More than 60 community members gathered on October 24 in Cambridge for the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers’ (MAPS) 2017 Annual Meeting, where they elected Claire Andrade-Watkins, PhD, to the organization’s Board of Directors, and learned about MAPS’ main achievements and challenges during Fiscal Year 2017.
Claire Andrade-Watkins, PhD, who was unable to attend the meeting, is a Cape Verdean American filmmaker/historian and Professor of Film and Africana Studies at the Emerson College’s Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies. She is the Director of the Fox Point Cape Verdean Project, a community based research initiative, and President of SPIA Media Productions, Inc., a production and distribution company specializing in the Africana Diaspora.
“We are honored to be able to rely on Claire’s many years of experience working closely with our communities, especially the Cabo Verdean community,” said Paulo Pinto, MPA, MAPS Executive Director. “Our Board of Directors is enriched by her presence, and we can’t wait to work with her.”
Elizabeth Chaves, Chair of the Board Affairs Committee, Raymond Estrella, MBA, Board Treasurer, and Jennifer K. Santos, Esq, were reelected to MAPS’ Board of Directors, now with 12 members.
Following warm greetings from Board President Paula Coutinho, LICSW, and Elizabeth Chaves, Board Affairs Committee Chair, Paulo Pinto presented some of the organization’s major successes of the fiscal year that ended on June 30 of 2017.
“The state of MAPS is very strong,” said Pinto. “Over the past fiscal year, our HIV/ STI Services tested more than 1,000 people, and detected 22 new HIV Positive clients who are now on the path to a healthier and safer life. We helped more than 500 clients apply for U.S. Citizenship, provided support to approximately 300 Domestic Violence/ Sexual Assault victims and survivors, served more than 200 children at risk of abuse and neglect and their families, and prevented isolation and promoted quality of life for more than 150 seniors through our Senior Center.”
Nonetheless, fiscal year 2018 poses challenges for the health and social services organization. “We experienced some budget cuts to several of our programs, and our annual budget for this year is about $500K smaller than last fiscal year,” noted Paulo Pinto. “Thankfully, we are also experiencing some growth in our Family Support, Domestic Violence and HIV/ AIDS Case Management programs, and, most importantly, our commitment and passion are greater than ever to meeting the challenges ahead and the complex needs of our communities.”
MAPS also recognized the dedication of its volunteers with Certificates of Appreciation and honored several of its staff members. Fania Resendes, Advocate at the MAPS Cambridge Office, has been with the organization for 5 years, Soledade Dinis, MS, Child and Family Therapist and Field Supervisor, and Julia Evora, Senior Center coordinator, celebrated 10 years of service at MAPS, and Beatriz Maimone, LICSW, Director of Clinical and Support Services, has been with MAPS for 25 years.
Several Board members also received certificates commemorating their time with MAPS. Raymond Estrella, MBA, and Filipe Zamborlini have been with the organization for 5 years, while Carmen Medeiros, M.Ed., celebrated 15 years with the MAPS Board of Directors, and Mary Ann Lomba, MBA, has served the community through MAPS for 25 years.
Guests at the Annual Meeting were also introduced to MAPS’ new logo – a cleaner and more modern version that keeps the essence and message of the old logo – and the organization’s new website, which is now live at maps-inc.org.