June 23, 2020
BOSTON – On Wednesday, June 24, The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women in a virtual ceremony instead of at the State House, will honor this year’s Commonwealth Heroines Class of 2020, which includes Ms. Cynthia A. Johnson of Boston, nominated by Representative Liz Malia (D-11th Suffolk), for her lifelong commitment to serving and elevating her community. Ms. Johnson will be honored along with 133 other Commonwealth Heroines from around the Commonwealth and the Commission will share a slideshow provided through a link on their social media platforms.
For over 37 years, Ms. Cynthia A. Johnson remains an active and involved community activist. Her heart is as large as her creative mind, and her passion for supporting families grows stronger each day. In 1983, Ms. Johnson joined the local tenant taskforce called Archdale Tenants on the Move, Inc. (ATOM), a nonprofit organization, formed by a group of single mothers living in the Boston Housing Authority’s Archdale Family Housing Development. The members organized and advocated on behalf of the residents and their families, and successfully held accountable those responsible for improving the housing conditions.
As a member of the ATOM taskforce, Ms. Johnson learned valuable skills that eventually lead to her ascension as the chairperson. As the Chair of ATOM, and with the help of the late and then former City Councilor Thomas M. Menino and former State Representative John McDonough, she lead the collaborative effort to secure funding to improve the interior and exterior of the buildings and the grounds.
Later in 1989, Ms. Johnson and the taskforce secured funds to reopen the Recreational Center, now known as the BCYF Thomas Menino Community Center, which was closed for over 10 years and slated to be torn down. Once reopened in 1991, she was instrumental in creating new by-laws and a 501c3 status for the Community Center. Cynthia continues to advocate for the residents of Archdale as a board member – and today – as the Administrative Coordinator of the Center.
It is Ms. Johnson’s vision, leadership and steady hand, in no small part, that keeps the Archdale community connected and strong. From supporting new, innovative programming and events to providing a stable and safe gathering place for young people and their families, she is certainly a commonwealth heroine to appreciate and celebrate!
About the Award:
Each year the Commission on the Status of Women gathers nominations from across the state for women who make outstanding contributions to their organizations and communities. The Honorees are nominated by state legislators as a means of recognizing women for their previously unnoted yet valuable community contributions.
The Unsung Heroines are women who don’t always make the news, but truly make the difference. They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community has them.
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The MCSW provides a permanent, effective voice for the women of Massachusetts.