Special To The Record
The Chelsea Black Community (CBC), under the leadership of President Joan Cromwell, has announced its schedule of events for Black History Month in the city.
This year’s observance comes as Chelsea continues to be impacted by the coronavirus. With public safety and the health of residents as a priority, Cromwell said that only two of the events will be in-person attendance while four events will be held on Zoom.
“The national theme is Black Family, Leadership, and Service so that’s what we’re trying to focus on in terms the focus of our events,” said Cromwell. “In the past our events have been more celebratory and community engagement-type gatherings, but this year’s events will be done through Zoom and there’s more of an educational component that will focus on the year in review and helping the community get through the pandemic.”
The schedule will kick off on Feb. 1 with a Chelsea City Hall Art Exhibit: A Celebration of Family, Freedom, Healing and Love. The exhibit will be open through the end of February.
Associate Dean for Bunker Hill Community College Sharon Caulfield will showcase her work in a photo exhibit: Family, Peace, Justice, Equality, at the 456 Downtown Gallery, 456 Broadway. Caulfield’s exhibit will commence on Feb. 1 and will be available for viewing through Feb. 28.
“Sharon has some amazing photographs that showcase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis, and a community engaged in racial justice,” said Cromwell. “I think her photos are very reflective of a community fighting racial justice.”
Cromwell said officers from the Governor Bellingham Cary House met with the CBC several months ago and indicated their wish to be a part of Black History Month.
“On Wednesday, Feb. 3, their historian, Karen McInnis will provide a feature presentation on the life of Fannie Cary Fairweather, who was a native of Africa and a slave who resided in the Cary House until she died at the age of 80 in 1844,” said Cromwell.
On Weds., Feb. 10, the CBC will show a short film, “Silent Beats,” which is about assumptions and stereotypes. Khalil Sadiq, racial equity consultant, will lead a discussion following the film.
“The goal of this event is the hope that each of us walks away with a better understanding of our own implicit biases that play a role in our lives every day and we don’t realize it,” said Cromwell.
The Honorable Mass. Supreme Court Associate Justice Angel Kelley-Brown will be the featured speaker at a Feb. 18 event, “No Justice, No Peace.”
“We’ve reached out to members of our community who will present questions to Justice Kelley-Brown for discussion about the judicial system and what laws need to change as well as social disparities in the system,” said Cromwell.
The Chelsea Trailblazers Celebration, in which the CBC’s prestigious Trailblazers Awards are presented, is scheduled for Feb. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m.
“Every year this is a grand event and it’s been an amazing celebration of food, fun, and honoring our community leaders,” said Cromwell. “This year we want to honor heroes in our community. It will be a celebration of not only our first responders but groups who helped coordinate the city’s response during a time of the pandemic and social injustice.”
Among those groups who will be recognized at the Trailblazers celebration for their humanitarian efforts in 2020 are the Chelsea City Council, the Chelsea Police Department, the Chelsea Fire Department, City Manager Thomas Ambrosino, Director of Housing and Community Development Alex Train, the Chelsea Collaborative, CAPIC, GreenRoots, MGH, Beth Israel Deaconess, The Neighborhood Developers, and local interfaith groups. In addition to President Cromwell, the the other members of the events organizing committee are Chelsea Youth Alliance leaders Kyle Umemba and Jade Umemba, Sharon Caulfield, Henry Wilson, Deborah Washington, Maureen Lee, Beverly Martin-Ross, and Dakeya Christmas.