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2018 'We Are Boston' gala honorees announced


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Immigrant Advancement

Honorees lauded for work with and for Boston's diverse communities. Youth honorees include Boston's Lenylse Ferreira and Lina Huang.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) recently announced that 2018 World Series champion Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, tax and advisory firm KPMG, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), will be honorees at 2018's "We Are Boston" Gala taking place on Tuesday, November 27 at the Park Plaza Hotel. "We Are Boston" is the largest event of its kind, raising funds for the MOIA Mini-Grant Program, which supports local nonprofit organizations that help Boston area immigrants.

"Boston's strength is derived from its cultural diversity and wonderful traditions represented within each of Boston's diverse communities," said Mayor Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants. "Every year we hold the We Are Boston Gala to recognize the important contributions of our communities and signal to our city that Boston is and always will be a welcoming city to everyone regardless of circumstance or status."

Last year's "We Are Boston" Gala funded ten immigrant-led nonprofit organizations that deliver a combination of services to immigrants including welcoming and supporting evacuees from recent natural disasters; organizing and hosting immigration legal screening clinics; and hosting and facilitating family-preparedness education workshops. Twenty-eight percent of Boston's population comprises immigrant communities.

At the Gala, Mayor Walsh will present four awards that honor outstanding accomplishments of organizations and individuals who embrace diversity and cultural heritage as part of their work or charitable activities. The 2018 We Are Boston awards and recipients are:

  • The Pride of Boston Award, awarded this year to World Series Champion Red Sox Manager Alex Cora for supporting and advocating for underrepresented and underserved communities, regardless of place of origin. Through his approaches and actions, Cora has contributed to building a united Boston by supporting Bostonians and their communities of origin. In his first year as manager and alongside Mayor Walsh, he delivered an airplane full of aid supplies to Hurricane Maria survivors to his native Puerto Rico, and brought the city its fourth World Series championship. Photos from that trip are available here.

  • The We Are Boston Corporate Leadership Honoree, awarded to KPMG for its business' embrace of diversity and its significant contributions to Boston's immigrant communities;

  • The 2018 Community Champion Honoree, given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to recognize its MFA Citizens program, which since 2017 has offered free one-year family memberships to newly naturalized U.S. citizens living in Massachusetts; and

  • The We Are Boston Youth Action Award Honorees, given to Lenylse Ferreira and Lina Huang are being recognized for their invaluable contributions in promoting and embracing Boston's rich diversity, and for facilitating immigrants' full participation in the life of the City of Boston.

The 2018 Gala Co-Chairs are Verizon New England Region President Donna Cupelo and Mike Scannell, Senior Vice President for State Street Bank and President of State Street Foundation.

"The 'We Are Boston' Gala is a special evening to celebrate our diverse cultures, and highlight the contributions immigrants and children of immigrants make to this city. It is also an opportunity to remind ourselves that the immigrant experience is not easy and that integration requires resilience," said Alejandra St. Guillen, director of the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement. "At MOIA, we are more committed than ever to make sure that our immigrant neighbors, friends, families, colleagues in the city know that they belong, that they are part of the fabric of our city."

About the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement

The Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) works to ensure the full participation of immigrants within the civic, economic, social and cultural life of Boston. Every year, MOIA assists over 2,000 residents by connecting them to English language classes, helping them obtain citizenship application assistance, facilitating access to city services, and providing accurate information about immigration laws -- all of which helps immigrants contribute socially and economically to the city.

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