Winner of Eastern’s 2019 Social Justice Award

Ronald F. Ferguson

Ron Ferguson, PhD, is the Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University and prominent leader of The Basics, where he is expanding its’ practice to a network of 30+ other cities across the US and internationally.

The Basics began in Boston, and The Boston Basics Campaign remains a vibrant and growing citywide coalition of organizations and individuals which aims to give children from every background a better start in life. The Basics staff enlist and equip organizations that parents already know and trust, to build the principles into the work those organizations do with parents. The founding partners are the Black Philanthropy Fund, the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, the Boston Mayor’s Education Cabinet, WGBH Public Broadcasting, and Boston Children’s Museum. Eastern Bank is an Institutional Founder and Wendell Knox, former Lead Director at Eastern Bank, has made significant contributions since its founding.

The Basics are inspired by the fact that 80% of brain growth happens in the first three years of life. During this period, skill gaps between socio-economic, racial, and ethnic groups become clearly apparent. Everyday interactions between children, their parents, and other caregivers provide abundant opportunities to give children from every background a more equal start in life.

For more information, click here to visit The Basics.

Past Recipients of Social Justice Award

Year Name Organization
2018 Paula A. Johnson President of Wellesley College
2017 Chau-ming Lee Executive Director, Asian American Civic Association
2016 Marylou Sudders Executive Office of Health & Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
2015 John E. Rosenthal Meredith Management, Stop Handgun Violence, Friends of Boston’s Homeless, & Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI)
2014 Jeffrey C. Riley Superintendent of Lawrence Public Schools
2013 Mayor Thomas Menino City of Boston
2012 Rebecca Haag AIDS Action Committee
2011 Suzanne Kenney Project Place
2010 Eva Millona Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
2009 David Waters Community Servings
2008 Mindy Lubber Ceres
2007 Dr. Jim O'Connell Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
2006 Julie Marston & Dr. Cal Cohen Community Research Initiative of N.E. ("CRI")
2005 Carol Rose ACLU of Massachusetts
2004 Mary Bonauto Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
2003 Anne Peretz & Cheryl Vines The Family Center
2002 Dr. Julia Brody Silent Spring Institute
2001 Jonathan Scott Victory Programs
2000 Sister Barbara Whelan Bridge Over Troubled Waters
1999 Philip Mangano MA Housing & Shelter Alliance
1998 Robert A. Sable Greater Boston Legal Services
1997 Anna Bissonnette, Elsie Frank & Ruth Cowin Committee to End Elder Homelessness
1996 Kip Tiernan Rosie's Place
1995 Todd Summers AIDS Housing Corporation
1994 Sister Jeannette Normandin Ruah
1993 Westy Egmont Greater Boston Food Bank
1992 Loretta Davis Cambridge YWCA
1991 Jackie Jenkins-Scott Dimock Community Health Center
1990 Lisa Chapnick Public Facilities Department
1989 Richard Ring Pine Street Inn