Parallel Process Timeline

May 2020

  • May 25, 2020: George Floyd is murdered by Minneapolis police 

  • Massive uprising across the United States and around the world ensure in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, calling for defunding of police and abolition of policing systems. 


June 2020


July 2020

  • The Black Response writes a letter to the City Council and launches it as a petition. There are over 900 signatories to the petition. 

  • A young Black man is handcuffed to a fence by the Cambridge Police. This incident takes place while the young man is distraught after the sudden and unexpected passing of his mother while she visited a friend in Cambridge.

  •  Youth led protest calling for alternatives to policing in Cambridge organized by Community For Us, By Us


December 2020


January 2021

  • January 19 2021 - TBR worked with Councillors Sobrihno-Wheeler, MCGovern, and Zondervan to host a public meeting on the future of public safety. The speakers included Anne Janks from MACRO, Asantewaa Boykins from Mental Health First, David Harris from Urban Strategies Council and the members of The Black Response. 

  • The City Manager’s public safety taskforce began meeting.


February 2021

  • TBR wrote a letter to the City Council asking for another public meeting (Cambridge Day). This request was denied. 

  • Monday Coalition was convened by The Black Response. 


March 2021


April 2021

  • April 14 - Black Cambridge & Alternative Public Safety Program in Cambridge (Nikki from the AMISTAD Law Project, Trish Brown and Delilah Pierre from the Tallahassee Community Action Committee)

  • April 26 - Presentation of three board structure (Community, Coalition of Nonprofits, and Liability / Oversight)


May 2021


June 2021 

  • Started meetings with the City Manager (Meeting 1)

  • Youth HEART - An initiative through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program began. 


July 2021

  • City Manager meeting (Meeting 2)

  • July 28 - City Council Public Meeting on HEART


August 2021

  • Special City Council meeting - No update on Cambridge HEART (the original due date in policy order 114).


September 2021


October 2021

  • October 4 - Meeting #4 with the City Manager and other city officials. 

  • October 14 - City Council Public Meeting on HEART

  • October 19 - YWCA Sexual Violence and Community-Led Safety Event. The Black Response was a co-sponsor (with Impact and Surj Boston). 

  • The Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team submitted articles of incorporation to the Secretary of State for incorporation. 


November 2021 

  • November 17 the City Councilor held a hearing where the City Manager presented his idea for a Department of Community Safety that used much of the same language as the HEART proposal. HEART coalition presents to Cambridge City Council, including testimony from many Cambridge residents

  • HEART was officially incorporated as a 501c3.


December 2021

  • December 20 - City Manager Meeting #5 

  • December 21 - Cambridge HEART presentation to the public safety committee of the city council. (Please read the Cambridge Day account of the meeting). 


January 2022

  • January 5 - Held a meeting for potential HEART responders with Maryann Atkinson Dean at Bunker Hill Community College and Cosette Ayele of RAHEEM to introduce the PATCH software. 

  • The national protests in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor last March and May, exposed  the violent, unrelenting and overreaching power of police/policing systems in the United States. This catalyzed many communities impacted by these very same violent systems around the country to imagine and reimagine what safety actually means outside of  the carceral systems we are entrenched in.