We Are Boston 2009 Awards Gala Honors Outstanding Contributions to Boston's Diversity
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For Immediate Release
October 16, 2009
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Office

Acclaimed Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Receives Leadership Award

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians held the fourth annual "We Are Boston" awards gala October 6th at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma was honored with the We Are Boston Leadership Award. Outstanding individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to embracing Boston's diversity were also recognized. Over 1,000 people representing the many different cultures of the City of Boston attended the event which showcased an evening of multicultural cuisine and performances.

"Once again, this was a great event that recognized the tremendous impact Yo-Yo Ma and others have had on the immigrant community in Boston," said Mayor Menino.

"This event is an inspiring reminder of the many identities our community represents," said Yo-Yo Ma.

Leadership Award Winner and Cultural Ambassador to the world, Yo-Yo Ma's musical career embodies the spirit of diversity that "We Are Boston" celebrates. In 1998, Ma established the Silk Road Project, a non-profit organization promoting the study of cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. In addition to Ma, several others received We Are Boston Leadership Awards. They are Colette Phillips, President, Colette Phillips Communications (Community Leadership Award); Tufts Medical Center (Corporate Leadership Award); Maria Pires Centeio (Youth Leadership Award); Allain Cherenant (Youth Leadership Award); and Andre Marcel Donegan (Youth Leadership Award).

Proceeds from the event will support the English for New Bostonians initiative, a city-private-community partnership enabling more than one thousand new Bostonians access to English classes, and other crucial programs that enable new Boston residents to better acclimate themselves in Boston. For information visit, please visit www.WeAreBoston.wordpress.com.

Mayor Menino created the Office of New Bostonians (ONB) in 1998 to ensure that new immigrants have access to the civic, economic, social and cultural life of Boston. ONB has been nationally recognized as a model in assisting newcomers to overcome barriers and challenges. Every year the office helps over 1,000 new residents attend an English class, open a new business, receive free immigration advice from volunteer lawyers, find a job, buy a home, or assist in other ways. In return, new Bostonians have contributed to the vitality and prosperity of the City. For more information, visit www.cityofboston.gov/newbostonians.

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