Emma Hall (1865?-1949) started the first Girl Scout troop in eastern Massachusetts in New Bedford in 1913, called the “Red Rose Troop.” It was the first troop nationally to welcome African American girls and the third official Girl Scout troop in the U.S.
A New Bedford City Councilor who represented Ward 4 for two terms, Mary Santos Barros (1923-2018) was a strong advocate for all, most notably Cape Verdeans. Recognizing that diversity is our strength, Mary taught us that we can build an inclusive community that treats all people with respect and dignity.
A dedicated activist who advocated for New Bedford’s neighborhoods, Loretta Bourque (1920-2018) was referred to as “Mayor of the South End” for her special commitment to this section of the city. Through the Cove Street Neighborhood Association, Loretta led efforts against such problems as negligent absentee landlords, crime and drugs. Loretta’s influence was a key factor that led the New Bedford City Council to pass the city’s Problem Properties Ordinance.