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Boston Receives Rockefeller 'Resilient Cities' Grant

Boston is one of 35 communities across the globe receiving a Rockefeller Foundation "Resilient Cities" grant, the organization announced Tuesday evening.

The grant aims to help cities "become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century."

While many cities applied based on environmental or economic issues, Boston cited social resiliency issues going back to the busing crisis.

In the city's application, Mayor Marty Walsh wrote that the busing ordered in 1974 "created its own set of issues that the city was forced to grapple with."

Walsh's policy chief, Joyce Linehan, says those issues continue to resonate today.

"We're talking about income inequality, we're talking about the achievement gap, we're talking about ways in which we can be a more inclusive and equitable city," Linehan said.

The grant provides the city with direct funding for an administration position of chief resilience officer for at least three years, as well as technical support to develop a "holistic resilience strategy" and access to support services.

The chief resilience officer will report directly to Mayor Walsh, and the mayor says the officer's first priority will be to begin the conversation about what happened — and what is still happening — to the city of Boston as a result of busing.

Other U.S. cities receiving grants include Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tulsa.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the amount of the grant Boston was awarded from the Rockefeller Foundation. The exact amount of the grant is based on the cost of hiring a chief resilience officer and is not known at this time. 

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