John Barros Committee
John was born in Roxbury in 1973 to parents who emigrated from the Cape Verde islands. He started his education in the Boston Public Schools at the Ralph Waldo Emerson School, went on to St. Patrick’s Elementary School until entering Boston College High School where he earned his diploma. In 1991, at age 17, he was the first youth elected to the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) Board of Directors, and dedicated his service to amplifying youth voices across the organization and neighborhood.
Following his graduation from BC High, John attended Dartmouth College, where he studied Economics and African/African-American Studies. At Dartmouth John played a variety of leadership roles including president of the African American Society and member of the Casque and Gauntlet Senior Society. While at Dartmouth, John was accepted into an executive training internship and placed at Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, which led to a full time position upon his graduation in 1996. At Chubb, he helped underwrite initial public offerings for dot-com startups, including Priceline.com.
John served as Vice President of the DSNI Board and of Dudley Neighbors, Inc., a community land trust created to assure permanent affordable housing. In 2000 John was asked to serve as interim Executive Director for DSNI while the Board searched for a permanent Director. Three months of work demonstrated that John was uniquely qualified to lead the organization, and he has served in that role until now.
John is a member of the 2005 Fellows class in the South African-United States Center for Leadership and Public Values and is a 2007 Barr Foundation Fellow. He serves on the Community Advisory Board for Northeastern University’s Race and Justice Institute and the Board of the New Democracy Coalition. He was elected Co-Chairperson of the Center for Community Builders, a national practitioner network. He was a member of the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change.
John has received numerous awards including: the inaugural Community Service Award from the Boston Day & Evening Academy in 2008; the Robert Leo Ruffin Award for his work with youth, from the Archdiocese of Boston in 2004; the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Roxbury Community Award in 2000.
John is a co-founder of Restaurante Cesaria, a Cape Verdean restaurant in Dorchester. He is a lay leader at St. Patrick’s Church, and was appointed the Coordinator of the Cape Verdean Apostolate for the Archdiocese of Boston. He is a candidate for a Masters in Public Policy from Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester with his wife, Tchintcia, who works in the financial industry, and one-year old son, John, Jr. They are expecting another baby in September.