Jane Money, Linda Forry honored at UMass Boston's annual community breakfast
Interim Chancellor Barry Mills presented Jane Money, founding artistic and education director of the Boston City Singers, with the Robert H. Quinn Award for Outstanding Community Leadership at the university's annual Community Breakfast on Thursday. Former State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry was also recognized at the event for her involvement in the community for the past two decades. She received the Chancellor’s Award for Longstanding Community Commitment and Service.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a youth chorus program that is more engaging, inclusive, and diverse,” said Mills, calling Money a staunch advocate and leader for social change. “She’s had a significant impact on thousands of young people who have benefited from their involvement with the Boston City Singers.”
Money founded Dorchester’s Boston City Singers, a division of Youth Pro Musica, in 1995. The organization provides music training opportunities to low- and moderate-income inner-city youths in the communities in which they live. It has since grown to serve more than 500 singers, many of whom reside in metro-Boston’s urban neighborhoods.
“We worked tirelessly to make sure that our singers have a wide range of opportunities,” said Money, adding that nine members of Boston City Singers were selected to take part in Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first children’s choir this year. “This stage is not large enough to fit all of the people who have made Boston City Singers happen. I’m honored to accept and receive the Robert H. Quinn Award on their behalves.”
In 2017, Money organized the 39-voice Tour Choir’s three-week residency in South Africa. There the group performed at schools, community centers, museums, libraries, and churches and participated in several community service projects that supported the well-being of children.
“We’re particularly interested in giving a voice to those silenced by war, terrorism, migration rates, and homelessness,” said Money. “We put extraordinary effort into preparing music as authentically as possible, and it has allowed us to make equally extraordinary connections with people all around the world.”
The Quinn Award was established in 1987 in honor of Robert H. Quinn, a former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, former attorney general, and former chair of the UMass Board of Trustees. The award is presented annually by UMass Boston to honor individuals whose contributions have significantly improved the quality of life in the Boston area.
Former State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry was also honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Longstanding Community Commitment and Service. Forry, who represented Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston, and Hyde Park, called her 13 years as an elected official a “blessing.”
“We do this work because of our commitment to one another,” said Forry. “I am first-generation American. My parents came here from Haiti not speaking a lick of English. But they knew that education was it,” said Forry. “‘Work hard, Linda. Do well, Linda. Get good grades.’ That’s what we grew up hearing. And so I did do well. And I went on to college. But I connected and stayed connected about giving back and being responsible for other people because I saw that in my household.”
Forry was recognized for her commitment in the State House as a representative and a senator. Throughout her tenure, she has supported and empowered neighbors and families in Dorchester and other communities in the Commonwealth’s First Suffolk Senate District through leadership that encouraged inclusion and diversity, economic growth, and neighborhood revitalization.
Members of the Boston City Singers opened the event by performing two songs. Nearly 200 people attended the community breakfast, including members of the Quinn family and previous recipients of the Quinn Award. Edward Forry, Linda Forry’s father-in-law and the first honoree of the Quinn Award in 1987, was also in attendance.