At LeadBoston’s 2022 graduation, thirty-eight professionals gathered to celebrate individual and collective successes


On November 16, 2022, the LeadBoston Class of 2022 gathered together at Holland & Knight, LLP in Downtown Boston to celebrate their completion of our year-long signature leadership program. With their graduation, 38 new leaders have joined a thriving alumni community, which already boasts over 1,200 members who are all dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and beyond

Last year marked the 30th anniversary since LeadBoston began working with Boston leaders in 1991.  This year’s graduation also marked a special moment – it was the first time that a LeadBoston graduation took place in person since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.   

Rachael McCoy, Director of Leadership Services at YW Boston and co-facilitator of LeadBoston, and Jeff Rogers, co-facilitator of LeadBoston, greeted our graduating Class of 2022. Rachael spoke about how she looks forward to seeing the cohort make an impact in the future.  She stated, “I’m so moved by this class. None of you came as empty vessels, but you’re leaving with the skills that will help make ripples of change. I’m happy and honored that I get to watch your journeys moving forward.” 

(From left to right): Director of Leadership Services, Rachael McCoy; LeadBoston Co-Facilitator, Jeff Rogers; and Leadership Services Senior Associate, Marinna Carrera-Raleigh.

A year of transformational learning

We are also grateful to the LeadBoston team, YW Boston staff, program day speakers, and YW Boston’s Leadership Services Senior Associate, Marinna Carrera-Raleigh, for creating a year of transformational learning for this year’s class. 

The evening was kicked off by Boston Lyric Opera’s Fred VanNess performing “Make them Hear You” for the Class of 2022. 

The Class of 2022 has spent the past year developing the understanding of Greater Boston’s social, economic, and political systems as well as the knowledge, skills, and connections necessary to be effective leaders in the region. Every month, the group met to discuss current events and trends, and to hear from prominent guests in various fields, including politicians, community organizers, businesspeople, and academics. The group improved their abilities as leaders committed to advancing equity within their organizations and the broader community through exposure to curated content and responsive programming. 

LeadBoston Class of ’22.

The power of our “collective voices”

Every year, the LeadBoston cohort votes on who from their class they would like to see speak at graduation. This year, they selected two speakers: Gary Lyon and Austyn Ellese Mayfield.

Gary stated that his biggest lesson that he learned this year through LeadBoston was that his vulnerability was his strength. His fellow classmates nodded along, as they absorbed Gary’s words and reflected on their own lessons. He said, “When I look across this diverse room, I am filled with joy, peace, and happiness.” 

Austyn could not be with her cohort in person that day, but her recorded remarks were played during graduation. Austyn implored for her classmates to “remember the power of our voices, both individually and collectively.”  

When reflecting on all of the achievements of the Class of 2022, Austyn Ellese Mayfield’s words effectively captured the essence of the program year, “The ability to see impact on a continuum is something that makes a more effective leader […] We are the silo-breakers.” 

Congratulations to the LeadBoston Class of 2022! We look forward to following your journeys and leadership commitments in support of a more equitable Boston. Click here to learn more about our LeadBoston program and to be notified when our Class of 2024 recruitment season begins. 


About LeadBoston 

Become a part of YW Boston’s LeadBoston program and join a network of over 1,000 inclusive leaders in Boston. During this 11-month program, participants explore and learn how to address barriers to inclusion through facilitated dialogue, expert speakers, and peer learning. Through experiential activities, participants delve into the social, political, and socioeconomic realities of Boston and explore innovative solutions to inequity. Interested in learning more? Reach out to Rachael McCoy, Director of Leadership Services, at with any questions about the program.