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Commonwealth Seminar 20th Anniversary

In The Room and At The Table 2023

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In The Room and At The Table 2023 Program Book


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The Seminar celebrated over 1,700 graduates

Fun Presentation

We launched our “Beyond English” Initiative

Group Discussion

We hosted Lunch & Learn Programs to create conversation around timely issues

Go Team

The Seminar formed partnerships with new organizations



Some spotlights of our Alumni include: 

  •  A first generation Algerian and recent graduate from the Heller School of Business at Brandeis who wants to learn how to file & pass legislation

  • A Peruvian born, U.S., citizen whose passion is advocating for patient rights

  • The President and the Political Action Chair of the NAACP College Chapter who are both passionate about civic engagement

  • An immigrant from India inspired to uplift our youth

  • An MPH candidate at Boston University interested in public health approaches to policy

  • The founder of a non-profit which advocates for formerly incarcerated residents 

  • An MPH recipient from U/MA-Boston who works to support survivors of domestic violence

  • A First responder who is also interning at MA Voter Table 

  •  Students representing Cambridge Economic Opportunity Council, Bunker Hill Community College, YW Boston, and U/MA Boston's Office of Community Partnerships


Presenter Spotlight

We have new presenters join us this year. Some of the new presenters included: Phillip Martin (GBH Senior Investigative Reporter), Deanna Pan (Boston Globe reporter), Jacquetta Van Zandt (podcaster and political strategist), and Reginauld Williams (Communications Director, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center)

Graduation Speaker Spotlight

Students also heard from Liz Cheng (General Manager for Television at 'GBH), Lydia Edwards (MA State Senator and Boston City Councilor), and Nina Liang (Quincy City Council President, and the Executive Director of Emerge-MA), Mary Lou Akai Ferguson, Charlotte Golar-Richie


Seminar Sessions

This year, the Seminar hosted three sessions in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. We also celebrated our 1,500th graduate during our Fall 2021 session.  


Beyond English

This year we launched our “Beyond English” Initiative to create greater access to government for non-English speakers:

- We partnered with the Massachusetts Asian American and Pacific Islander Commission to host sessions targeting bilingual activists

-We offered sessions for the growing Southeast Asian community in Lowell/Lawrence area by partnering with Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association.

Lunch & Learn Programs

The goal of the Lunch & Learn programs is to target timely issues and bringing together experts in the field in order to educate our community and generate discourse.


This year, we hosted conversations on: 

- “Fact versus Fiction - Understanding COVID-19 Vaccines” – partnered with Boston Medical Center and its All of Us Research Program to offer a Lunch & Learn webinar
- A Discussion on Reparations: “Acknowledgement and Reconciliation” – featuring Dr. Jemadari Kamara, Chairman of the Africana Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston
- “A Discussion on Gun Violence Prevention: Perspectives, Precedents, and a Call to Action” - featuring Angus McQuilken, Co-Founder MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

Community Engagement Initiatives 

To keep our alumni connected and to give back to our community, we hosted a range of engagement opportunities. 

Homecoming Week

  • Over 75 alumni participated in the weeklong programming

  • We held a donor reception to generate alumni giving 

  • “Kick In the Door” Women’s Leadership Panel     

  • Hosted Class Reunions: In-person and virtual/Zoom reunions on same evening   

  • Organized alumni volunteer opportunity with United Way's Thanksgiving preparation efforts 

Seminar Block Party
To celebrate the return of an in-person "In the Room & At The Table", we hosted our very first Block Party as part of "Boston Calling's Block Party Series" on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. 

Summer Reunion Boat Cruise

In collaboration with Boston Harbor Now, the Seminar hosted our annual Summer Cruise around Boston Harbor aboard the spacious Provincetown-II.  The goal of this event is to foster community building and promote the Seminar for our upcoming recruitment cycle. This event brought together over 700 community members, 50 of which were Seminar alumni. 


The Seminar continued its longtime partnerships with Boston Medical Center, Get Konnected, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center, and UMass Boston’s Office of Community Partnerships

  • We co-hosted “Community Crossover” Dialogues by partnering with NAACP-Boston Chapter and Boston’s Higher Ground with sessions discussing issues including:

       o AAPI Hate
       o Boston Public School’s Exam School admissions
       o Police Reform 

We formed new partnerships with

  • Coalition for Anti-Racism and Equity (CARE)

  • MA Asian American & Pacific Islander Commission; National Association of Asian American Professionals 

Join Us in Opening the Doors of Govenment to Everyone

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