Sandra Larson has been writing for the Bay State Banner since 2009 and has contributed more than 100 stories on urban issues, including extensive coverage of foreclosure, affordable housing, minority jobs issues, and the city’s revitalization plans for Dudley Square in Roxbury. For the Banner and for Exhale Magazine, she has interviewed and profiled many prominent women, among them author Isabel Wilkerson, playwright Lydia Diamond, FACE Africa founder Saran Kaba Jones, former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and Massachusetts first lady Diane Patrick. Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree in biological aspects of conservation and a master’s degree in journalism. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in urban and regional policy. She lives in Boston with her husband and 12-year-old son.
Entrepreneur harnesses coffee to help Ethiopian farmers
With Farmer’s Horse Coffee, Kassegn Sirmollo aims to share Ethiopian coffee and to offer a welcoming vibe for his customers, many of whom are students and faculty at nearby New England Conservatory and Northeastern University or T riders who get on and off at the Mass Ave Station of the Orange Line.
A village of experts and peers helps a Dorchester baker grow her business
Teresa Maynard left a full-time job as assistant director of fundraiser and user support at Harvard University’s development office in 2016 to pursue her dream of opening a bakery.
Since February 2016, Dudley Square has been the focus of one of the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s community planning initiatives, joining similar efforts in Jamaica Plain/Roxbury and South Boston (Dorchester Avenue). The next meeting — and the last for the 2017 calendar year — will be an urban design workshop on Monday, Nov. 27 from 5:30–8 at Central Boston Elder Services.
Entrepreneurship program grads share their creations and pitches
First piloted in Fall 2016, Food Biz 101 is an accelerator specially designed to address the nuts and bolts of starting a food-related business. Classes cover recipe scaling, cost of goods, labeling regulations, licensing and permitting as well as business practices such as public relations, marketing and entity formation.
SBA grant helps EforAll expand Spanish-language programs
EforAll started in 2010 as the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, a project under UMass Lowell with initial funding from the Deshpande Foundation. The mission was to build a community-based entrepreneurial ecosystem where people and institutions from across the community get involved and encourage entrepreneurship.
Office of Returning Citizens director working to solidify partnerships, offer wraparound services
Kevin Sibley is director of the city of Boston’s Office of Returning Citizens, a newly launched initiative within the Office of Public Safety to support individuals returning to Boston after release from state, federal and county correctional facilities, as well as others who were previously incarcerated.
Merger aims to create pipeline to creative economy
The merger of two Boston-based social enterprises has created an organization with new capacity to propel youth and adults toward success in entrepreneurship and the creative economy. Epicenter Community, formerly Future Boston Alliance, is known for its signature programs Accelerate Boston, a mentoring and training cohort program for aspiring entrepreneurs, and Assemble Boston, a series of cultural and social gatherings connecting diverse individuals and groups across the city. Transformative Culture Project, which began in 2008 as Press Pass TV, focuses on young people, supporting community-based arts organizations, offering training in arts and media production in schools across Massachusetts and running a youth-staffed production agency.
Firm focuses on solving challenges for social impact organizations
Kristen Ransom, founder and CEO of IncluDe software design and development agency, was in college studying human factors engineering at Tufts University when she landed an internship at Harley-Davidson motorcycle company. There, she tackled the problem of designing motorcycles to fit women’s bodies.
Opportunity director works to advance economic inclusion
Sheena Collier joined the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce last year as its first director of economic opportunity.
Slade’s Bar & Grill, one of Lower Roxbury’s longtime go-to spots for R & B music and soul food, is under new ownership — but patrons can rest assured that they’ll continue to find the same food, entertainment and atmosphere they know and love.