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Harambee Connection Celebrates Women’s History Month

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In celebration of Women’s History Month the Harambee neighborhood posthumously recognizes one of many trailblazers, Elizabeth (Betty) Boyd. With a rich history that includes grassroots leaderships, and involvement, many have been led to a feeling of community pride. The Harambee Ombudsman Project, Inc. (HOPI) recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary, and is happy to have counted her among their ranks. It is impossible to name all of the women who have worked in the trenches, beside the men over the years. Mrs. Boyd resided on Hubbard Street near North Avenue. She was a wife, a career woman and the mother of seven children. Mrs. Boyd was also a faithful member of the Historic St. Marcus Lutheran Church on Palmer Street and all of her seven children attended St. Marcus Elementary School. She volunteered at the Harambee Community School in addition to serving on HOPI’s Board of Directors during the early years. She was one of the first block club leaders in her immediate area, and the neighborhood children fondly remember her as “Granny.” Mrs. Boyd also volunteered with a neighborhood safety program under the leadership of the late Officer Ring. Not only did Mrs. Boyd have an impact on her neighborhood, she was a Job Counselor at the Jewish Vocational Service and secured employment for many of her clients. She worked there until retirement. Mrs. Boyd passed away in May 2002 at the age of 72. According to one of her daughters, Betty Speed (a Job Counselor for the Urban League), “Mother instilled the importance of community service in us. Every one of her seven children volunteers in the communities in which they live.”