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Two New Members Join Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors

Two New Members Join Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors

CAMBRIDGE, MA, April 2, 2018—Just-A-Start Corporation, a community development corporation in Cambridge, MA, welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors: Richard Harding and Samuel Gebru.

Richard Harding is a lifelong Cambridge resident whose career has always been focused on public service and community engagement. He began as an intern at Joe Kennedy’s Citizen’s Energy, then served as Director of Constituent Services for Senator Seven Tolman and is the past Chair of the Ward 2 Democratic Committee. He has served on the board of the Young People’s Project and of the Community Arts Center. Richard is the President of the Port Life Foundation and a founder of the Port Action Group, a neighborhood group focused on violence prevention. Richard is the proud recipient of the NAACP Education Excellence Award and the Cambridge Peace and Justice Award. As a School Committee member, Richard has served as Vice-Chair and co-chair of the Budget Committee and Contract Negotiations, co-chaired the Kids Council, and served on the Neighborhood Safety Task Force’s Employment Sub-Committee. Richard currently runs the Men of Color Health Initiative and is a program consultant to the job training program CambridgeWorks. He attended the Kennedy Elementary School and graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School (CRLS) and Fitchburg State College. His daughter is a 2015 graduate of the Cambridge public schools.

Samuel Gebru is an Ethiopian American social entrepreneur, community organizer, consultant, and resident of Cambridge since the age of three. He began his career in public service at the age of 13, raising funds committed to maternal health issues in his native Ethiopia. While at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Samuel launched Youth View Cambridge and was the first youth appointed to the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Family Policy Council. He has worked on municipal and state election campaigns and served as a legislative intern to Massachusetts State Senator Steven A. Tolman. From 2006-2016, Samuel founded and led the Ethiopian Global Initiative, and is currently the founder and managing director of Black Lion Strategies, a consulting practice that works to strengthen U.S.-Ethiopia relations. He is also the executive producer to Boston Ethiopia Week. Samuel serves on the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Community Center and launched the annual Samuel M. Gebru Leadership Award at CRLS, recognizing a graduating senior for experience in, and passion for, public service. He was previously a board member of Africans in Boston, and served on the Artist Selection Committee for Cambridge’s Prince Hall, honoring Prince Hall, the noted African American scholar, abolitionist, and founder of Black Masonry.

“I am so grateful for Richard’s and Samuel’s interest in and commitment to Just-A-Start and I’m looking forward to their valuable participation as members of Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors, as the organization continues to strategically grow and expand.” said Deborah Ruhe, Executive Director of Just-A-Start.


About Just-A-Start Corporation

Just-A-Start is a community development corporation dedicated to building the housing security and economic stability of low- to moderate-income people in Cambridge and nearby communities. Through innovative, comprehensive, and integrated programs, JAS provides and preserves affordable housing, offers education and workforce training for youth and adults, and helps connect residents to the community. JAS’s vision is a better future for each community member through a secure home, a sustaining career, and connection to the community. For more information, visit or contact Deborah Ruhe at 617-918-7503 or at Additionally, Just-A-Start can be followed on Twitter @JustAStartCorp and Facebook at