CBC Black History Month: The Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond Will Be Keynote Speaker at CBC ‘Trailblazers’ Celebration

Chelsea Black Community (CBC) has landed an illustrious leader in the Boston community for its Chelsea Trailblazers celebration on Feb. 24.

The Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond, co-founder and pastor of Bethel AME Church, will deliver the keynote address at the virtual event, said CBC President Joan Cromwell.

The Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond.

The Rev. Hammond, who co-founded the Bethel AME Church, Boston, with his wife, Gloria, holds degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and a master’s degree in religion from Harvard Graduate School.

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson said he’s looking forward to hearing the Rev. Hammond’s remarks and welcoming him back to Chelsea. Robinson and his wife, Linda Alioto-Robinson, have collaborated with Hammond on Mass Mentoring projects.

“I join with the CBC and others in welcoming the Rev. Hammond, a man of tremendous stature and spiritual leadership excellence to our community for this important celebration,” said Robinson.

Robinson and the City Council will be recognizing the Trailblazers – CAPIC Executive Director Richelle Cromwell, long-time Chelsea Rotary Club member and charitable project organizer Juan Gallego, Sara Arman of GreenRoots, community engagement specialist Loira Moore, lifelong resident and former business owner Paul Smith, and community leader Nicole McKoy – at its Feb. 14 Council meeting.

Chelsea High students will deliver poems at the Chelsea Trailblazer celebration.

“It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to hold this event in person again,” said Cromwell. “We thought about it, but the safety issues with COVID were a health concern.”

Cromwell said that CBC will be holding a “Spring Fling” to celebrate the Chelsea Trailblazers “as well as a community getting through this awful pandemic.”

“Celebrating community does not end with Black History Month when it ends in February,” said Cromwell. “We will continue to be a positive influence in the community and continue to highlight the Chelsea Trailblazers throughout the summer.

“I think we (the CBC) have grown immensely in the community. We are definitely involved first- hand in what makes a difference in our community and making an impact in terms of community-building, civic obligation, keeping people informed, educating residents, and being available to show residents that they are not alone.

“Even though our community is over 60 percent Latino, there are still others that live, reside, and call Chelsea their home that have to be always accounted for, and that’s what we stand for – a community as a whole, with 100 percent inclusion,” said Cromwell.

Black History Month Events Continuing

President Joan Cromwell reports that Black History is proceeding extremely well, with its next event scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 10. Dr. Nnamdi Amaechina, an internist at Charlton Hospital in Fall River, will be speaking about health and wellness in the community and how BIPOC communities are doing in terms of health.

“Dr. Amaechina’s appearance reflects off of the National Black History Month theme which is health and wellness and communities of color,” said Cromwell.

CBC On The Frontlines During the Pandemic

CBC continues to make is presence felt as an organization helping the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been on the frontlines of the COVID vaccine clinic,” said Cromwell. “In the month of December, we had over 4,000 people come to the clinic to be vaccinated. We’re working in collaboration with the City as well as Cataldo Ambulance.”

CBC has also done a series of presentations with the People’s AME Church focusing on COVID-related information.

(Biographical information about the Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond was used from the Barr Foundation in the compilation of this story).

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