S2E1 The Boston Brand Problem
Play • 31 min

Boston’s Brand Problem is more than an unfortunate reputation. It’s a sad, historical fact, rooted in the lived experiences of countless people of color who have come to Boston (or avoided it entirely) over time.  

This episode of On the Tech Trail, we look at Boston’s earned reputation as unwelcoming to people of color through the lens of those lived experiences. Does the city deserve its racist moniker, and can Boston be an incubator for leadership and innovation if it’s true? What steps are leaders taking to stay accountable and to reimagine Boston’s role as a tech hub? These are serious questions that can only be answered by those who’ve lived it and who actively work to fix the problem. So on this episode, we listen — and we let those personal stories of the Boston Brand Problem speak for themselves, uninterrupted. 

Highlights from this episode: 

  • Sheena Collier (Founder and CEO of The Collier Connection and Boston While Black) recounts how she ended up in Boston after desperately wanting to move anywhere else, what kept her here, and how she uses her access to uplift others in the community 
  • Phyllis Barajas (Founder and CEO of Conexión) tells her story of building a career in a city best known for excluding people like her, and how that pushed her to fix the systemic problems that she lived through 
  • Pratt Wiley (CEO of The Partnership) shares his story of traveling the country, seeing disparities and inequities everywhere, and ending up back in his home city, where he’s dedicated his life’s work to closing these gaps and providing better opportunities to people of color in Boston 

So, follow us on our journey this season as we investigate Boston’s challenges as a microcosm for bigger issues of equity and access. Through topics like access to technology, healthcare innovations, the future of education, and forward-thinking DE&I strategies, we take Boston’s Brand Problem out of the shadows — and onto the Tech Trail. 

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