Barbara Burgo earned her B.A. from Rhode Island College where she Majored in Cultural Anthropology, with a Minor in Women’s Studies. She has completed coursework at UMASS Boston toward a Masters’ Certificate in Gerontology. A third generation Cape Verdean, Barbara has written and published several articles on prominent Cape Verdeans both in America and abroad. In support of the Coast Guard Campbell’s humanitarian mission to the Baltic and the Republic of Cape Verde’s “Adopt-A-Village” project in 2000, sponsored by five New Bedford Cape Verdean clubs, she collaborated with the U.S. and Cape Verdean military to refurbish a school building on Santiago Island in the Archipelago of Cape Verde. She was a guest of then U.S. Ambassador Michael Metelits, the Portuguese Ambassador visiting the the capital of Praia, and invited to attend a luncheon at the U.S. Embassy to meet the Peace Corps Volunteers.
Born in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1951, she worked in three government roles, early in her career as an employee of Raytheon Company in the Missile Site Radar Division, in mid-life as a FEMA Disaster Assistance Employee, and finally, as a Partnership Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau in both Decennial 2000 and 2010. She was a Human Resources Administrator for Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts for eight years, worked as a District Aide at the State House in Boston for a local State Representative and taught English for Speakers of Other Languages through the Bristol Community College/Taunton High School ESOL program. She assisted the Boston office of the Cape Verdean Consulate is establishing a 2-day Cape Verdean Cultural event titled Common Threads, served as President of the Taunton Cape Verdean Association where she established an annual city-wide Cape Verdean festival and their first recognition day titled Lembranca. She was elected Diversity Chair and President of the Taunton Area Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) and ultimately elected AAUW-MA State President.
In 2012, Barbara moved to Cape Cod where, in semi-retirement, she became Curator of the Harwich Historical Society’s summer Cape Verdean exhibit titled So Sabi! This event inspired her to help establish an annual day of Cape Verdean Culture and Poetry Contest with the Harwich Historical Society’s Education Outreach Team and in the past six years has presented to hundreds of students at Monomoy High, Harwich High, Harwich Elementary School and the Cape Cod Regional Technical School. Currently, she is the Chair of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission, Executive Board member of the Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP, elected as a Brewster Housing Authority Commissioner, is the Housing Authority’s representative to the Community Preservation Committee and the President of the newly-established Harwich Cape Verdean Museum. Barbara is the mother of two adult daughters. The oldest graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Music (piano) and the youngest graduated from Bristol Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Medical Office.