Vanessa Calderón-Rosado being honored for her contributions to social justice

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado

Cambridge College honorary degree recipient Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD, is receiving three awards this fall.

Published: 09/28/2023

We’re proud to share that Cambridge College honorary degree recipient Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD, is receiving three awards this fall. CEO of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), Boston, a long-standing partner of Cambridge College, Calderón-Rosado is a champion of social justice.

The first award is the Mass Humanities 2023 Governor’s Awards in the Humanities and is presented in partnership with Governor Maura Healey. It is in recognition of Calderón-Rosado’s long and multifaceted career demonstrating a commitment to the humanities within education, community development, and philanthropy in Boston and across the state. Calderón-Rosado is being honored for her work that actively promotes Latinx culture and builds community through the arts in Boston’s South End and for her contributions to shaping a more equitable philanthropic ecosystem in Massachusetts. She is one of four recipients.  

The second award, Eastern Bank’s 2023 Social Justice Award, is being presented to Calderón-Rosado in October to recognize her ongoing fight for racial equity and her two decades of service resulting in groundbreaking progress in the areas of affordable housing, education, community engagement and policy. Eastern Bank also cites, among other achievements, the success Calderón-Rosado has earned with her team at IBA in building the acclaimed community development corporation into the largest Latino-Led nonprofit organization in Eastern Massachusetts.

Calderón-Rosado will receive her third award, the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN). She will be one of two recipients bestowed with this prestigious honor. In response to receiving the award, Vanessa Calderón-Rosado said, “Nonprofit organizations, like IBA, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, are critical in supporting and building communities across the Commonwealth. I am grateful for the Mass Nonprofit Network’s impact in our sector, and for honoring me with the Lifetime Achievement Award for the work that I’ve been called to do in partnership with my colleagues at IBA, and with so many others across Massachusetts.”

About Vanessa Calderón-Rosado

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., is CEO of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), a community development corporation dedicated to empowering and engaging individuals and families to improve their lives through high-quality affordable housing, education, and arts programs. Under Vanessa’s leadership since 2003, IBA has become the largest Latino-led nonprofit organization in Eastern Massachusetts with over $250 million in assets, and with a portfolio of 667 affordable housing units in its South End Villa Victoria development, in Roxbury and Mattapan. Vanessa was selected as a Barr Fellow in 2009, and in 2010, she became the first Latina to be appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Vanessa is a founding board member of the Margarita Muñiz Academy, the first dual-language innovation high school in Massachusetts, and a co-founder of the Greater Boston Latino Network. She serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC), the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, the Yawkey Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and the Franklin Square House Foundation. She is also a member of Governor Healey’s Council on Latino Empowerment, the Boston Foundation’s Latino Equity Fund Advisory Committee, and Eastern Bank’s Board of Advisors. In 2022, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce recognized Vanessa with the Distinguished Bostonian Award. 

Vanessa is a Puerto Rican-born civic leader who received her doctorate in public policy from UMASS Boston; and a Honoris Causa Doctorate from Cambridge College. She enjoys cooking, reading, indoor cycling, and playing Wordle and Solitaire. She lives in Milton with her husband Miguel and is the proud Mom of Carlos and Antonio.