Fran Schofield of Brewster, a long-time environmental and political activist, and a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Robert Paul Properties, received a Commonwealth Heroine Award at the Massachusetts Statehouse on Friday, June 23, 2023.
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women confers annually on women who have made exemplary contributions to the growth of their communities through public or community service. One of only two nominees from Cape Cod, Schofield joined 125 other women from across the Commonwealth to receive the award on Friday at the Statehouse Great Hall of Flags.
Each year the Commission partners with state legislators to identify women who make outstanding contributions to their organizations and in their communities. Legislators are encouraged to recognize one female constituent for their invaluable efforts and extraordinary acts of service — women who are making a big difference in their communities but not necessarily making the news. Rep. Flanagan selected Schofield for her founding, sustaining, and leadership roles in the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, a nonprofit whose mission is to reduce the impacts of climate change on the Cape & Islands region.
Schofield was nominated by state Rep. Christopher Flanagan (D-1st Barnstable District, representing Brewster, Dennis, and Yarmouth) to receive the award.
“Fran has been a quiet but powerful force in political and environmental realms on Cape Cod for nearly 20 years,” said Flanagan. “She was an indefatigable volunteer for the Climate Collaborative and played a critical role in its exponential growth over the last seven-plus years. Through her work, the organization now convenes environmental, business, energy, activist, and policy leaders from across the Cape and represents more than 3,000 stakeholders around the region. Fran is a widely respected and effective community leader, and I was honored to nominate her.”
Richard Delaney, co-founder of the Climate Collaborative and acting director of the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, said, “I speak on behalf of all of us on Cape Cod who have benefited from Fran’s contributions to the region. She helped take an idea ‘scribbled on a napkin’ in 2016 and developed the Collaborative into the thriving institution it is today. Through unrelenting advocacy and activism, she communicated and catalyzed action at all levels to help us mitigate and adapt to climate change. We are deeply proud of Fran’s receiving this honor.”
Delaney added that Schofield was previously named “Democrat of the Year” by the Cape & Islands Democratic Council in 2019 for her work on behalf of democracy.
“I am enormously grateful to Representative Flanagan for recognizing my years of volunteer work with the Collaborative,” said Schofield. “I was moved to action by a simple PowerPoint presentation on the nexus between climate change and ocean health in 2015 and, with others, was inspired to help educate and activate fellow citizens about the climate emergency that threatens our region and planet. I would like to share this honor with the women and men with whom I collaborated to preserve and protect the Cape we all love. I will always hold them, and our work, dear.”
The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is an independent state agency that was legislatively established in 1998 to support equal opportunities for women in the Commonwealth in all areas of life and to promote their advancement.