February 12: TO BE RESCHEDULED: Alexandra Piñeros Shields, “Building Community in Essex County”



Dr.  Alexandra Piñeros Shields is the Executive Director of the Essex County Community Organization.

BEC was proud to award a grant to the Essex County Community Organization last year to aid in their ongoing efforts to foster community relations on the North Shore.

Dr. Shields will discuss the collaborative work of her organization to address building a positive dialogue between community members and the Lynn police department.

From their website: “ECCO is a diverse network of congregations and organizations across the North Shore building relationships and power to put human dignity at the center of public life. We work together across race, class, and faith lines to ensure that all people on the North Shore can thrive, grow, and dream.”

February 5: Mary Tittman, “A Progressive Income Tax for the Highest Earners in Massachusetts”

 © 2016 Marilyn Humphries
© 2016 Marilyn Humphries

 Mary Tittman is the Director of Outreach for Mass Budget and Policy Center.

The 2018 ballot in Massachusetts will ask voters to levy a tax on annual incomes over $1 million, with the revenue earmarked for education and transportation. This talk will delve into the social and political questions around the so-called “millionaire’s tax.”


January 29: Sovanna Pouv, “Serving the Cambodian Community in Lowell”

souvana-pouvSovanna Pouv is the Executive Director of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association.

Who are Cambodian Americans? What is the work of CMAA? What is the future of this community?

The Cambodian Mutual Assistance Organization supports the Cambodian American community and other minorities and economically disadvantaged persons in Lowell, Massachusetts. The goal of the organization is to provide needed services to a population that requires language, economic, social, and educational services, as well as cultural integration and cultural celebration strategies. Sovanna Pouv will discuss the mission of the organization and the work they do. CMMA won a grant this year from the Boston Ethical Community.

January 22: Abby Chandler, “History and the Bill of Rights”

abby-chandlerAbby Chandler is Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

December 2016 represented the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.  The debates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, which led to the creation of the Bill of Rights, occurred among men who agreed on some points and profoundly disagreed on others. This talk looks at what caused them to both agree and disagree with one another and to examine how the Bill of Rights acted as a bridge between these differing ideas.

The longstanding American tradition of protecting the rights of individuals in the United States will likely grow ever more crucial in the coming years. This talk examines the history and context of this tradition.

TO BE RESCHEDULED: Cheryl Crawford, ” Working for Voter Engagement in Massachusetts”


We regret that we must postpone the program scheduled for January 7 due to weather.


Cheryl Crawford is the Executive Director of MassVOTE.

MassVOTE is a grassroots organization that works to increase voter participation and engagement in civic affairs, especially in traditionally low voter communities. In the presidential election of 2016, Mass VOTE organized voter registration, Get Out the Vote efforts, and voter tracking efforts in key MA communities.  MassVOTE and Nonprofit VOTE collaborated to win a grant from the Boston Ethical Community. Cheryl will discuss the mission of the organization, the work they do (including upcoming municipal elections), and how BEC might contribute. She’ll also reflect on the results of the 2017 election.

December 4: Emily Wilson, “Trauma-Informed Teaching and Learning: Ethical Educational Leadership for Today’s Highly Stressed World”

EmilyWilsonEmily Wilson, MPH, MS, CHES, is Instructor of Public Health & Pre-Health Programs Advising Coordinator at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (MCPHS).

Exposure to traumatic events and adversity including violence, discrimination, and poverty can present major barriers to learning and achievement. This talk will explore some of these exposures in greater detail and context, and discuss some of the emerging practices in education to prevent, address, and respond using trauma-informed principles and ethical leadership strategies in education.

Live music with Carolyn McCrone, flute and Dustin Anthony Chung, clarinet.