Sam Kennedy knows firsthand that the city’s business leaders need to do their part to fight racism and encourage diversity.
The Red Sox president showed zero tolerance for racist behavior in the stands last week by permanently banning a fan from Fenway Park who uttered a racial slur to another spectator. That came a day after Orioles outfielder Adam Jones heard similar insults at Fenway. Kennedy (below) says it was the first time the team had issued a lifetime ban since the current ownership took over in 2002.
(Team co-owner John Henry also owns The Boston Globe.)
“We just felt it was time to . . . send a strong message that we’re not going to take this type of behavior at Fenway,” Kennedy says.
Kennedy is also trying to address the issue by working with Colette Phillips and her Get Konnected! networking efforts for multicultural professionals. He hosted members of the Get Konnected! “GK 100” lineup of influential people of color last August at Fenway.
Next up, he’ll be one of 25 local leaders to participate in a “speed mentoring” event that Phillips is organizing on May 30 at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts headquarters in the Back Bay. The roster includes executives from various sectors of the area’s economy, such as Barr Foundation president Jim Canales, WCVB general manager Bill Fine, Eastern Bank president Quincy Miller, and Emerson College president Lee Pelton, to name a few.
“Business school is great, going to an Ivy League school is great,” Kennedy says. “But mentorship, in my mind, is the most important thing, when you learn about an industry from somebody who is actually doing it.” — JON CHESTO
Revolutionary banking brings a big oops
Poor William Dawes.
His compatriot Paul Revere gets all the glory for the midnight ride. Dawes, on the other hand, gets his name misspelled, even when he’s part of the main attraction.
On Wednesday, Berkshire Bank threw a grand-opening event to celebrate its entry into the Boston banking scene. The Pittsfield-based institution is the second-largest community bank in Massachusetts, but many in the Boston area may not have heard of it. So the opening of its first Boston branch, on Congress Street, leaned heavily on the area’s revolutionary history and local legends.
The event featured former Boston Bruins captain Ray Bourque, a spokesman for the bank, along with costumed Revolutionary War heroes.
And the press release invited guests to celebrate the “revolutionary banking experience” with Paul Revere and William Dodds.
We had heard of Revere, whose ride to warn the Colonial minutemen about the approaching British troops was immortalized in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem.
But we were puzzled about Dodds, and Google was no help.
It turns out that the bank had misspelled Dawes’s name in the press release, according to a spokeswoman.
For you history buffs, Dawes was one of several riders who warned colonists about the British and was credited with helping them prepare for the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
He might be best remembered now for his obscurity. Even an 1896 parody of
Longfellow’s poem focusing on Dawes noted, “ ’Tis all very well for children to hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, But why should my name be quite forgot?”
— DEIRDRE FERNANDES
BCA gets $150,000 for Muslim performance
Donald Trump’s presidency may be unnerving to many Muslims, but his anti-Muslim policies have indirectly benefited the Boston Center for the Arts, a nonprofit that operates a South End performance complex.
The organization was recently awarded a $150,000 grant — the largest it has received so far for its coming fiscal year — by the Doris Duke Foundation of Islamic Art, which supports efforts to connect Muslims and non-Muslims.
The money will be used to hold Boston-area workshops with Muslim communities, including immigrants and refugees, who will share their personal stories.
Those stories will be woven into a performance by Somerville’s Anikaya Dance Theater and staged at the BCA’s Calderwood Pavilion in spring 2018.
“There’s a need for this more now than there was a year ago because of the rise in anti-Muslim activity and rhetoric,” said the BCA’s marketing director, Robin Allen LaPlante. “And now, more than ever, the arts can really help to build empathy and bridges.”
This will be only the second time in recent memory that the BCA has commissioned a work of art, LaPlante said. Its first was a March performance by Boston-based Masary Studios using an “artistic risk” grant from the Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity-Building Initiative.
That successful experience, LaPlante added, “gave us confidence and ability” to do another.
— SACHA PFEIFFER
Raise a pint, and talk about helping veterans
By day, Dave Pappas is an HR consultant.
But in his free time, the former Marine is crazy for craft beer: He has crisscrossed New England on his motorcycle to sip (and to blog about) every brew that he could find.
In 2015, Pappas got sick of seeing headlines about fellow veterans who were struggling to overcome injuries and find employment and housing. He wondered if some of the kind souls he had met at breweries could help.
So began Pappas’ Black Ale Project. Under its auspices, 10 New England craft breweries have released special dark beers and will donate some or all of the proceeds to veterans charities.
And now, with Memorial Day approaching, Pappas has announced that another 16 breweries will join.
Leading the way: Medusa Brewing in Hudson, whose milk stout raised $7,095 for the New England Center and Home for Veterans. Other Massachusetts breweries taking part include Wormtown Brewery, Stone Cow Brewery, Castle Island Brewing, Idle Hands Craft Ales, True West Brewing, Brewmaster Jack, Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing, Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer, Barrel House Z, Henry & Fran Brewing, and Bone Up Brewing.
“Every glass of beer poured starts a conversation about the struggles our veterans face,” Pappas says.
“Suicide, mental and physical health issues, homelessness — these are topics we want people to talk about and ultimately do something about.” — DAN ADAMS