Ruth Batson


“She always gave back to the community, quietly and effectively.”


I asked my students this question: “What do people who live elsewhere think of when they think of Boston?”

Responses included the city’s distinctive accent, Revolutionary War history, and strong sports culture.


When I asked if there were any negative associations, however, the only suggestion – to our great amusement – was “dirty water.” Boston’s former notoriety for racial division was unknown.



In fairness, I didn’t know about it either when I was a 6th grader.

Moreover, that painful history wouldn’t be obvious from looking at the students, who look a lot like the city. Our classroom’s diversity is a tribute to the work of Ruth Batson, whose Boston Globe obituary we read together.