Bertholdo Honored, Somerville Hosting ‘Moving Wall,’ and More!
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Bertholdo honored at Latino Excellence Awards
Somerville resident Regina Bertholdo was honored by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus at the 2022 Latino Excellence Awards on Thursday, Oct. 13, during a virtual ceremony joined digitally by her family members in Brazil and colleagues and friends in Somerville.
Bertholdo emigrated to the United States in 1986, arriving in Boston at the age of 24 after graduating from college with a degree in English from Faculdades Integradas Tibiriçá in São Paulo. She emerged as a leader of Greater Boston’s Brazilian community. In 1991, while working as a waitress, she took a job at Somerville Hospital as one of the area’s first Portuguese language patient interpreters. In 1995, she co-founded the Brazilian Women’s Group, which promotes political and cultural awareness. From 1995-96, she helped develop the Patient Interpreter Department at St. Elizabeth Hospital while also working at the Parent Information Center within Somerville Public Schools.
In 1999, she returned to work at SPS as the Family Network Director. The next year, she was appointed interim director of the Parent Information Center at SPS. At that time she also served as the homeless liaison and helped to lay the groundwork for Somerville’s Office of Housing Stability. Under her leadership at the Parent Information Center, Somerville became one of the first school districts to streamline enrollment online.
Bertholdo currently serves as the Director of Basic Needs and Housing Support Services for SPS, where she advocates for more social and affordable housing and a robust shelter system.
State Rep. Mike Connolly nominated Bertholdo for this recognition because of her deep commitment to social equity and housing justice in Somerville and across the region.
“I am proud to honor my constituent Regina Bertholdo at the State House to be officially recognized as a distinguished leader of the Latinx community in the 26th Middlesex District,” said Connolly. “Thank you, Regina, for all that you do to support students and families in Somerville, lift up the Brazilian community, fight for housing justice, and for truly embodying the progressive values of our Somerville and Cambridge community.”
Evicted: What’s Next?
This is the final week for Evicted at the Armory, an immersive exhibition brought to Somerville by a plethora of community groups, including the Community Action Agency of Somerville, the Welcome Project, the Somerville Homeless Coalition, Somerville Arts Council, Arts at the Armory, All She Wrote Books, Somerville Office of Housing Stability, Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services, De Novo, YouthBuild Just A Start, Somerville Public Schools, and local artists.
Evicted is based on Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” examining the causes and consequences of the millions of evictions that take place nationally each year. In addition, a portion of the exhibit depicts the current housing situation in Somerville, with videos of residents who are still on the waitlist for affordable housing along with profiles of people who can no longer afford to live in Somerville.
The closing event of the exhibit will be held on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Center for Arts at the Armory Performance Hall, 191 Highland Ave. In addition to a last chance to view the exhibit, the closing event will feature a discussion with local organizers and guest speakers about what can be done to continue the fight for housing justice in Somerville. Refreshments will be served.
Register online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/evicted-exhibit-whats-next-tickets-439996420137/.
Somerville to Host “Moving Wall”
A nationwide tour of the Moving Wall, a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will visit Somerville from Nov. 10-14. The memorial will be open for public viewing 24 hours a day on the Mass. General Brigham Great Lawn at Assembly Row, 399 Revolution Dr.
The Moving Wall has been traveling to cities and towns across the country for nearly 40 years to give more people a chance to experience the power of the memorial. Like the original monument, the Moving Wall displays the names of more than 58,000 American service members who died in the Vietnam War. The Somerville Department of Veterans’ Services worked to bring the memorial to Somerville to honor those who died.
“We are honored to host the Moving Wall in Somerville for the first time this year,” said Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “This is one way we can pay our respects to our past and present service members and families and allow our younger generations to gain a new understanding of American history. Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in person is often a profound, emotional experience, and I’m grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to deliver this opportunity to our community. I hope it brings healing to veterans and their loved ones in Somerville and beyond, and I look forward to welcoming the Moving Wall and its visitors this November.”
With the added distinction of hosting the wall over Veterans Day weekend, the Somerville Department of Veterans’ Services will lead the grand opening and official ceremony at the memorial on Friday, Nov. 11.
The City is seeking volunteers to staff the Moving Wall. Volunteers are needed for a four-hour shift to assemble the wall on Nov. 10, to provide general visitor support throughout the memorial’s stay, or to clean up the site on Nov. 14. An orientation for all volunteers will take place Monday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Mass General Brigham Great Lawn. You can sign up for a volunteer shift online: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e44afad29a2f5cf8-vietnam
For more information, contact Veterans’ Services at 617-625-6600, ext. 4700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of the Office of Rep. Mike Connolly.
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Linda Pinkow is a reporter for the Somerville Wire. She is also a development consultant for the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.