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BOSS Celebrates 50 Years of Impact: A Night to Remember

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

A Half Century of Transformative Work

BOSS' 50th Anniversary Celebration, held at the exquisite BLOC15 in Oakland, California, on Thursday, October 26, 2023, was a remarkable evening that brought together over 250 community members. The event was a heartwarming testament to the organization's enduring commitment to promoting social and economic mobility, health, housing security, and a sense of belonging for its participants.

Throughout the past 50 years, BOSS has worked tirelessly to change lives and create a more just society. This journey has been marked by continuous progress, overcoming challenges, and uplifting countless individuals who needed a helping hand. The anniversary event was an opportunity to reflect on these accomplishments, honor the tireless work of BOSS, and celebrate a shared commitment to the organization's ongoing mission.

Community, Gratitude, and Shared Commitment

The anniversary celebration provided a platform for BOSS to express its appreciation to supporters, partners, participants, elected officials, business leaders, and grassroots organizations that have played a pivotal role in its journey. The event showcased a remarkable sense of belonging among all attendees, reinforcing the idea that together, we can achieve lasting change.

Two men on stage drumming
Duniya Drummers

Five people in gala attire standing on a balcony applauding

The evening was filled with not only good food but also captivating live performances. The Duniya Drummers set the tone for a soul-stirring performance and an original poem, written by Nicia De'Lovely and beautifully read by four participants-now-staff members, that added a deeply emotional touch, emphasizing the power of transformation.

The celebration featured a well-structured program that underscored BOSS' history and the transformative work it has achieved over the past 50 years.

Two men on stage having a conversation in front of an audience - audience not pictured

From the video highlighting BOSS' origin story to a thought-provoking fireside chat with Resmaa Menakem, every moment of the event was designed to inspire and educate. The awards presented to key figures, including BOSS co-founder Ursula Sherman and Attorney General Rob Bonta, reflected the organization's commitment to justice and impact.

A photo of a woman accepting and holding an award
Claire, daughter of Founder Ursula Sherman

Celebration and Contributions

There were so many celebratory moments of unity, compassion, love and shared commitment. BOSS' Fund a Need initiative, prize drawings, and a special performance by Jennifer Johns added excitement to the event. The performance was especially moving, as the songs echoed the resilience and strength of the individuals BOSS serves. Attendees left the event with hearts filled with hope, knowing that their contributions had strengthened BOSS for the future.

A group of men and women posing for a photo in front of a 50th anniversary banner

BOSS shined a spotlight on the extraordinary Social Entrepreneurs who are our invaluable community partners with lived experiences. Their commitment to our bodies of culture is extensive, establishing corridors of community healing, financial literacy & employment, and entrepreneurship.

Let's Keep the Impact Going

Four black glass blown awards sitting on a tbale

As we celebrate BOSS' past 50 years, we invite you to join us in shaping our next chapter of transformation. Your support is crucial in continuing our mission to uplift individuals, create lasting change, and build a brighter future. Donate now to contribute to our ongoing work!

Additionally, don't miss the chance to own a piece of our history with the BOSS 50th Anniversary Book, a collector's item that commemorates our journey. Your contribution, whether through a donation, starting your Giving Tuesday NOW!, or by purchasing the book, will help us continue our work, making an impact for the next 50 years and beyond.

Panels and backdrops on the stage that reads BOSS Celebrates 50 Years

On behalf of BOSS’s program participants, volunteers, staff, and Board of

Directors, please accept our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for your

contribution to our 50th Anniversary Celebration. If you missed the festivities and would like to contribute, you can still donate here!

Photos from the evening are also available! Click here to view, and post your own photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #boss50years


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