Over 90 Years of Building Community Together
On January 29, 1929, a group of Black pastors founded the Cambridge Community Center in the Coast neighborhood because the YMCA at the time was for whites-only. The pastors were committed to creating an inclusive space that responded to the growing inequalities and lack of opportunities in the community. For over 90 years and from our historic facility built in 1882, we have served generations of children, teens, and families throughout Cambridge.
The Center has initiated many Coast firsts, including the establishment of the first nursery school and the first varsity basketball games open to African Americans. In subsequent decades, the Center has hosted HeadStart Program classrooms, the Riverside Health Care Facility, and a wide variety of community, political, and social events. Today, our mission is to promote community cooperation and unity and empower youth, individuals, and families.
The Center has been a frontline resource for youth and families in the Coast since its inception. Hundreds of individuals use our facilities throughout the year whether they use our services, rent our space for events, or are enrolled in our programs. Many of the staff and children in our programs come from families that have been involved with the Center for four or even five generations, enriching our Center with a strong sense of history, family, and community.