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Cornerstone Collaborative

An Innovative

Socio-Economic Community Ecosystem

Eliminating Poverty & Violence

through Networked Community Development





Some of What We Do

Brunch and Ball Mentoring Program

Expanding to Roxbury

The Brunch and Ball Mentoring Program has expanded to a third location, the Roxbury YMCA in Boston, MA. The mentoring program started at the Dorchester YMCA, then grew to Cambridge, MA less than 2 years ago, and is now its third location at the Roxbury YMCA as of October 2021.

The mentors continue to build relationships with youth in the community while discussing relevant topics that affect young people in their day-to-day lives. For more information, read below and/or to support this endeavor, contact Executive Director, Francois Fils-Aime at [email protected]

Some of What We Do

Veteran's Mental Health

Improving Access to Care 

As a thought incubator, Cornerstone is developing solutions to address issues that matter most to the communities we serve. Among these concerns, we acknowledge a shortage of mental health providers serving many communities, including those with military families. Even among the excellent providers available, health insurance carried by many military families can often become a barrier when it is not accepted or limitations are placed on the frequency of mental health care provided.

Access to health care for military families involves more than just mental health, and includes social determinants such as veterans experiencing homelessness. Cornerstone is pursuing an advocacy framework for these and other issues such as disrupting the link between mental health and the criminal justice system. For more information or to support this endeavor, contact Becca Reeves at [email protected]

What do you know about Sickle Cell Disease?

Did you know that sickle cell disease (SCD) affects millions of people throughout the world? Although SCD is most common among African Americans in the United States, it can also affect Hispanics and people whose ancestors come from countries in South Asia (such as India), southern Europe (such as Greece and Italy), and the Middle East (such as Saudi Arabia and Lebanon). Click here to learn more and here for  caring for common complications of SCD.

Breaking The Glass Ceiling: A Woman’s Journey (Part II)

Breaking The Glass Ceiling: A Woman’s Journey (Part I)

Click on the flyer above or below to view and listen to the events held on March 25th and 23rd, 2021, during which presenters shared steps they took and obstacles they hurdled to be in the positions of leadership and influence they currently hold.  These notable women are examples of encouragement and motivation for all of us, and especially girls and women to remain on the various paths of success in life -- professionally, educationally, socially, and emotionally.

Facilitating Community Dialogue

Click here or the flyer below to view and listen to the this panel discussion on February 18, 2021, open to the general public and for those who have experienced specific challenges throughout the pandemic. The panelists shared their expertise and experience in their respective fields during the pandemic.

Watering Farms in Jamaica

A continuing need of rural farmers is demand-access to water through water storage and water catchment systems. The soil profile in Jamaica is mainly limestone. Although it rains often, the water does not hold effectively within the soil to support sustained year-round farming. Moreover, many farms are maintained on reclaimed land that was previously mined for bauxite, presenting the risk of water contamination or other adverse spillover effects. Climate change has heightened the struggle for proper irrigation as farmers can experience prolonged periods of drought. For this reason, proper irrigation of farms and water storage has been a constant challenge.

Cornerstone seeks to measurably improve the ability of rural farmers in St. Ann, Jamaica to access water for year-round and sustainable agriculture for food production.  For more information or to support this endeavor, contact us, or click the image to the right.


Initiative to End Misogyny

The “Initiative to End Misogyny” (ITEM) aims to engage boys who are age six (6) and older and men of any age in educational programming and community awareness activities that encourage men and boys to work as allies with women and girls to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking. The emphasis of effort for this population is to strengthen the effectiveness of community mentors and support networks and to provide civil legal assistance programs serving people who have experienced misogyny or toxic masculinity or are at risk of domestic violence. This effort promotes community networks and innovation through four Core Elements of the Initiative: Healing and Repairing Community, Addressing Toxic Masculinity at All Ages, Providing Civil Legal Support, and Mentorship. For more information or to support this endeavor, contact us.

Brunch and Ball Mentoring

Brunch and Ball Mentoring Program was co-created over 10 years ago by then Executive Director of the Dorchester YMCA Ms. Kathy Townsend and New England Executive Director, Francois Fils-Aime who is a member of the international community service fraternity, Omega Psi Fraternity, Inc. Other members include Michael Jordan, Ronald McNair, Cedric Maxwell, Langston Hughes, Wayne Budd, Steve Harvey, Charles Drew, and Jesse Jackson, to name a few. 

The purpose of Brunch and Ball is to provide a safe haven and mentoring services for young men 13-19 years old that live in Dorchester and surrounding communities due to increasing crime, and teen and gang violence that plague these communities. Each month, a professional from the Boston area speaks to teens about relevant and current topics that will inspire and motivate them to be successful, graduate high school, and aspire to attend college or post secondary education/training -- with an ultimate goal of having the participants  give back to their communities. The program is supported by the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity who mentor the teens and build relationships with them while having brunch. The mentors and teens play a friendly game of basketball against and with each other at the end of each monthly gathering.

A safe space has been provided by the Dorchester YMCA and healthy food choices are offered to the teens. Cornerstone seeks to launch the initiative in Florida, and in Boston, expand it to include programming for young women as well as provide additional mentoring and service-learning opportunities through activities such as field trips or involving other educational and community-building resources.

Promoting Dignity in Massachusetts

LeadBoston Program Manager, Rachael Conway and Massachusetts Executive Director, Francois Fils-Aime after meeting to discuss collaboration toward "eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all "

Black Male Educators Brunch

Massachusetts Executive Director, Francois Fils-Aime (second row, wearing hat) along with other black male professionals met during the Black Male Educators Brunch in Boston, MA to discuss and solve how to best serve young men  in the city of Boston.  The brunch would be one of the many meetings to be hosted by the He Is Me Institute, whose purpose is to increase the number of Black men who become teachers.

Partners in Education

Erin McGrath, Executive Director of Boston Partners in Education ( pictured with Francois Fils-Aime, Massachusetts Executive Director of Cornerstone Collaborative innovating and aligning efforts.