Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds

English for New Bostonians (ENB) recently recognized ABCD for its emerald anniversary, 20 years of uninterrupted partnership with the organization. ABCD’s English as a Second Language Program (ESOL) was one of the original 13 grantees when former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino established ENB in 2002. 

Other ENB partners include Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, East Boston Community Council, Haitian Multi Service Center at Catholic Charities Yawkey Center, Jamaica Plain Community Adult Learning Program and St. Mark Community Education.

Rubies are in order for ABCD’s 40th anniversary as co-founder of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition MIRA, the largest coalition in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. MIRA is a dynamic and multi‐ethnic coalition with 140+ organizational members, including grassroots community organizations; refugee resettlement agencies; providers of social, legal and health services, faith-based organizations and civil and human rights advocates. 

With offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, MIRA advances its mission through education and training, leadership development, institutional organizing, strategic communications, policy analysis and advocacy. MIRA is a respected leader on immigrant issues at the state and national levels, and an authoritative source of information and policy analysis for policy-makers, advocates, immigrant communities and the media.

During the summer of 2022, ABCD marked our diamond jubilee! Sixty years ago, ABCD was a startup in the fight against poverty in America, launching in 1962 with a $1.9 million grant from the Ford Foundation. When Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act in 1964, ABCD was designated as Boston’s official antipoverty agency. 

As a Community Action Agency, we are served by a tripartite board comprised of representatives from the public sector, private sector, and neighborhoods. The organization offers some 75 programs and services to assist and uplift under-resourced people and families through proven and innovative programs including Head Start and Early Head Start, youth development and career training, food security, housing and homelessness prevention, ESOL and immigration services, fuel assistance and climate equity & impact, elder services and more.

In addition, ABCD has been integral to the establishment of several institutions including the community health center movement; the Women, Infants & Children program; Roxbury Multi-Service Center, Urban College of Boston MIRA and many more. It has been notable for driving community participation, leadership building and community engagement.