RECAP: 14th Annual Coles “Call of Service” Award / Alumni Weekend

On Friday, November 13, 2020,  PBHA honored Tarana Burke, the Founder of the ‘me too.’ Movement, at the 14th Annual Robert Coles “Call of Service” Award, held via Zoom Webinar. Ms. Burke was honored for her bravery, vision, healing spirit, and wisdom.

In her Robert Coles “Call of Service” Fireside Chat with PBHA Vice-President Chiamaka Obilo ’21 and Alumni Coordinator Sarai Perez Camacho ’22, Ms. Burke called on all of us to take action. She reminded the audience that survivors all have different healing journeys, and that every step along that journey is important:

“If you identify as a survivor but you feel like you don’t know how to heal, you don’t know where your journey starts, everything that you have done from the day that you experienced that trauma to now is your healing journey. We’re all on a journey. Some people feel more successful at it than others, but it is your journey. And you have been resilient. Taking a breath in the morning, opening your eyes is a form of resilience, and we have to acknowledge that.”

Ms. Burke had the audience in tears and feeling the healing spirit by the end of the fireside chat. She called on all of us to take action in our own fields. We are so grateful to Tarana for joining us and inspiring us all! Watch the full event below:


PBHA’s Call to Action Virtual Alumni Weekend continued Saturday afternoon with the annual PBHA Alumni Association (PBHA-A) General Meeting, led by PBHA-A President Ayanna Johnson ’93 and President-Elect Amy Schneider ’75. Alumni at the meeting received updates about new PBHA’s work during the Covid-19 pandemic and thought about PBHA’s role into the future as a force for student-led, community-based public service at Harvard and in Cambridge and Boston.

Following the General Meeting, alumni and current students participated in teach-ins and breakouts on the topics of Public Health, Education, Immigration, Environmental Justice, Anti-Poverty Work, Prison & Criminal Justice Reform, BGLTQ Equity, and Gender Equity – with all topics examined through the lens of racial justice.

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