Honor the leadership of

Boston's Black women.

2023 Drylongso

Leadership Awards

Community Change, Inc. invites you to a night of food and celebration
of all Black women who show up for themselves and their communities,
as well as those who support their leadership.

Friday, September 22, 2023
Garage B

1420 Soldiers Field Rd
(lower courtyard at the Charles River Speedway)
Boston, MA 02135

Honorees  Dr. Lillie Albert | Rev. Mannika Bowman
Lavette Coney | Sashi James | Councilor Kendra Lara
Resources Organizing for Social Change

Keynote Speakers  Rev. Irene Monroe | Kim Janey

In keeping with the original intent behind the Drylongso awards, we seek to honor ordinary people doing extraordinary work against racism. The theme of this year’s event is celebrating the leadership of Black women and those who support them.

Historically, Black women have formed the backbone of movement work in the United States. That was true in the Civil Rights era and has remained true. Too often, Black women’s work in racial justice spaces is taken for granted and unrecognized.

Each one of this year’s awardees is intimately aware of the struggles that Black women and Black nonbinary people face in anti-racist spaces.

Ticket & Sponsorship Opportunities

Please consider becoming a sponsor of this year’s event:

  • Host Committee: $500 and includes 2 tickets
  • Friends: $1000 and 4 tickets
  • Catalyst: $2500 and 6 tickets
  • Organizers: $5000 full table

For more detailed information on sponsorship, please contact Shay Stewart-Bouley.

Keynote and Awardee Bios


Rev. Irene Monroe

Rev. Irene Monroe is described in O, the Oprah Magazine, as “a phenomenal woman who has succeeded against all odds.” An African-American lesbian feminist public theologian, she is a sought-after speaker and preacher.


Kim Janey

Kim Michelle Janey was the 55th Mayor of the City of Boston and has been at the center of the City’s history — the bad and the good. At 11 years old, she was on the front lines of the battle to desegregate the City’s schools, facing rocks and racial slurs during Boston’s tumultuous busing era in the 1970s. Forty-five years later, she made history when she was sworn in as Boston’s first woman and first Black mayor, successfully leading the City through a multitude of unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Councillor Kendra Lara

Councilor Kendra Lara

Councilor Lara is a proud first-generation Black Latina, a mother, and an artist.

Rev. Manikka Bowman

Rev. Manikka Bowman

Rev. Manikka leads Project REAP, the nation's oldest commercial real estate (CRE) diversity equity and inclusion organization, where she builds a diverse talent pipeline in a dominated white male industry.

RO logos larger

Resources Organizing for Social Change

ROSC's goal is "to share resources and support people in Maine who want to engage in social change work, particularly those who are the most affected by oppressive systems. We strive to build infrastructure and strengthen cross-issue, statewide movement building by increasing leadership development for grassroots organizers, promoting democratic practices within organizations, and supporting work that gets to root causes of injustice."

Sashi James

Sashi James

Sashi is the Director of Reimagining Communities for the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. She is dedicated to creating change in communities of incarcerated and under resourced.

Dr. Lillie Albert

Dr. Lillie Albert

Dr. Albert is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction at Boston College. Her expertise spans disciplines, including areas such as the use of cultural and communicative tools to develop conceptual understanding of math.

Lavette Coney

Lavette Coney

Lavette Coney is an African American woman from Roxbury, MA, a predominantly Black and Brown neighborhood of Boston created by redlining, “urban renewal” and economic divesting. As the neighborhood association president, she recognizes how the trauma of Black people continues through living with hazardous contaminants, gentrification after decades of decay, and political disenfranchisement. Lavette has been a co-facilitator since 2016 and is the current leader of WPCR. After years of anti-racist work, she recognized that racism is a White problem and a burden on our society.