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Let’s Build It: The Launch of Our Year-Long 50th Anniversary Celebration

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In 1968, the city’s urban renewal plans for the South End threatened to displace the neighborhood’s hard-working Puerto Rican community and, with it, drastically diminish economic and cultural diversity. Advocating on behalf of their neighbors and families, a group of Puerto Rican activists founded IBA to preserve affordability and the right to thrive in the community they built from the ground up.

With our founders in mind, on November 8, we launched our 50th Anniversary year with an elegant cocktail event hosted by The Boston Foundation at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. Surrounded by our long-time supporters and friends, including State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, State Representative Byron Rushing and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, we made several exciting announcements about the milestone year ahead. Here’s a recap of what took place:

To kick off the night, our CEO Vanessa Calderón-Rosado reflected on how IBA’s historic rootedness in civic engagement has cultivated a legacy of fearless integrity and a commitment to community betterment that resonates to this day

“Our founders knew that their community needed affordable housing, economic and educational programs, and residential services,” said Calderón-Rosado. “But they also knew that they had the power and the will to make it happen.”

Honoring IBA’s tremendous impact on the development of inclusive, safe communities for low-income and minority residents, Paul Grogan, President of The Boston Foundation, signaled the Foundation’s long-standing and ongoing friendship with IBA, announcing a generous $25,000 commitment that will go towards IBA’s year-long fundraising goal of $250,000.

“A contribution that IBA [has] made beyond the people it has served directly was the launch of a community development movement in Boston as one of the first, if not the first, community development corporations,” said Grogan. “[…] One of the reasons we have almost no physical blights in the city is the steady, methodical work of community development corporations, and IBA was really at the head of that parade.”

Throughout our 50th Anniversary year, we intend to look back at our accomplishments, as well as identify how to address the city’s tremendous racial wealth gap and need for affordable housing. In order to spark collaboration, partnership and community togetherness, we will be hosting three events, which include the following:

  • A History Forum on April 11 that will exhibit IBA’s long-standing advocacy work and impact on the South End
  • Festival Betances on July 21-22, which will showcase the cultural vibrancy of the international Latino community through music, dance and art
  • A momentous 50th Anniversary Gala and Closing Celebration on November 3, which will celebrate IBA’s past and identify how to build an even stronger future

As we seek to empower through providing high-quality affordable housing, as well as promoting economic mobility, artistic enrichment and educational opportunities for the city’s most vulnerable citizens, we hope that you will join us in building a future that serves all residents equally and justly.

If you would like to Sponsor IBA’s 50th Anniversary, please contact Linnette Speel at or by calling (617) 535-1752. Full-year sponsorship exposure deadline is February 1, 2018. Partial Sponsorship exposure rolling through 2018.


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