COVID-19 Updates
Updated February 1, 2021

Cambridge College will continue remote teaching through Spring 2021 term. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community are important to us. Please see our updates regarding COVID-19 protocols and campus plans.

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Black History Month 2021


In celebration of Black History Month, Cambridge College is highlighting leaders who have significantly impacted our communities and our world.  This month-long series will feature a short Q&A of some of our own Black Gems of Excellence (faculty, staff and board members) as well as profiles of transcendent public figures and heroes who have changed lives through their advocacy and service to our vibrant communities and society at-large. New leaders will be added throughout the month.

Unquestionably, highlighting the college’s Black Gems or 28 days of exploring Black history is not enough. As society moves forward, Black people are no longer looking to be tolerated, rather they are affirming their belonging and full equity as citizens and human beings. Modern-day campaigns such as Black Lives Matter show that the fight for full freedom and equality remains a priority in the Black community, and it continues the legacy of those that have come before who have made the groundbreaking accomplishments that we seek to honor during February and through the year.

Interested in Black History Month events? See list at the bottom of this page.



J Bearce
Jacqueline Bearce, EdD
Program Coordinator, Advisor and Senior Faculty

Who or what has inspired you?

The inspiration for my professional work in counseling and teaching, and in DEI, is rooted in the values and life principles given to me by my parents. My father was a socially active and politically outspoken physician in southern New Jersey. One of our family’s stories is about the night the Ku Klux Klan burnt a cross on our lawn.

Courtenay N. Griffin, MBA
Courtenay N. Griffin, MBA
Assistant Director of Admissions, Adjunct Faculty, DSO

Who or what has inspired you?  

One individual who has inspired me throughout my life is Nelson Mandela. He states, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." 

Stephanie Brown
Stephanie Browne, PhD
CC Board of Trustees; Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Chief Diversity Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield

Who or what has inspired you?  

My family legacies.  My maternal grandmother, mother and aunt all were huge role models for me.  All college educated, professional women and entrepreneurs who showed me that I could achieve what ever I wanted.  They paved the way.

Thulani DeMarsay
Thulani DeMarsay, PhD
Senior Faculty, Wellness & Health Promotion

Who or what has inspired you?

As a child, I lived in a communal home with political activists, who were devoted to social justice and racial equality, an experience that precipitated my call to service. At this time there was tremendous political upheaval and racial tension in Boston, and I recall people of color being murdered, harassed by police, and jailed without cause. 

Che Madyun
Che Madyun
Senior Instructor, School of Undergraduate Studies

Who or what has inspired you?

My mother is my main source of inspiration. Other sources of inspiration come from “Roxbury neighborhood leaders/mothers” (Jessie Farrier, Lessie Span, and Sarah Ann Shaw) who encourage me as a community organizer; and dancer/actress Lola Falana, whose Broadway performance inspired me to become a dancer, choreographer, and actress. 

Ed Stone
Edward Stone
Senior Faculty, School of Psychology & Counseling

My mother is the one person who I would say has had the greatest impact on the way I see and understand the world because she has never been someone to let others write her story for her. She’s one of those people who told me I could do or be anything and she meant it when she said it. 

Daniel Ibarrondo
Daniel Ibarrondo
Associate Dean of Online Programming

Who or what has inspired you? 

I was inspired by my every aspect of my Harlem community and my 6th grade teacher, Ms. Caroline Malinowski. One day in class she said, “You kids need to learn how to question everything!” That was an Aha! moment for me. That same day I started to question everything! Why am I witnessing so many murders at my young age?

Lauretta Siggers
Lauretta Siggers
Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Development, Faculty Member

What does racial equity and social justice mean to you?

To me, while different in its meaning, both racial equity and social justice means everyone is treated fairly and equally no matter what circumstances are being presented.  It means that black people should not be diminished because of the color of their skin and should be given the same opportunities. 

Clyde Kennard
Clyde Kennard
Veteran, Student, Civil Rights Activist

When it comes to Black civil rights progress, Clyde Kennard’s story is a painful reminder of how much individual struggle and suffering can be endured in the fight to access and achieve basic human dignities.

Kennard was born in 1927 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  When he turned 18, he joined the military, and served for seven years...

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris
Vice President of the United States of America

Vice President Kamala Harris made history on Inauguration Day 2021 when she became the first woman and woman of color in American history to hold the office.

Harris is the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father and is the second Black woman and first South Asian American senator in history. 

Regina Robinson
Regina Robinson
Dean of Student Affairs

Who or what has inspired you?  
My parents: Dad has had a speech impediment since his first day of kindergarten but that didn’t stop him from becoming a preacher for over 45 years, radio show host for 38 years, and faculty member for 15 years! Mom was a shy girl from South Carolina who has used her singing abilities to inspire thousands of people over her 55 year music ministry around the world. They taught me to persist against all odds and use your gifts and talents to serve others.

Susan Ifill
Susan M. Ifill ['97]
Chairwoman, Cambridge College Board of Trustees, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Neighborworks America

Who or what has inspired you?

Every woman of color who was told – “no, you can’t”. Starting with my Grandmother who wanted a BA in education after she was married and a mother (she went on to graduate from Boston University in her 40’s), and my mother who was told after contracting polio at the age of 20 that she’d never walk again, wouldn’t be able to finish nursing school...

Phillip Page
Phillip Page
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

What is your role at the college?

I joined the college in October, 2011, as Director of Government, Business and Community Partnerships/Special Assistant to the President. In 2016, I moved into the role of Vice President of Strategic Partnerships with the responsibility to identify, create and nurture meaningful partnerships which contribute to the academic experience of students and faculty, and that establish the College as a resource for career development.

Lloyd Austin
Lloyd Austin
U.S. Secretary of Defense

Lloyd Austin is the first black Secretary of Defense in U.S. history, confirmed officially by the Senate under the Biden Administration on January 22, 2021.

During his hearing, Austin said, “I know that being a member of the president’s Cabinet—a political appointee—requires a different perspective and unique duties from a career in uniform.

Ken Johnson
Ken Johnson
Cambridge College Board of Trustees, Vice President and Project Manager at Loomis, Sayles & Company

Who or what has inspired you? 
I would have to say my biggest source of inspiration has been my parents.  I was raised in the Midwest (St. Louis) by my mother Geraldine (Gerry) and my step-father (Rev. James Paine).  They were not afforded the opportunity to pursue formal educations, but they made the most of their life experiences and were firm believers in the value of hard work and the power of prayer. 

Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman
Poet and Activist

Amanda Gorman, at 22, is a beacon of hope for how much can be accomplished by a young Black woman in the name of healing this country’s deep racial divide, through the power of poetry. 

Gorman, who performed her breathtaking poem “The Hill We Climb” during the Jan. 20 Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris, was the youngest person to do so.

cicely tyson
Cicely Tyson
Award-Winning Film and Stage Actor, Fashion Model, Author, and Champion of Equality for Black People

Cicely Tyson, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 96, was a luminous star of the page, stage, and screen who devoted her career to empowering women of color by choosing to portray them in a definitively positive light.  

Tyson’s first job out of high school was as a secretary for the American Red Cross. 

Felisa Albert
Dr. FeLisa Albert
Academic Success Coach

Who has been an inspiration in your life?
My inspiration came from my parents (especially my father), Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Oprah, and Michelle Obama to name a few.

What does racial equity and social justice mean to you?
Examining race as a social construct and what intersects race, and how those unjust and unfair practices and behaviors...

Black History Month Events 2021

Available all Month

The Boston Globe Black History Month Film Festival 2021

13th by Ava DuVernay (on Netflix)

A Catalyst for Humanity: A Conversation with Isabel Wilkerson (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

Goin' Back to T-Town (on PBS American Experience)

Meet Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin (WGBH Forum Network)


Available on Dates Shown

The events below are provided on this list as a courtesy; they are not activities of Cambridge College. All information was current as of the time of the list creation. Please contact individual organizations for more information or to ask questions.

Date Title & Link Short Description

Monday, Feb 8

How the Turntables Have Turned! A Conversation About Hip-Hop & The Media
Presented by the Cambridge Public Library

Hip-Hop has triumphantly emerged from the underground to take its place in the mainstream of popular culture; the influence of hip hop extends to television, film, advertising, fashion, media, language, and more. In recent years, there has been a shift in tone in how media outlets consume and present hip-hop to their respective audiences.


Tuesday, Feb 9

Presented by Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Tonya M. Foster’s writing and research focus on ideas of place and emplacement, on intersections between the visual and the written, and on mapping the 20th- and 21st-century African Americas. During her Radcliffe year, Foster is completing a book-length manuscript of poetry, “AHotB,” that takes up Fanny Lou Hamer’s idea that “a black women’s body is never hers alone.”


Saturday, Feb 13

A Nubian Movement: African Dance Workshop ft. Wyoma
Presented by the Boston Public Library


Learn about and celebrate various African dance forms with local performance artist, Wyoma.


Tuesday, Feb 16


Grounded: Black Professional Couples in Boston: A Film Presentation and Conversation

Presented by Eastern Bank

A film presentation followed by a conversation moderated by Callie Crossley of WGBH and joined by Legacy Inc. Writer/Producer Wanda Whitmore. This new film brings Boston’s Black Business Leaders – who happen to be married – together to reflect on the impact of their relationships and how that bond has strengthened and shaped their path to success, and their hope for grounding the next generation of Black leaders in Boston.

Wednesday, Feb 17


Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Munroe Trotter

Presented by The Boston Public Library

William Monroe Trotter (1872–1934), though still virtually unknown to the wider public, was an unlikely American hero. With the stylistic verve of a newspaperman and the unwavering fearlessness of an emancipator, he galvanized black working-class citizens to wield their political power despite the violent racism of post- Reconstruction America. For more than thirty years, Harvard-educated Trotter edited and published the Guardian, a weekly Boston newspaper that was read across the nation. Defining himself against the gradualist politics of Booker T. Washington and the elitism of W.E.B. Du Bois, Trotter advocated for a radical vision of black liberation that prefigured leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Must register by noon on the day of the event

Thursday, Feb 18


Confronting Racial Injustice Series: Slavery, Wealth Creation, and Intergenerational Wealth

Presented by Northeastern University School of Law Criminal Justice Task Force

From the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, slavery has been central to creating wealth and generating race-based inequality in Massachusetts. Family fortunes, institutional endowments, and public budgets in the commonwealth have all benefitted from the spoils of slavery. This panel discussion between academic and public historians explores Massachusetts’s connections to slavery and the slave trade, the wealth -- and the poverty -- slavery created and bequeathed, and how the legacies of slavery are reflected in injustices that haunt Massachusetts to this day.

Thursday, Feb 18


Nantucket Lecture Series: White Allies and Religious Tolerance: Quakerism Impact on Nantucket Island Slavery

Presented by Dr. Frances Karttunen, Museum of African American History

The Museum of African American History is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of African Americans. In Boston and Nantucket, the Museum has preserved two historic sites and two Black Heritage Trails® that tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century.

Thursday, Feb 18

Dream Chasers 2021: One Mic, Many Voices
Presented by the City of Boston Department of Youth Engagement and Employment

The City of Boston's Department of Youth Engagement & Employment, in partnership with Black Employee Network Millennials, My Brother's Keeper Boston, Teen Empowerment and the Mattapan Teen Center, invite you to join us for Dream Chasers 2021.

Each year during Black History Month, Dream Chasers brings together youth performers from Boston neighborhoods alongside a panel of community leaders to celebrate the powerful voices and aspirations of our youth, and the impact that community members of color have on the vibrance and success of our City.

Tuesday, Feb 23


Anna Malaika Tubbs — The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation
Presented by the Boston Public Library

An online conversation with Anna Malaika Tubbs, author of The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation. The moderator for this talk, which is part of the BPL's Repairing America Series, will be MAAH Director of Education and Interpretation L’Merchie Frazier.

In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black mother­hood by telling the story of the women who raised and shaped three of America’s most pivotal heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

Wednesday, Feb 24


A Conversation with Joan Wallace-Benjamin, PhD 

Presented by the Cambridge College Office of the President

Joan Wallace-Benjamin is the author of "Leading a Life in Balance: Principles of Leadership from the Executive Suite to the Family Table." She will discuss how the influences of heritage, family, school, and community shape who we become and guide our journey to lead a life of growth and fulfillment.

She joined The Home for Little Wanderers in 2003 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Under her guidance, the agency gained prominence in the field of child and family service providers, becoming a leader in innovative programming for underserved populations and expanding its role of advocacy for all children. She retired from The Home after 15 years in 2018. Since then, she has written a leadership/memoir and launched an executive coaching practice.

Wednesday, Feb 24

6-6:45pm Book Club Discussion: "Riot Baby"

Presented by The Boston Globe/

"Riot Baby" is a 2020 science fiction novel by Massachusetts-born Tochi Onyebuchi. In his first novel for adults, Onyebuchi's "Riot Baby" explores a dystopian reality of Black America exploring race, justice, and resistance.

Join in our discussion with Onyebuchi and moderator Meg Wasmer, co-owner/operator of Copper Dog Books in Beverly.

Wednesday, Feb 24


A Reno Family Foundation Symposium Caste: An Evening with Isabel Wilkerson

Presented by the Museum of Science, Boston

A special virtual symposium and evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson for a conversation about her #1 New York Times bestseller Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, and the hierarchy of human divisions that define our lives today.

In the book the New York Times declared “An instant American classic…” Wilkerson examines the unseen caste system and hierarchy of human rankings that has shaped our nation. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Through riveting stories, she shows how the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics.

Thursday, Feb 25


City of Cambridge Black History Month Celebration with Acclaimed Authors Danielle Evans and Kim McLarin

Presented by City of Cambridge and Cambridge Public Library

Join us to celebrate Black History Month with Danielle Evans, author of The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories in conversation with Kim McLarin, author of a soon to be published critic of James Baldwin's Another Country. The event is co-sponsored by the Mayor's Office, City of Cambridge Employees' Committee on Diversity, the City Manager's Office, and Cambridge Public Library.

Registration is required. There are 277 seats available.