Conference Sponsors
Nearly 100 Conference Delegates
2 Fabulous Keynote Addresses
Greetings by Dr. Keith Motley
Engaging Panel Presentation
9 Roundtable Discussions
We will post more photos video clips in the coming weeks.
On behalf of my team, I thank Each And Every Person who helped to make this 7th Multicultural Conference a memorable, high octane event!
See you At The February 11, 2014 Black History Empowerment Breakfast.
-Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
NECN-TV News Anchor Latoyia Edwards with Carole Copeland Thomas
at this summer's National Association of Black Journalist Convention
in Orlando, Florida
Latoyia Edwards, one of the most enthusiastic and spirited television personalities in the New England region is our opening keynote speaker at the November 7th Multicultural Conference. She kicks off the morning of more than 20 GREAT speakers, panel presenters and diversity advocates who will be a part of our upcoming event.
Did you know that Latoyia is a former Miss Massachusetts???
If not...read on!!!!
With two weeks to go, we hope YOU are planning to attend this exciting conference.
The Multicultural Conference and the Multicultural Symposium Series (MSS) are the brainchild of entrepreneur Carole Copeland Thomas.
DESPITE THE ROLLER COASTER ECONOMY, MSS has been going strong since 2008.
It is the only initiative of its kind started and operated by an African American business owner in the region.
Here's more information on Latoyia Edwards. Hope to see you at our exciting Nov 7th event.
Latoyia Edwards is the weekend Anchor for New England Cable News (NECN) in Boston, Massachusetts.
For 13 years Latoyia has had the privilege of covering breaking news and human interest stories for television and radio outlets in New England and in New York. Latoyia is a regular on Boston's WGBH's Basic Black, a live television program hosted by a panel of the region's sharpest observers, who discuss and debate current news, events, and topics that impact the black community locally and nationally. Latoyia recently served as president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists. During her spare time Latoyia enjoys delivering keynote addresses and motivational speeches to youth groups and school children. Latoyia's story of her rise from the projects to the pulpitis able to connect with young and old alike.
Prior to joining NECN, Latoyia worked as the weekday 5pm News Anchor for WWLP TV Channel 22 in Springfield, MA. Latoyia's experiences with Channel 22 took her as far as Paraguay, as fast as Richard Petty and as high as the Blue Angles.
Before joining Channel 22 Latoyia was crowned Miss Massachusetts, USA 2002. Latoyia accredits the pageant experience for helping project her career.
Before joining the 22 News team Latoyia provided local new updates on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Drive Radio Show for WILD 96.9 in Boston. During that time Latoyia taught Performance for Television at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.
Latoyia first anchored television for Media One Cable News Network in Lowell, MA where she covered local news and political stories for Billerica, Tewksbury and Lowell. Prior to that Latoyia got her start in television as a news reporter for WICZ Channel 40 a Fox Affiliate in Binghamton, New York.
She began her career in news during her college internship as a news writer for WBZ-1030 AM radio. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College in 1998 Latoyia where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Latoyia was a scholar athlete who not only excelled in the classroom but on the basketball court breaking numerous NCAA Division III rebounding and blocked shots records. Latoyia currently ranks 5th in the nation in blocked shots per game 5.1 and 4th in the nation in rebounds per game 15.2.
While at Boston Latin Academy High School Latoyia knew she wanted to be a news reporter - it was in her blood. Latoyia is the oldest on 9 children who grew up the notorious Columbia Point Housing Project in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. As a member of the Strand Theatres Teen Players Latoyia found her solace in competing in city and school sponsored oratorical, speech competitions and plays.
Latoyia is a proud Boston native who was recently names to Boston Business Journal's 2010 Top 40 Under 40, a recognition of Boston's top 40 young professionals who have established themselves as leaders to be watched in their fields.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE NOVEMBER 7TH CONFERENCE.
Carole Copeland Thomas
C. Thomas & Associates
26 Years In Business 1987 - 2013
* * * * * * * *
©2023 All Rights Reserved Carole Copeland Thomas • (508) 947-5755 • Carole@mssconnect.com