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Diversity and inclusion

Linda Nolan’s neighbors at Linden Ponds share her interest in social justice issues

Created date

June 1st, 2017
Since moving to Linden Ponds, Linda Nolan has connected with many people who share her interest in social justice. She attended Boston’s Women’s March for America in January along with about 25 of her neighbors.

Since moving to Linden Ponds, Linda Nolan has connected with many people who share her interest in social justice. She attended Boston’s Women’s March for America in January along with about 25 of her neighbors.

When Linda Nolan took advantage of the booming real estate market to sell her ten-room house in Quincy, Mass., last summer and move to an apartment at Linden Ponds in Hingham, she had an idea of what to expect from her new community. She had joined the priority list, attended on-site events, and helped her aunt move to another Erickson Living community in Peabody.

What she didn’t expect was a politically active community full of clubs and neighbors who share a diverse set of values.

“There are people here from all over the world, and also people from all parts of the state and New England, and that provides a diversity of backgrounds,” Linda says of her Linden Ponds neighbors. “People are welcoming of each and every kind of person, and that is what I really enjoy—that kind of inclusiveness.”

Fighting the good fight

Linda, herself, has been fighting for social justice for almost five decades. 

It all started after she graduated from Regis College in 1969. Linda joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston and volunteered to teach at an all-black school in Roxbury, Mass.

She ultimately decided to leave the convent because of ideological differences with the church and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Connecticut. There, she studied education and psychology. 

After graduation, Linda worked as the director of a social services information referral service in Connecticut. She later worked as the director of a rehabilitation center for psychiatric patients. 

She and her late husband Richard operated a consulting firm in Boston.  

Linda’s long career in social services included helping prisoners recover from addiction and providing inpatient services to patients at Carney Hospital in Dorchester. She also founded Quincy Counseling Associates and specialized in marital and individual therapy.

Now Linda is semiretired but continues to see a handful of patients from her therapy practice.

New home, new endeavors

Last summer, she decided to sell her house in Quincy and move to Linden Ponds. 

“It finally came down to the time being right, and the market was great for selling so there were some good incentives,” Linda says. 

Linda selected a Dawson-style apartment home at Linden Ponds. The one-bedroom apartment home has a full kitchen and a combined living and dining room.

“It’s on the first floor so it has an outdoor patio, which I really like,” Linda says. “It’s very well laid out, and storage-wise, it’s great.”

Linda has found many rewarding ways to spend her newfound free time now that she lives at Linden Ponds. She is actively involved in the on-site television studio and has taken sculpture, computer, and lifelong learning classes. She has also participated in the Great Decisions foreign affairs discussion group. 

Connecting to her roots

Linda coleads the equality group, a club that organizes activities around issues such as gender equality and gay rights. One of the club’s most popular annual activities is to organize a group of community members to march in Boston’s Gay Pride Parade. 

Linda has connected with a number of people at Linden Ponds who share her interest in social justice issues. She says one of her most memorable experiences since moving to the community was participating, along with a group of about 25 residents, in the Women’s March for America in Boston following the inauguration in January.

“We had special seating in back of the stage, and we participated in everything,” Linda says. “There were 175,000 people at the march, and it was a peak experience for everyone.”

As people around the country have done since the presidential election, Linda says many Linden Ponds residents have been writing letters and petitioning lawmakers to advocate for the causes that are important to them. 

Residents have started political clubs that host candidates for elected office, and the community is its own voting precinct, making it easy to get to the polls on election day.

“Linden Ponds is a very active community, politically,” she says.

Above and beyond

Now that she is semiretired, Linda also makes travel a top priority. She takes frequent trips to Cape Cod to visit her partner Marge, who is on Linden Ponds’ priority list and plans to move to the community at some point. 

Linda joined Linden Ponds’ resident-run National Parks Explorers, a group that takes trips to national parks around the country as well as to international destinations such as Norway, Nova Scotia, and Costa Rica. 

She and Marge plan to take a trip with the National Parks Explorers to Durango, Colo., which sits near the “Four Corners,” where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico all meet. 

Closer to home, Linda also takes advantage of Linden Ponds’ many day trips to local attractions.

“We go everywhere—day trips, overnight trips, theater, museums,” Linda says. “I can’t tell you how much stuff I have been involved with because it’s so easy to jump on the bus and go right into Boston.”