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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.

  • January 28 - Cambridge HEART awarded $100,000 from Borealis Philanthropy’s Black-led Movement Fund.

February 2022

  • February 1 - Presentation for Cambridge Housing Authority on Cambridge HEART.

  • Potential HEART responders began the intensive virtual EMT course with Cataldo.

March 2022

  • March 1 - HEART held a major fundraiser to raise funds for HEART responder salaries. We raised over $120,000 through individual donations. 

  • March 2 - Presented Cambridge HEART ARPA application at the City of Cambridge Finance Committee Hearing.

  • HEART held its second retreat where we decided to hire responders and established a timeline for onboarding and training timelines.

  • March 18 - Cambridge HEART participated in Black News Hour - live radio interview. 

  • March 22 - Cambridge HEART presentation at Harvard law School.

April 2022

  • April 4 - Cambridge HEART participates in NAMI Massachusetts’ virtual Advocacy Day.

  • Eight community members from Cambridge successfully pass an EMT training and are on boarded as HEART’s first cohort of responders 

  • HEART responders begin extensive training in Circle process, disability justice, transformative justice, de-escalation, self-defense, mental health response, among other things.

  • April 15 - Stephanie Guirand, Board President of HEART, presented at Brown University as part of the Transformative Justice Practitioner Program (TJPP) on Cambridge HEART. 

  • April 19 - Cambridge HEART Presentation at Lesley University's Community LEAP Guest Speaker Series.

  • April 24 - Cambridge HEART participated in the first ever ORMA Alternatives to Policing event with over 120 participants.

May 2022

  • HEART responders are in training. 

  • Cambridge HEART hires Corinne Espinoza as Co-Director.

  • May 6 - Cambridge HEART gave a keynote presentation at the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society conference.

  • Anonymous donor offers to match every dollar we raise up to $150,000 through the end of the calendar year. We begin planning for the $150K match campaign.

June 2022​

  • June 1 - The $150k match campaign begins. 

  • June 14 - Cambridge HEART responders attend and speak at the Finance Committee meeting. 

  • June 26 - Presentation to First Parish Cambridge.

July 2022

  • July 26 - Presentation to The City School in Boston.

  • July 31 - Our Revolution Massachusetts (ORMA) panel with CRESS from Amherst, MA and Department Community Care  from Northampton, MA, ALERT in Lynn, Ma, and Cambridge HEART Responder Barbara Ortiz and Board President Stephanie Guirand.

  • HEART responders run a youth program that focuses on non-carceral community responding as part of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Participants create documentaries about formerly incarcerated peoples’ lives.

August 2022

  • August 19 - MSYEP Youth Showcase community event. 

  • August 18 - Donor education presentation facilitated by Boston Women's Fund and Borealis Philanthropies Communities Transforming Policing Fund. 

  • August 26 - Presentation to JOIN 

  • Cambridge HEART hires Dara Bayer as Co-Director.

September 2022

  • HEART responders begin training in peer specialist response through Kiva

  • HEART continues to build partnerships with community organizations and responders begin providing mutual aid to the community.

October 2022

  • October 8 - Cambridge HEART responders Kevin West and Betzy Otero participated in the Camberville Meet+Greet by the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW).

  • October 13 - Cambridge HEART team meets with the new city manager for the first time. 

  • October 18 - Presentation to Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA).

  • October 23 - Cambridge HEART participated in the ORMA statewide Alternative Emergency Responders practitioners forum as a panelist.

November 2022

  • Cambridge HEART officially begins partnership with The Spot. 

  • HEART responders begin engaging in non-emergency response requests for support from the community 

  • November 25 - Stephanie Guirand and Alex Vitale present on alternatives to policing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

December 2022

  • December 8 - Cambridge HEART responders Kevin West and Gwenhwyfar Sadie present at Resource Generation fundraiser. 

  • December 14 - Stephanie Guirand gives presentation at the City of Cambridge Public Safety committee hearing on behalf of Cambridge HEART.

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