Back Lot BBQ to Honor 5 Local Social Justice Initiatives

Back Lot BBQ to Honor 5 Local Social Justice Initiatives

The Rossi Award for Creative and Responsive Leadership will recognize efforts to activate a meaningful and inclusive social justice agenda.

  • Posted on: 22 August 2017
  • By: Clodagh

On Thursday, September 14, Cambridge Community Television will host its annual, beloved Back Lot BBQ. This year’s party, benefitting CCTV’s Youth Media Program, gets under way at 5:30 p.m. behind CCTV’s studios at 438 Massachusetts Avenue. The Rossi Award for Creative and Responsive Leadership will be presented to five initiatives that that began after the 2016 Presidential Election for the purpose of educating our community and promoting civic engagement--Cambridge Area Stronger Together (CAST), the Cambridge Public Library - Our Path Forward initiative, Indivisible Cambridge, MIT Day of Action, and the Resistance School. These local initiatives have activated the work toward a meaningful and inclusive social justice agenda.
Tickets to the BBQ are available here.

About Cambridge Area Stronger Together (CAST): “After the 2016 general elections, a group from the Cambridge for Hillary Campaign (including some primary election supporters of Bernie Sanders) decided to tap the energy, commitment, and effectiveness of that campaign office to resist the Republican/Trump agenda, and to preserve what we value about our city, state, and country. Over the past months, CAST members have organized more than a dozen phone banks for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff, participated in various marches and rallies, staged weekly ‘callouts’ in Cambridge, and met with a variety of elected representatives. We look forward to continuing phone banking and fundraising for candidates across the country, advocating for progressive issues, and helping to build greater engagement and community in the Cambridge area."

About the Cambridge Public Library - Our Path Forward: “Our response to the election is to reaffirm our core values stated in the Cambridge Public Library’s mission. We serve as a doorway to opportunity, self-development and recreation for all residents, and as a forum to share ideas, cultures and resources. The free availability of information, the lively interaction of people, and the open exchange of ideas animate and extend the democratic mission of Cambridge Public Library. The Our Path Forward series is presented by the Library to affirm its commitment to public discourse and democracy.”

About Indivisible Cambridge: "Indivisible Cambridge was founded to bring strategies of nonviolent civil resistance and protest to our representatives through direct, local action. We are Cambridge-based and Cambridge-focused in our aims, as we believe our city to be a powerful incubator for statewide and national resistance. Numbering nearly 700 members, our Facebook group serves as a clearing house and message board for local action; Indivisible Cambridge's actions are largely conceived and driven by its members."

About MIT Day of Action: “The Day of Engagement, Day of Action was our response to the widespread feelings of shock, uncertainty, and concern in our community since the election of November 2016. With over 70 sessions and activities and over 1000 attendees, the event made a wide range of content available. Some sessions aimed to raise awareness or provide knowledge, others offered skills for organizing and activism. The organizing team is still analyzing feedback from the Day of Action and planning possible next steps, including future grassroots civic engagement and action initiatives at MIT in the upcoming academic year. Whatever the precise next steps turn out to be, the success of MIT’s Day of Action on April 18 demonstrates the energy and potential for a renewed norm of civic engagement as a fundamental part of campus life.

About Resistance School: “Resistance School began as a group of Harvard graduate students who were called to action by the election. We asked ourselves what we could do to fight for progressive values. Resistance School is a free, online training program that sharpens the tools activists and organizers need to fight at the federal, state, and local levels. Our goal is to keep the embers of resistance alive through concrete learning, community engagement, and forward-looking action. Experts in communications, politics and organizing taught our first semester; groups and individuals in all fifty states and around the world have watched Resistance School and are using the skills they learned to structure their activism. The sessions have been viewed more than 175,000 times. All the sessions, along with corresponding readings, worksheets and summaries, can be found at The next semester of Resistance School will be announced in the next few months.”