social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

2023 SCI Idealist Award Recipient

Dr. Michael Curry, Esq. serves as President & CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, which represents 52 health centers, serving over one million patients out of over 300 practice sites. He was named “Bostonian of the Year 2021” by The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine, and in the spring of 2022 will deliver three commencement college speeches and receive two honorary degrees: a Doctorate in Business Administration from Curry College, and Healthcare Administration from Labouré College.

During the early battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael was appointed by the Massachusetts Senate to the legislatively created Health Equity Task Force, which he co-chaired, aimed at addressing the health disparities that have been realized and magnified by COVID-19. He was also appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to the COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group, and served on the Department of Public Health’s Health Equity Advisory Group, the City of Boston’s Health Inequity Task Force, and the City of Brockton’s Social Justice Task Force. He brings over 25 years of experience and results in civil rights advocacy, health reform and health equity.

Notably, Dr. Curry raised over $6.5 million dollars in 2021 to launch the nation’s first “Institute for Health Equity Research, Evaluation & Policy” at a state primary care association. The institute will focus on “participatory” and “emancipatory” research and evaluation at community health centers, building a pipeline of diverse researchers and evaluators grounded in community health. He also co-led an effort to organize Black and Latinx leaders in health in Massachusetts to launch a “Health Equity Compact” aimed at eliminating health disparities in Massachusetts through an omnibus health equity reform proposal.

He is also the Immediate Past President of the Boston Branch of the NAACP (2011-2016), and has over twenty years of dedicated service to the NAACP on the city, state-area conference and national levels. He was elected nationally to the NAACP Board of Directors in 2014, and was reelected in 2017 and again in 2020. He serves on the National NAACP’s Executive Committee, and has been appointed Chair of the National Board’s Advocacy & Policy Committee since 2019 and Vice-Chair the Political Action and Legislation Committee.

He serves on the Board of Advisors for Eastern Bank and WGBH (public broadcasting), among others. He also served on the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the Massachusetts Non-profit Network, Kids Count Advisory, and Roxbury Community College Board of Directors, as well as the City of Boston’s Compensation Advisory Group and the City of Brockton Redevelopment Authority.

Michael has received numerous local and national awards for leadership and advocacy, and is frequently requested as a keynote speaker and panelist on a wide range of civil rights and health policy issues. In 2022, he received the Trailblazer Award from the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA), a Community Leadership Award from the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Non-profit Network (MNN).

Mr. Curry is a regular commentator on the local Public Radio Broadcast/WBUR Boston, WGBH Radio, as well as on television with WGBH, WBZ and New England Cable News/NBC Boston, on a wide range of political, cultural and social issues. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from New England School of Law, and later graduated from the inaugural class of the Executive Leadership Council’s Pipeline to Leadership Program.

The SCI Connect & Inspire Series is a new name and format for the event that has been known for 15 years as the SCI Social Capitalist Luncheon. The events recognize leaders that exemplify the goals of SCI and bring people together.