On Tuesday January 30, the Holy Cross College Democrats hosted Bob Massie, an activist and author who works on issues of global leadership and corporate accountability, social justice, and climate change, and is currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 2018 Massachusetts governor’s race.
During his talk, entitled “Making Change,” Massie discussed the interconnection between his faith and his politics. Born with hemophilia and battling health complications all his life, Massie’s background, rather than discouraging him, made him more passionate for doing good through what he calls “the liberation of knowing we’re here for a limited time.”
A graduate of Princeton University, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Business School, his work over the years has taken him to South Africa, where he was an official international observer during the first democratic elections there, and he has also served in leadership roles in multiple environmental advocacy organizations, campaigning for sustainability and fossil fuel divestment.
Massie is no stranger to running for political office. In 1994 he won the primary election to become the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, and in 2011 he ran an eight month campaign for United States Senator from Massachusetts. He began his current campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in May of 2017, and is running on a platform of climate change initiatives, workers’ rights and economic equality, and progressive causes at a time he considers to be of “incredible opportunity” as well as “immense danger.” His complicated medical history has only made him more passionate about protecting the world we live in, because, he said, “there’s no reason not to!”
To close his speech, Bob Massie reflected on what he believes to be the American tradition: Despite everything a person might have to go through, everyone has dreams, and everyone should try to accomplish those dreams. He paraphrased the late Ted Kennedy, whom he once had the opportunity to campaign with, by saying that “taking on great challenges is what we do as Americans.”
The event closed with a question and answer portion in which students had the chance to ask him about his goals if he were to become governor, as well as issues such as public service, climate change, fossil fuel divestment, mass incarceration, and healthcare.
Co-chair of College Democrats Nora Springer ‘20 reached out to all of the gubernatorial candidates, including Massie’s team, to invite them to speak on campus. “It was great to have Bob Massie, someone who’s done so much with divestment, ethical investment, and corporate accountability,” said Springer. “His talk was very timely as it came right before HC Fossil Free formally launches its proposal and presents it to the Board of Trustees Investments Committee. We’re really lucky to have him speak.”