Here at the KSA, we’re on a journey to understand how best to identify solutions to Kendall’s Greatest Challenges by connecting with our City leaders and the broader Cambridge community.
With the Cambridge City Council election on November 2nd, the Kendall Square Association invites you to hear from 16 candidates along with members of the Kendall community about some of our most pressing societal issues and what motivates us to keep working towards innovative solutions.
Becoming An Antiracist Cambridge
The KSA has been engaged in community dialogue and action planning about antiracism through a multi-year focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. In 2020, KSA launched Inclusion Drives Innovation, a ten-week professional development program designed by and for Kendall Square Association members focused on building anti-racist organizations by activating a team of change agents. This program has had more than 350 graduates and participants from 43 different organizations in Kendall.
We asked our City Council Candidates: What work does Cambridge need to undertake to become an antiracist city?
Advancing STEM in Cambridge
Kendall Square is a place where cutting edge science and technology are put to use to address some of humanity’s biggest challenges. Advancing a vibrant culture of continuous STEM learning and educating young people about the opportunities that exist in the tech and life sciences industry is a top priority for the Kendall community.
We asked our City Council Candidates: How do you plan to advance STEM education for families in Cambridge? What role do you see for Kendall organizations in that plan?
A Kendall Perspective
“I’ve worked alongside 200, 250 other business leaders across the country. Our charge is to identify public policy solutions and address racial inequities. And to do so with the business community behind us. It’s an amazing opportunity and one that I believe in. The work we do through CEO Action is truly designed with great intentionality to tackle racial inequity in education, healthcare, and public safety for very key pillars when we talk about quality of life for people here in the states. That work I do believe has great promise. It is the first coalition of its kind where we have CEOs and business leaders who have said, “We are willing to use our power, our influence to bring about change.” It has been an amazing journey and we are looking forward to, over the course of the next year, working with business leaders to bring about some public policy solutions.” – Tanisha Sullivan, President of Boston’s NAACP and Executive Advisor to the President of Sanofi Genzyme
“MIT is committed to building reciprocal partnerships to provide equitable access to STEAM programming that provides scholars of all ages the opportunity to develop and apply the skills necessary to thrive within a constantly evolving world. Whether it’s members of our MIT community working with the Cambridge School Volunteers to share their experiences with students at the Kennedy-Longfellow School or working with Cambridge Rindge and Latin School educators to promote hands-on inquiry-based learning opportunities, we are proud to be a part of a Kendall Square community that works to support future scientists, engineers, and leaders.” – Dr. Rohan Kundargi, K-12 Community Outreach Administrator, MIT’s Office of Government and Community Relations
KSA In Action
We have a lot of work to do to realize our potential as a truly diverse and inclusive community, and Kendall leaders are committed to making progress.
Inclusion Drives Innovation is a ten-week professional development program designed by and for Kendall Square Association members focused on building anti-racist organizations by activating a team of change agents. Inclusion Drives Innovation uses race as a foundation for learning. In America, race and racial relations are intractable issues – by centering this program’s work on designing programs and policies for people at the margins of society. With Inclusion Drives Innovation, participants learn to solve the problems of those in the greatest need, which in turn creates a positive impact for everyone using an inclusive and equitable frame of reference.
Spotlighting Community Impact in Kendall
As the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard ramps up its efforts to increase the number of students, especially those from underrepresented populations, entering and succeeding in STEM careers, the KSA wants to showcase some of their engaging programming that connects thousands of Cambridge Public School students with Broad scientists.
- Bio-Coding Club. This Broad initiative, with chapters currently launched at two Cambridge Upper Schools, brings a biology-themed after school coding club to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Broad scientists engage with students through hands-on activities related to scientific areas at the Broad and provide guidance as students code their own projects using the Scratch programming language.
- Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science at MIT (MITES). MITES is a rigorous six-week residential academic enrichment program for rising high school seniors who have a strong academic record and are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering. The program is run through the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs at MIT. The Broad organizes a genomics elective for a group of MITES students that introduces them to the human microbiome through laboratory work and lectures.