Felix G. Arroyo, chief of Boston’s Health and Human Services and former city councilor, will be on hand to show Emerson students how they can become civic engagement leaders in an event this Wednesday, October 22, in the Multipurpose Room of the Mutchnick Campus Center.
Felix Arroyo, chief of Boston's Health and Human Services and former city councilor. (Courtesy Photo)
The Student Civic Leaders Reception, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, will include refreshments and is being hosted by Emerson’s Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research.
The event is designed for students to learn about the Elma Lewis Center, meet the staff, network, and learn about ways to promote expansion of civic engagement at Emerson, said Kelly Bates, executive director of the Elma Lewis Center.
“Maybe there’s a student group they can get involved with, or a leadership opportunity in their neighborhoods, or a social justice issue they’re passionate about,” Bates said.
Arroyo was a candidate for mayor in Boston last year, and was the only Latino candidate in the contest. He was appointed to his current position in January by Mayor Martin Walsh.
“Felix is easy to relate to. He’s a real human being,” Bates said. “He’s always talking about the importance of young people being active civically, and what kind of impact they can make on issues that matter to them.”
Prior to his appointment, Arroyo served two terms as an at-large city councilor in Boston. He chaired the council’s committees on labor, and youth affairs and health, and also vice- chaired the committee on housing.
“You don’t have to wait to have an established career to become civically engaged,” Bates said. “I hope Chief Arroyo will be a motivating force in helping students understand that.”
Arroyo has dedicated his life to public service and community organizing. He helped pass the Affordable Care Act as a New England field director for Health Care for America Now and as an advocate for workers in SEIU Local 615.