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Chamber and City Awake Announce 2020 Fierce Urgency of Now Festival

August 28, 2020

BOSTON, MA-Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) and City Awake are pleased to announce the third annual Fierce Urgency of Now festival, a five day festival dedicated to amplify the experiences, challenges, and opportunities for young professionals of color in Greater Boston. This year, the festival will feature more than 30 virtual events hosted by organizations and companies.  

After the 2017 City of Millennials report identified a divergent experience regarding affordability, economic security, and belonging for millennials of color in Greater Boston, the GBCC and City Awake launched the first Fierce Urgency of Now festival in 2018. The title, “Fierce Urgency of Now,” is attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech: “We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

Dr. King’s words are still true today. As the region works through a pandemic and a racial reckoning after the murder of George Floyd, the Greater Boston business community must take action to create spaces of belonging and equity. With intention and urgency, the region’s systemic racism and bias can and will be transformed into systemic opportunity. The Fierce Urgency of Now festival events will directly address equity and belonging to create an even more inclusive business community. 

Morgan DeBaun, Founder and CEO of Blavity Inc., the largest network of platforms and brands for young Black professionals. On September 17, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Dr. Karilyn Crockett, the newly appointed Chief of Equity, will discuss how they are making equity a reality and how young professionals can be engaged in the most pressing issues facing the region. Other events include keynotes, day parties, workshops, and workouts. To continue the celebration, GBCC and City Awake will announce during the festival the recipients of the Chamber’s Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Awards, which includes leaders who are breaking barriers and addressing equity to create a diverse and inclusive future.  

James E. Rooney, the Chamber’s President and CEO, explains the importance of the festival to this region and retaining diverse talent. “Now, more than ever, it is critical that the business community listen to and uplift young professionals of color. While the region navigates the pandemic and racial reckoning after the murder of George Floyd, we must make it our collective priority to create systemic opportunity for young professionals of color. Participating in ongoing discussions and adopting inclusive practices can help Boston attract and retain diverse talent.”

About City Awake

City Awake empowers the next generation of Greater Boston leaders through programming that builds community and engages young professionals in dialogue about the most pressing issues facing our region. Through this work, we hope to deepen their connections to the broader business and civic communities and recognize their important contributions to our thriving economy. Learn more at CityAwake.org.

About the Greater Boston Chamber 

We are the convener, voice and advocate of our region's business community, committed to making Greater Boston the best place for all businesses and all people to thrive. We help our members and Greater Boston succeed by convening and connecting the business community; researching, developing and advocating for public policies that contribute to our region’s economic success; and providing comprehensive leadership development programs designed to grow strong business and civic leaders. Learn more at BostonChamber.com.