Cambridge Human Rights Commission Fair Housing Award Recipients
The Cambridge Human Rights Commission’s 17th Annual Fair Housing Award Ceremony on April 27 marked the culmination of a month of fair housing activities, including the Commission’s annual poster and essay contest for middle school students in Cambridge. After fair housing workshops at a variety of schools and after school programs, the Commission received 64 entries to the contest which represented students from across the city.
Cambridge Human Rights Commissioner Christopher Hope, who delivered the keynote speech at the awards ceremony, spoke about his childhood experience with family homelessness in Atlanta, Georgia. As a young student, he saw education as the critical route out of these circumstances. His story spoke directly to the students who attended the event as he emphasized the important interplay between housing and education. Mr. Hope is currently a master’s student at Harvard Divinity School, a graduate of Tufts University and a social activist.
The Commission also recognized the work of Marianne Colangelo who was nominated and awarded the “Innovations in Fair Housing Award.” Ms. Colangelo is the Information and Referral Coordinator for the city’s Department of Human Services Program. The award recognizes her work in creating and maintaining materials on community housing resources, specifically the pocket guide, the brochure and the Cambridge/Somerville Resource Guide. These materials are invaluable to Cambridge residents, particularly those who are experiencing issues with respect to their housing, and to the service providers (including the Commission) who assist those esidents.
The ceremony was co-sponsored by the Cambridge Savings Bank, the Cambridge Trust Company and the East Cambridge Savings Bank who are long-term supporters of the event. Student winners received prizes which included savings bonds from the banks.