For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristen Elworthy
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BOSTON, MA — As the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party approaches, local nonprofit Revolutionary Spaces, has announced the honorees for “The Legacy of the Tea Party: Honoring Community Changemakers,” which will recognize the work of three Community Changemakers who have brought people together through dialogue to advance civic action and fair representation. Revolutionary Spaces, which stewards the Old South Meeting House, where the community meetings that launched the Boston Tea Party were held, will honor three distinguished individuals: Rahsaan Hall, President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts; Arline Isaacson, Co-Chair of the Massachusetts GLBTQ Political Caucus; and Sean Simonini, founder of the Massachusetts Association of Student Representatives.
“As we reflect on the meaning of the Boston Tea Party nearing the eve of its 250th anniversary, Rahsaan, Arline, and Sean represent some of the best examples of civic engagement in action in the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Nathaniel Sheidley, Revolutionary Spaces President & CEO. “Much like the members of our founding generation, each honoree has inspired collaboration and collective action to ensure diverse voices are heard in the pursuit of positive change.”
These Changemakers represent a less-remembered portion of the Boston Tea Party: weeks of community meetings preceding the event when the Body of the People gathered at the Old South Meeting House to reach a shared purpose in responding to the arrival of the tea and insisting on the bedrock principle of representation.
“As we examine our Revolutionary history 250 years later, it is critical that we ask, ‘Liberty for whom?’” Sheidley continued. “Our honorees are the living embodiment of the ongoing work necessary to sustain a democracy.”
The event is free and open to the public, but you must reserve your spot by visiting: https://revolutionaryspaces.org/explore/upcoming-programs/community-changemakers/
- Date: Thursday, December 14
- Time: Doors open at 6:00 pm, Program begins at 6:30 pm
- Location: Old South Meeting House
The Legacy of the Tea Party: Honoring Community Changemakers is made possible by the generous support of The Lowell Institute and Meet Boston. The program is free and open to the public, providing an opportunity for all to participate in this celebration of community and civic engagement.
About the Honorees:
RAHSAAN HALL is the President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. He leads the Urban League’s efforts to enable communities to overcome racial and social barriers that cause economic inequities and are exacerbated by sexual and domestic violence, by creating employment and economic development opportunities. Previously, Rahsaan served as the Director of the Racial Justice Program for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and prior to that Rahsaan was the Deputy Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. He also served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Rahsaan also serves on the boards of the Who We Are Project and the Hyams Foundation and is an ordained reverend in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Rahsaan is a highly sought-after public speaker and has received multiple awards and recognitions for his work, including Boston Magazine’s Top Lawyers 2021, Equal Justice Coalition’s 2019 Beacon of Justice Award, Get Connected‘s 2018 GK100 Boston’s Most Influential People of Color, and the Massachusetts Communities Action Network 2018 Carry It On Leadership Award.
ARLINE ISAACSON is a Co-Chair of the Massachusetts GLBTQ Political Caucus (formerly the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus), where she has lobbied on every major LGBTQ+ issue in Massachusetts. Arline advocated for the groundbreaking 1989 gay and lesbian civil rights bill and domestic-partnership benefits for Massachusetts public employees. Her fights have included LGBTQ+ parental rights, anti-bullying bills, hate crimes bills, transgender rights, HIV/AIDS legislation, and banning conversion therapy for minors. Arline also led the legislative battle for marriage equality, making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to defeat a marriage equality ban.
SEAN SIMONINI is the founder of the Massachusetts Association of Student Representatives (MASR), an organization that uplifts and empowers student representatives serving on local and state school boards across the Commonwealth. Sean saw firsthand how powerful student sentiment can be after serving on his own school committee during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic and sought to establish a network that encourages students to be leaders in creating the change they want to see. He believes that students are essential partners in building better school environments and uniting communities around our common pursuit of a more accessible and impactful education system.
ABOUT REVOLUTIONARY SPACES
Revolutionary Spaces stewards the historic Old South Meeting House and Old State House as landmarks, museums, and gathering spaces for the open exchange of ideas and the continuing practice of democracy. Viewing history as a powerful tool for today, Revolutionary Spaces brings people together to explore the American struggle to create and sustain a free society.
ABOUT THE OLD STATE HOUSE
The 1713 Old State House served as the seat of government for the province of Massachusetts during the Revolutionary era. Today, it is a museum and historic site offering tours, exhibits, and public programs exploring Boston’s Revolutionary-era history.
ABOUT OLD SOUTH MEETING HOUSE
The 1729 Old South Meeting House was a Congregational church and the largest gathering place for popular politics in Revolutionary Boston. Today it is a busy museum, treasured landmark, and active center for civic dialogue and free expression.
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