Changing Faces of Greater Boston

Rita Kiki Edozie, et al
Date of Publication: 
May, 2019
Source Organization: 
University of Massachusetts Boston

This report tells the story of the Boston region’s evolving racial and ethnic diversity. After a decline during the mid 20th century, we’re now several decades into a new global wave of immigration, bringing Boston back to its roots as a city of immigrants. While this report does not shy away from the challenges that come with such profound change, it is clear-eyed about the many ways that we can meet those challenges, and about the countless benefits the change brings.

The exploration of these trends has been something of a research “barn raising” by Boston’s 104-year-old community foundation  and researchers from across the University of Massachusetts system. Boston Indicators (the Boston Foundation’s research center) sponsored the project and provided research and editorial support throughout. The UMass Donahue Institute at the UMass President’s Office led the demographic analysis. A diverse group of researchers from UMass Boston led the qualitative study of how demographic change is experienced on the ground—throughout the region and in specific corners of it. UMass Boston hosts independent academic centers focused on the four major racial/ethnic groups—the Trotter Institute, the Gastón Institute, the Institute for Asian American Studies and the Institute for New England Native American Studies. The directors of these centers each contribute a chapter, and while they dive deep into dynamics particular to their respective communities they also reveal the many common areas of challenge and opportunity.

The several authors of this report both narrate the story and represent it, as the concerted work of their distinct research groups parallels a dynamic at work in Greater Boston’s neighborhoods: There is strength in preserving and celebrating unique identities and heritages, and there is power and efficacy in joining them.

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Edozie, R. K. et al. (2019). Changing Faces of Greater Boston. The Boston Foundation and UMass Boston. Retrieved from