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RCC Hosts CESJ Groundbreaking Ceremony

RCC Hosts CESJ Groundbreaking Ceremony

Group Groundbreaking Photo
RCC Officials and CESJ Supporters

Shovels in hand, Roxbury Community College (RCC) officials and other political figures including U.S. Senator Edward Markey gathered in Roxbury on Friday, June 21, for a groundbreaking ceremony that marked a big step towards making the College’s Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) a reality. The center’s work will focus on preparing low-income students and students of color to obtain jobs and develop their own small businesses in high growth industries like green tech and healthcare.

“This Center will create a unique opportunity to diversify the clean energy workforce,” said U.S. Senator Edward Markey, (D) Massachusetts. “We won't just be creating a pathway to jobs for these students, we will be putting them on a path towards careers. We will be future proofing them, providing the skills that will serve them and their families in the new clean energy economy.” Senator Markey made a major impact on the CESJ by helping secure $4 million in Congressionally Directed Spending for the project.

The CESJ will be housed in the historic David Dudley House, built in 1825. “This groundbreaking for the Center for Economic and Social Justice represents a new beginning,” said Luciano Ramos, the Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Justice. “It is the community coming together to reclaim and rename the purpose of this building.” The building will be renovated to retain as much of the period look and details as possible, while using modern materials and systems to achieve model energy efficiency both for students and community members. The building is being renamed as part of an ongoing effort to uplift and empower the Greater Roxbury community.

Jackie Jenkins-Scott, Interim President of Roxbury Community College was one of the driving forces behind this project. “Our children will be able to walk by and see this magnificent building. Our community will be able to come into this building and get learning and education and to further their dreams and their vision for the future,” Jenkins-Scott said. Roxbury Community College’s incoming president Dr. Jonathan K. Jefferson attended the ceremony. He starts his new position July 1.

“On this day, we reclaim old dreams and join old friends and new allies in the task of bringing justice and peace from the realm of possibility to reality,” said Rev. Ray Hammond, Roxbury Community College Foundation Chair. Through RCC’s fundraising efforts in partnership with the Roxbury Community College Foundation the project has received generous support from: the Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery initiative, The Boston Foundation, the New Commonwealth Fund, and McMillan Stewart Foundation among others.

“This is about reclaiming history and restoring justice. The value of the education these students will receive will grow with their experience and will grow with our economy,” said Lee Pelton. President of The Boston Foundation.

Other dignitaries on hand included Massachusetts State Senator Liz Miranda, Roxbury Community College Board Chair Steve Tompkins, Roeshana Moore-Evans, Executive Director of the Harvard Legacy of Slavery Institute and RCC alum; and Zac Rich, Chief of Program & Evaluation, New Commonwealth Fund.

Boston Globe Article on CESJ Groundbreaking

BBJ Article on CESJ Groundbreaking

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