Boston playing host to more minority conventions
By Russell ContrerasAssociated Press / July 2, 2011
BOSTON—For years, Dan Corria had been telling colleagues, friends, family — anyone who would listen — that Boston was no longer the place of the violent busing and race riots of the 1970s.
Corria, an architect with the U.S. General Service Administration who grew up in Rhode Island, wanted skeptics from other parts in the country to know that Boston was now an international, largely minority city. His goal was to see Boston host a convention by the group, Blacks in Government, an organization he belongs to that represents blacks working in federal and state governments.
Now, Blacks in Government, or BIG, is scheduled to hold its convention at the city’s Hynes Convention Center from Aug. 22 to 25. And it’s not the only organization representing minorities coming to town.
Boston is becoming a regular host to national conventions of minority groups as officials work to change the image of a city still tarnished decades later by the 1970s busing riots and perceptions the city is hostile to minorities.
In addition to BIG’s convention, this summer Boston will also host the annual gathering of the National Urban League at the Boston Convention Center from July 25 to 31. And last month, Wheelock College hosted a “Race Amity Conference” that drew national speakers including former ABC news anchor Carole Simpson and Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree.