Moacir Barbosa is the Health Resources in Action Assistant Director of Training and Capacity Building at the BEST Training Initiative. Mo is involved in delivery of training, provides technical assistance, participates in field building initiatives (locally, statewide, and nationally), and promotes the profession and professionalization of the field through his work on legislation, youth worker networks, partnerships with higher education, and youth conferences. Mo is a Port/Area 4 resident, has long been involved in efforts to bring about peaceful and just-full resolutions to the issues that we face locally, nationally and globally. His current work in the Area 4/Port neighborhood of Cambridge focuses on violence and other community issues. Mo Barbosa is the chairperson of Men of Color Health Task Force, finance chair for the Cambridge Youth Programs Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Team for the Peaceable Schools Institute at Leslie College, and board member of the Joint Public Health Board of the Cambridge Health Alliance and the Board of Trustees of the Phillips Brooks House Association at Harvard University.
Ellen Semonoff is the Assistant City Manager of Cambridge. Previously, Assistant City Manager for Human Services since 2004. Her responsibilities include leadership and day-to-day management of City’s twenty one million dollar Human Services Department, including child care programs, community and youth programs, substance abuse programs, services for homeless residents, workforce development programs, recreation programs, fuel assistance and summer nutrition programs, services to and programs for seniors and disabled residents. Together with other city leaders, she plays a major role in the citywide Agenda for Children initiative to enhance literacy and out of school time programs for children. From 1996 until 2003, she served as Deputy Director of the Department and before that served as Assistant to the City Manager from 1991-1995 where she was responsible for advising the City Manager and Deputy City Manager on policy and program issues. In that capacity, she helped lead the City’s legislative and programmatic response to the end of rent control and the City’s negotiations with its City Hospital, eventually resulting in the establishment of a separate public health and hospital authority.
Paul Parravano, is the Co-Director of Government and Community Relations of MIT’s Office of the President since 1991. His role involves fostering communication and understanding between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and all levels of government, major constituency groups, and MIT’s surrounding community. Paul’s keen sensitivity and passionate understanding encourages communication and resolution even when difficult issues might arise. Paul has always been a champion of the Kendall Community Group that has recognized and supported the Margaret Fuller House for over 15 years. The Kendall Community Group is a unique and important collaboration of local Companies and three non-profits that include the Margaret Fuller House, the Community Arts Center and Tutoring Plus. Paul has also been a leader in supporting our programs through numerous foundations and his advice and mentoring is a tremendous resource for the Margaret Fuller House. In Cambridge, Paul also works to strengthen MIT’s involvement in science education for K-12 teachers and students through a growing list of partnerships, especially with the Cambridge Public Schools.
Renae Gray is an amazing Renaissance women from our Area IV Community. In the true spirit of Margaret Fuller, an early champion of women, Renae has been a life-long advocate for women and a champion against domestic violence. Renae was a co-founder of the Boston Women’s Fund and served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund for five years. She has also led and consulted on diversity training for over twenty years. . Renae was a member of the Margaret Fuller House Board in the ‘70’s or ‘80’s and also co-chaired the Area IV Coalition for numerous years. Renae’s hard work and activism continues today. She currently serves on the Boards of the Cambridge YWCA and of the Cambridge Health Alliance. She is a member of the Cambridge African American Heritage Committee and works with New England Blacks in Philanthropy. Renae is very active in the Area 4 for Peace Committee and recently coordinated “Seven Secrets for Healthy Living”—a collaborative senior project of the MFNH and the Cambridge Public Health Department.
Ken Reeves was a Cambridge City Councillor for over 20 years and has been Mayor of Cambridge three times.. Ken has led many initiatives in Cambridge ranging from advocate for affordable housing, human service programs focusing on children and families, economic development and improved public education. Ken has been a champion for working families, civil rights issues, human rights issues and equality for gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgendered persons. Some of the projects Ken has seen to fruition are a new magnificent main library, a City wide Senior Center, new Police Communication Station, 5 youth and Community Centers, restoration of the War Memorial Pool and field house, and a 50 acre park on the site of the farmer city dump. Ken has also been an innovator in crafting social programs which support citizens to achieve a better quality of life. Some of the programs he has initiated are: the Cambridge Works Program (job assistance), Kids Council, Men of Color Task Force, Baby University and an office of College Success. Ken has been a tremendous supporter of the Margaret Fuller House over the years and continues to help the organization provide outstanding programs to families in the Port/Area 4.Ken served as the frist African American Mayor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the first openly black gay mayor in the United States.
Nancy and Richard have been Port/Area 4 residents for 3 decades and are strong advocates for neighborhood preservation and community building. Both joined the Area 4 Neighborhood Coalition (A4NC) soon after its founding, and Richard currently serves on the leadership group. They have also participated in the work of the Port Action Group to increase opportunities for young people and safety for all residents. For numerous years, Nancy and Richard worked with the A4NC, Cambridge United for Justice with Peace, and the Cambridge Peace Commission to organize the weekly Central Square Vigil for Justice with Peace. Both have supported the Margaret Fuller House over the years and continue to support a wide range of community organizing efforts.
Marian is an honored member of the Margaret Fuller Community, as she attended the “Marga” as a child growing up, where she enjoyed drama, Girl Scouts and summer camp. Marian remembers raising the flag at the House in 1958 in honor of Alaska becoming the 50th state. Her children also attended camp at the House. Marian served on the Margaret Fuller House Board for over 25 years, and was board president for 7 years. Marian has been a professor at Lesley University and is a coach and Senior Partner with Global Learning Partners. As an educator and consultant Marian has developed numerous seminars, workshops, client training, and strategic planning using a Dialogue Education approach. Marian continues to be involved in the Port/Area 4 community, and sits on the Board of the YWCA.
Denise Simmons has spent her entire adult life working to better her community – as Executive Director of the Cambridge Civic Unity Committee in the 1980s, as a member of the Cambridge School Committee in the 1990s, and, since 2002, as a member of the City Council. Currently in the first year of her seventh term, Denise was proud to serve as Mayor during the 2008-2009 term, and as Vice Mayor during the 2012-2013 term. Over her many decades of service, Denise has sought to make municipal government more responsive, more inclusive, and more effective.
Over the course of her time on the City Council, Denise has worked to open up City Hall to everyday citizens, winning praise for signature events such as the Senior Citizen Town Hall and LGBT Town Hall meetings. As Mayor, she established drop-in constituent hours every Friday morning, a practice she continues to hold every other Friday in City Hall. She has drafted and supported legislation promoting fairer affordable housing practices, and she has released a guide to help people search for and navigate through the affordable housing process. She also continues to lead efforts to open up job training opportunities to greater numbers of Cambridge residents, and to champion jobs that pay living wages and treat workers fairly. Denise continues to be an advocate for her constituents, in addition to being a policy maker, and she continually works to see that everybody has a voice in the conversations that shape our community.