For Immediate Release: November 18, 2019
—United South End Settlements (USES), with the support of The Boston Foundation, hosted a screening and discussion of the film HARRIET for more than 50 families and friends of the 127-year-old nonprofit—
Chestnut Hill, MA — Last week, on Tuesday, November 12, 127-year old nonprofit United South End Settlements (USES) hosted a screening of the film HARRIET at Showcase SuperLux in Chestnut Hill, MA for over 50 families and friends of the local nonprofit, thanks to the generous support of The Boston Foundation. Following the screening, a panel discussion was led by President & CEO Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle about being a woman of courage and carrying Harriet Tubman’s legacy into the 21st century in the continued fight for freedom and equality. Panelists included Reverend Irene Monroe, Marie St. Fleur, and Frieda Garcia, with closing remarks by USES board member Gretchen Cook-Anderson.
“What Harriet Tubman did all those years ago still rings true today, with the stark reality of the median net worth of whites remaining nearly 10 times the size of blacks, and nearly one in five black families having zero or negative net worth — twice the rate of white families,” said Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle, USES President & CEO. “Here at USES, our work is aimed at disrupting the cycle of poverty for children and their families by harnessing the power of our diverse community. So by showing films like HARRIET to our families and community, we are giving space for a vital discussion on how we can continue the fight for equality today – because it is just as important now as it was in the 19th century,”
The film was screened at Showcase SuperLux in Chestnut Hill, a local cinema chain in the New England area. “We were thrilled to be able to host this screening for the United South End Settlements community and champion the important message of the film,” said Rebecca Stein, VP of Studio Relations & US Marketing for National Amusements / Showcase Cinemas.
“I believe we all have a bit of Harriet in us,” said Gretchen Cook-Anderson, the USES board member who provided closing remarks for the evening. “We have to keep up our push for freedom and equity in 2020 with Harriet in our hearts, even when we find ourselves laboring in private, even when the multitudes don’t approve nor acknowledge. It is with Harriet’s undaunted sense of what’s right…and what should be that we keep ourselves walking in the darkness toward the light of change. In fact, I’d argue that collectively we indeed are the light that will illuminate the way to the fullness of racial equity and freedom in these times and beyond – if we remain determined to shine.”
The panel, from left to right: Rev. Irene Monroe; Marie St. Fleur, J.D.; Frieda Garcia; and Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle
USES Board Member Gretchen Cook-Anderson gives her powerful closing remarks
Over 50 USES families attended the special screening
About United South End Settlements
United South End Settlements (USES) offers programs that holistically support families in achieving economic mobility. We help parents and caregivers develop their own capacity to reach their goals, increase their income and assets and connect with new networks of people through one-on-one coaching and a workforce development program, which prepares participants for administrative work as a first step on a career pathway. For children and youth, we provide quality education and enrichment opportunities that foster personal development and social-emotional skills such as perseverance, communication, teamwork and problem-solving. Each summer, USES’s Camp Hale serves over 225 boys and girls, ages 6-17 years, with the goal of improving their sense of well-being, social skills and awareness of personal potential. We believe that as families increase their income and assets, become more resilient and connect to a diverse network, they and their children are more likely to develop the necessary skills to disrupt the cycle of poverty. For more information about USES, please visit www.uses.org.
About The Boston Foundation
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. In 2016, the Foundation and its donors paid $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations both here and around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation or TPI, visit tbf.org or call 617.338.1700.
About Showcase SuperLux
Showcase SuperLux delivers a luxury movie-going experience and is the latest concept from National Amusements, Inc., a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating more than 932 movie screens in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America under its Showcase, Multiplex, SuperLux and Cinema de Lux brands. Showcase SuperLux blends advanced movie entertainment, food and drink, technology, design and service to deliver an unparalleled experience. Guests enjoy premium reserved seating, delicious food and beverage options from the in-seat dining menu, and may choose between the SuperLux and Lux Lite experience. All guests are invited to relax in the SuperLux Lounge before or after their movie to enjoy a light bite or beverage from the full-service lobby bar. Guests of all ages are welcome for all shows. For more information or to reserve your seat, please visit showcasesuperlux.com.
About the Panel
Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle, Moderator
Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle became President and CEO of United South End Settlements (USES) in February 2015. In her role, she drives the overall organizational, operational, and programmatic strategy for all USES activities with the goal of helping families stabilize through access to resources, become more resilient, and build a diverse and supportive network. Maicharia has outlined a new strategic path for the 125-year-old, non-profit with a mission aimed at harnessing the power of its diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families. Vision125 includes a revitalized approach to programming that focuses on integrating programs to serve the whole family—from early childhood education and after school youth programs to coaching and workplace readiness programs for parents. Community engagement has been an integral part of USES’s history and remains critical in the new vision as well. Maicharia is actively encouraging neighbors of the South End and surrounding areas to bring their distinct skills, perspectives, and resources to USES, creating a diverse and inclusive community where all families can thrive. With nearly two decades of leadership and management, fundraising, community development, and program innovation experience, she has routinely developed, grown, and elevated organizations in and around Boston. Her service and leadership extend to volunteer roles with Mothers for Justice and Equality (MJE), Frieda Garcia, Park Big Sisters, Needham Education Foundation, Community Center of Needham (CCN), and Simmons School of Management Alumni Association. She currently serves on the board of SparkShare and the Massachusetts State Workforce Board. MassHire. Maicharia received an MBA from Simmons School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Connecticut.
Frieda Garcia, Panelist
Frieda Garcia is a native of the Dominican Republic who moved to New York City at the age of eight. After receiving her B.A. degree from the New School of Social Research, she came to Boston in 1965 to seek a job in social work. Since then, she has been a tireless activist and leader, working to ensure equal opportunity and access for all members of the community. During Ms. Garcia’s tenure as a social worker at Roxbury Multi-Service Center, Boston’s Latino population began to explode. In 1971, she became the founding director of La Alianza Hispana, one of the city’s first agencies to focus on services for poor Latino families.In 1981, Ms. Garcia took over executive leadership of United South End Settlements (USES), that traces its roots to the establishment of South End House in 1891. For the next twenty years, within the context of rapid gentrification and community change, Ms. Garcia oversaw development of new programs and organizational growth. Over the years, Ms. Garcia’s leadership and community action skills have been in great demand. She has immersed herself in efforts to improve many aspects of community life in the City of Boston. Most notably, she was a Board member, then Chair and is now Emerita at The Boston Foundation. During her tenure as Chair, that organization – originally called the Permanent Charity Fund – became a free-standing, highly influential community foundation that has helped shape the vibrant Boston social and economic landscape. Ms. Garcia was also one of the founders, the first Chairperson, and then a Board member of the Committee for Boston Public Housing, which seeks to build tenant capacity to assume more responsibility in decision-making around public housing issues.
Rev. Irene Monroe, Panelist
Rev. Irene Monroe is an African-American ordained minister, lesbian feminist public theologian, an activist, and a sought-after motivational speaker and preacher. Rev. Monroe does the weekly Monday segment ALL REV’D UP on WGBH (89.7 FM) of Boston Public Radio, that’s also a podcast. Monroe is a Visiting Scholar in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology, and the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail. Monroe’s syndicated religion columns appear in Bay Windows, Cambridge Chronicle, Dig Boston, and in several cities across the country and in the U.K, and Canada. As an activist Monroe has received numerous awards: in 2019 Boston’s 25 Most Influential LGBTQ+ People of Color award; in 2017 the Cambridge Mayor’s Luminary Award; in the 2015 Top 25 LGBT Power Players of New England Award by Boston Spirit Magazine and the Open Door Award for work with HIV/AIDS, Black Church and LGBTQ community, to name a few. Her papers are at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College’s research library on the history of women in America. www.irenemonroe.com, @revimonroe
Marie St. Fleur, J.D., Panelist
Marie St. Fleur is a highly effective and passionate organizational leader and consultant. With 30 years of legislative, municipal and legal leadership linking public and private resources, she facilitates transformational changes that enhance the quality of life in vulnerable communities. She has driven grassroots research on early education and care and workforce systems, advocated for change in the public sector, and expanded the engagement of families, providers, policymakers, government agencies and the public. As the former CEO and President of a state-wide nonprofit, Ms. St. Fleur spearheaded the formation of the influential Put MA Kids First coalition, securing increased investment in early education and care in Massachusetts for two consecutive fiscal years. Ms. St. Fleur was appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino on June 13, 2010 as the Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment for the City of Boston and led Mayor Menino’s Circle of Promise Initiative and oversaw the Department of Intergovernmental Relations, The Office of New Bostonians, The Small and Local Business/Boston Jobs for Boston Residents Policy and his Diversity and Reentry Initiatives. Former State Representative Marie St. Fleur was first elected to serve in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1999, and is the first Haitian-American elected to state office in the United States. As the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Arts and Humanities, Representative St. Fleur championed two-way bilingual education, alternative education and led the establishment of the new Massachusetts Board and Department of Early Education and Care. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Representative St. Fleur earned a Law Degree from Boston College Law School. Ms. St. Fleur served as Chair of The Advisory Council for the Haiti Fund at The Boston Foundation, is a former trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation and past President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. She has been featured on WCVB Television’s City Line and Chronicle, WGBH Television’s Greater Boston, Boston Magazine and Commonwealth Magazine. Ms. St. Fleur is a recipient of Boston Business Journal’s 2014 Women Up award and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, and Nativity Preparatory School.