The Chelsea Black Community (CBC), under the leadership of President Joan Cromwell, concluded its observance of Black History Month with an event that will be remembered for many years to come.
More than 100 residents attended the “Chelsea Trailblazers” virtual awards night that was emceed by School Committee member Henry Wilson.
Individuals and organizations that stepped up during the pandemic were honored as “Trailblazers,” an award that has become one of the city’s most prestigious.
Perhaps no moment was greater or more inspirational than the slide presentation recognizing the award recipients and highlighting the past year in which the pandemic hit Chelsea hard.
Guests were visibly touched by the presentation that showed some of the happy occasions in the city when people could gather in large numbers for celebrations. One slide in particular showed the packed house in attendance enjoying the annual Let it Fly Basketball Classic led by Co-Directors Kyle Umemba and Cesar Castro. The pandemic itself and the hardship that it brought to Chelsea residents in 2020 was touched upon in a heartwarming manner that showed people coming together to help those in need.
The outstanding work of La Colaborativa Executive Director Gladys Vega and CAPIC Executive Director Richelle Cromwell amidst the pandemic was featured prominently as were the heroic efforts of Chelsea’s first responders. The CBC also highlighted the excellent leadership of City Manager Tom Ambrosino and Council President Roy Avellaneda and other city officials.
Kyle Umemba, Jayde Umemba and Maria Montgomery of the Chelsea Young Adult Alliance and Joan Cromwell and Sharon Caulfield of the CBC produced the slide show.
Also very impactful during the awards celebration was Desayna Christmas’ reading of the poem, “I Care and I Am Willing to Serve,” which President Cromwell indicated was a national anthem for the Trailblazers.
Chelsea Trailblazers 2021 coined the term, “Ubuntu,” an African term that means, “I am because you are.”
“It speaks to the fact that we are all connected and that one can only grow and progress through the growth and progression of others,” said Cromwell.
The CBC leader called the event “a great evening.” “The community really felt like one,” said Cromwell. “It just brought this city together. All of the organizations were there. And all of them realized the impact of what they did, and I just kept saying