HERAA Statement in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
The Harriet E. Richards Alumnae Association stands in solidarity with the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement in this fight for justice.
We, a community of cisgender women, transgender women, and non-binary folks, acknowledge that these marginalized identities are often left out of the narrative and the calls for justice. We uplift and say the names of Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, and Iyanna Dior. We grieve their deaths. We condemn the acts of violence that took their lives and the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others who have died at the hands of police brutality and systemic racism.
We, a community of alumni, amplify the actions of current Harriet E. Richards House residents, who are actively supporting Black student-led actions at Boston University to raise funds for social justice organizations and to petition Boston University to match those funds.
We recognize that anti-Black violence and the existing trauma that surrounds these events is a daily reality for Black folks in our communities.
As individuals, those of us in HERAA who are white or non-Black people of color, whether on the Board or among its membership, must work to address our anti-Blackness historically, today, tomorrow, and continuously.
As an organization, we commit to centering the voices and needs of our Black alumni and current residents and addressing ways we can sustain this movement within and outside our community.
We will work with H.E.R. House student leaders to identify how we can best support the continual work of building a culture that dismantles racial oppression inside the House.
We will work with alumni to identify how we can best analyze our own organization’s culture, structure, and processes to ensure we are empowering our Black alumni and building a culture that dismantles racial oppression.
For members of our community who are interested in taking action, with your voice or your wallet, please sign the petition asking Boston University to match funds for social justice organizations and review the following list of resources.
We also welcome dialogue. Please connect with the HERAA community and share additional resources in the online H.E.R. House Community group or by emailing us:
Split a donation between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers
Black Lives Matter: 18 Organizations That Are Bailing Out Protesters
Learn & Act
#BirthdayForBreonna: action items organized by a BU alumna to honor Breonna’s birthday on Friday, June 5, 2020
Black Lives Matter: Ways to Help
"How to be an effective ally to the Black community" webinar hosted by the Blac Project on June 7, 2020 at 7pm
A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by Alicia Garza
Showing Up for Racial Justice
Named in memory and honor of Dr. Marjorie E. Kettell, Class of 1947, this award is presented annually to bestow institutional recognition on one Harriet E. Richards Cooperative House alumna who has distinguished herself in her personal or professional life, in her intellectual pursuits, or in her dedication to service of community, country or society.
After abandoning her career goal to follow in the footsteps of Dorothea Lange and Gordon Parks, Alicia White embarked on a career where she did not capture the images of those in need but could immerse herself in the photo by working towards the greater good with at-risk populations.
Alicia earned her MSW from New York University and continued post-graduate studies at Hunter School of Social Work where she received additional clinical training. She obtained additional training at Ackerman Institute, Training Institute of Mental Health and Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. She is a licensed clinical social worker who has dedicated two decades in the field. Alicia’s work experience includes child welfare, education and forensic social work. In her final years with the Legal Aid Society, Alicia pioneered her role as the first mitigation specialist within New York’s public defender system to provide therapeutic intervention to human trafficking survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. She has established herself as a human trafficking expert and has presented at numerous national conferences and trainings in this area. She is currently the program director of the criminal defense practice social work team at Brooklyn Defender Services. In addition, Alicia is an adjunct lecturer at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work and is on the Board of Director of the National Association of Social Workers.
In 2015 Alicia was the recipient of the Mid-Career Exemplary Social Work Leader Award presented by the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and co-recipient of the NASW Social Work Image Award in 2016.
Renée (BU 2014) currently serves as the Communications Committee Chair. Renée has served on the HERAA Board before - first as the Communications Committee Chair (SY14-15) and then as Vice-President (SY15-16).
One of Renée’s favorite parts about being In this position is the opportunity she gets to engage with the wider network of HER House Alumnae online through sharing stories, throwback photos, and upcoming events!
As a Communications Committee Chair, Renée coordinates committee and HERAA communications through our social media pages on Facebook and Linkedin to promote HERAA activities and engage alumnae and assists the Director of Communications in maintaining the website and other communication needs.
Interested in being the next Communications Committee Chair or know someone who would be? Nominate yourself and/or someone else at her-house.org/HERAANominations by Sunday, March 31st or in-person at the Alumnae Tea on Sunday, April 7th.
Evelyn (BU 2012) currently serves as the Outreach Committee Chair. This is the first year Evelyn has served on the HERAA Board. Prior to graduating from BU, she was the HER House Vice President (SY2011-2012).
Some of Evelyn’s favorite position activities are researching different events in the DC area, meeting up with previous alumnae, and analyzing the HERAA alumnae list.
As the Outreach Committee Chair, Evelyn coordinates local and regional social alumnae events in collaboration with the Vice-President and assists the Director of Communications in alumnae outreach and communications. This year, HERAA events were mainly held in the DC and NYC area. Evelyn hopes that the future Outreach Committee Chair can help expand alumnae events to other major cities.
If you’re interested in becoming the next Outreach Committee Chair or know someone that’s interested, nominate them or yourself at her-house.org/HERAANominations by Sunday, March 31st or in-person at the Alumnae Tea on Sunday, April 7th.
Emily (BU 2017) currently serves as the Vice President of HERAA. Previously, she served as the Clerk of the board (SY 17-18). Through HERAA, Emily has learned that the foundation of a community is created through relationships and dedication.
As Vice President, Emily organizes events and programs that serve to strengthen the community of HERAA members and foster connections between the alumnae and current HER House residents. In addition, the Vice-President assists in fundraising research and planning, and coordinating administrative duties of the Board with the President. This includes local volunteer events in Boston, Alumnae cook nights at the House, the oral history project, and the mentorship project.
Interested in being the next Vice President or know someone who would be? Nominate yourself and/or someone else at her-house.org/HERAANominations by Sunday, March 31st or in-person at the Alumnae Tea on Sunday, April 7th.
Bobbie (BU 2007) has served on the HERAA board as the Director of Communications since 2016. Her favorite part of the job is connecting long lost alums to each other and the house! She also shared, “hearing the amazing things people are up to around the world isn't too bad either.”
As a Director of Communications, Bobbie oversees and coordinates all HERAA communications and website in collaboration with the Communications Committee, serves as the editor of the HERAA newsletter and other email communications, and maintains and develops alumnae database.
Bobbie's main focus over the past few years has been building a new website where members can actively engage with HERAA. The revamped her-house.org allows the HERAA community to donate online, register for events, and find fellow alumnae contact information.
Interested in continuing to strengthen the alumnae network or know someone who would be great in the role? Nominate yourself and/or someone else for HERAA Director of Communication at her-house.org/HERAANominations by Sunday, March 31st or in-person at the Alumnae Tea on Sunday, April 7th.
Rebecca (BU 2007) has served as the President of HERAA since the Alumnae Tea in 2014. Rebecca began as the Database Secretary, now known as the Director of Communications, helping to oversee the alumnae contact database and HERAA's annual newsletter from 2007-2011. From 2012-2014, she chaired the Website Committee.
As President, Rebecca supervises the activities of the Board, leads annual goal setting, advises the House, serves as a liaison to BU administrators, presides over monthly and annual business meetings, and collaborates with students and consultants on House restoration projects.
Year after year, Rebecca’s favorite part of the position remains coordinating the annual Alumnae Tea. Helping to induct our next generation of alumnae into the association; learning and hearing about the experiences women had in the House and how those have impacted their lives after graduation; visiting the House to see what has stayed the same and what has changed; celebrating the accomplishments of distinguished alumnae. These are activities all Board members share responsibility for, but it's a wonderful annual tradition that encompasses all the hard work we do throughout the year to engage with alumnae and current students.
Interested in being the next President or know someone who would be? Nominate yourself and/or someone else at her-house.org/HERAANominations by Sunday, March 31st or in-person at the Alumnae Tea on Sunday, April 7th.
**Nominees for this position must be a resident of the Boston area or must be able to visit the House in-person for monthly Board meetings and meetings with House residents.**
Sarah (BU 2015) currently serves as the Treasurer of HERAA. She has held this position since graduating in 2015. Sarah's favorite part of this role is seeing how generous her fellow alumnae are, and helping put their donations to good use for current HER House residents and the HERAA community.
As Treasurer, Sarah's primary role is to manage HERAA's budget, and monitor donations and expenses. The Treasurer also works on special projects such as organizing fundraising campaigns, and implementing other recommendations from the Strategic Advisory Council.
Interested in being the next Treasurer or know someone who would be? Nominate yourself and/or someone else at her-house.org/HERAANominations by Sunday, March 31st or in-person at the Alumnae Tea on Sunday, April 7th.
Kenzie (BU 2018) currently serves as the Clerk. This is Kenzie’s first year on the Board after graduating in September 2018! Kenzie says:
“This position is great for a new grad or someone who wants to get involved with HERAA without much pressure or experience. I gained a better idea of the many moving parts that running a successful non-profit/alumni network requires and the teamwork that goes into every event. It is incredible to see it all come together from the other side!”
As Clerk, Kenzie keeps official minutes for all Board meetings, oversee correspondence with alumnae, coordinate with Treasurer for any tax documentation needed for IRS and state. This past year, Kenzie has been focusing on documenting the specific HERAA position roles, as to make the transition easier for those interested in the position in the future.
Interested in being the next Clerk or know someone who would be? Nominate yourself and/or someone else at:
her-house.org/HERAANominataions by Sunday, March 31st or in-person at the Alumnae Tea on Sunday, April 7th.
We are sad to share news we recently received about the passing of Toni-Lee Capossela (Cerulli), BU class of 1964 and HER House alumna. Toni-Lee passed away on November 5, 2017.
Professor, Biographer, and Chef Toni-Lee Capossela, 74, passed away on November 5  surrounded by her loving family. She was a professor, author, and chef, and lived in the South End, Boston. She was the eldest daughter of N. Francis Cerulli and Mary G. (Buck) Cerulli, and was born in Pittsburgh, PA on Sept. 19, 1943. She graduated from Mt. St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, N.J. and earned a B.A. degree in English Literature from Boston University summa cum laude and M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in English Literature from Brandeis University. She taught rhetoric, writing, and composition at Boston University's College of Basic Studies, UMass-Boston, Cape Cod Community College, Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass-Dartmouth), and Northeastern University before joining the faculty at Stonehill College in 1991. At Stonehill she served as director of the Writing Program, coordinator of the Writing Center, and was promoted to full professor in 2001. She retired in 2004 in order to write the biography of John U. Monro. John U. Monro: Uncommon Educator was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2012. Her other publications include The Critical Writing Workshop: Designing Writing Assignments to Foster Critical Thinking (1993), Language Matters: Readings for College Writers (1996), The Harcourt Brace Guide to Peer Tutoring (1998), and many articles in academic journals.
See a full obituary from the Boston Globe online.
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