Black Women Lead: CRRJ Director included in new art exhibition

A new exhibition centering Black female leaders at Roxbury’s Northeastern Crossing, features a portrait of CRRJ Director, Margaret Burnham, one of 12 women whose likenesses are currently on display.

The exhibition, part of The Black Women Lead Project, recognizes and honors successful female leaders whose careers and endeavors have irrevocably shaped Boston for residents, past present and future.

Charlotte Mathews-Nelson, Program Manager for Northeastern Law’s Center for Law Equity and Race (CLEAR), is also featured in the exhibition, which opened on May 6 and will run into June.

This exhibit is in partnership with Greater Grove Hall Main Streets, the Office of City and Community Engagement, Boston Research Center, and Center for the Arts. The paintings are by local artist Kamali Thornell, and Baltimore-based Brianna Young.

On May 29, the Northeastern University’s City and Community Engagement Office hosted a luncheon for those involved with the project, at Northeastern Crossing, Roxbury. Mathews-Nelson and Jean McGuire, longtime leader of Boston’s Metro program,  were in attendance with many of the other inspirational Black women included in the exhibition. McGuire was the first woman of color to be elected to the Boston School Committee.

Six hundred names were put forward for inclusion in the project, and the resulting cohort include women who made history by being “the first” in their chosen field, have received national or international awards, or who are remembered as being extraordinary role models.

Burnham and Mathews-Nelson are two of 212 women whose images will also be featured on banners, flying from streetlights along a two mile stretch of Blue Hill Avenue. It is the largest public art project in the city.

Historical information, compiled by researchers from Boston Public Library and Northeastern University, will be used to create Wikipedia pages for each honoree.

Black Women Lead, CRRJ, CLEAR, Margaret Burnham, Charlotte Nelson, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice.
Black Women Lead, CRRJ, CLEAR, Margaret Burnham, Charlotte Nelson, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice.

Images: (Top) Charlotte Mathews-Nelson (left) is featured alongside other Black female leaders, like activist Jean McGuire (right) in the exhibition, which opened May 6.

(Middle) The exhibition space in Northeastern Crossing, Roxbury.

(Right) Black Women Lead exhibition poster.

All photos courtesy of Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles.

Black Women Lead, CRRJ, CLEAR, Margaret Burnham, Charlotte Nelson, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice.

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