Volume 4, Issue 6; June 2017

This Wednesday: Getting to School- Safety and Equity in Transportation for BPS

Join the youth of Boston, who are working to have their voices heard through interactive displays, exhibits, and a panel discussion on the challenges that they face just to get to school every day. Hear their stories, connect, engage, and find out how you can help all BPS  students access their education freely and safely, the way that many students already do. 

When: Wednesday, June 14 from 2-5 pm
Where: Bolling Building Lobby
RSVP here
Upcoming Events

June 19th: D eadline for  Pregnancy and Infant Loss scholarship 

We are offering 20 full scholarships for Q.U.I.L.T.'s 3-month online course, which includes modules on cultural competency, miscarriage and abortion, family support, introduction to memory-making and more! For more information or to enroll, please email
August 8-10: Certified Lactation Educator Training 

The CLE Training teaches participants to offer breastfeeding classes, advocate for their communities, and offer culturally competent support. We have 10 scholarships available  for individuals interested in becoming peer counselors with the VVN Boston Breastfeeding Coalition. Apply here

Save the date: November 1-2, Annual Leadership Summit 

Please email if you'd like to be notified about these opportunities. More information to come! 
BMC Test Kitchen Class  

Join us for a night of fun and food at the BMC Demo Kitchen, where we will be cooking some delicious food! There will be kid-friendly cooking activities and a tour of BMC's new rooftop garden!

When: July 10th, 2017 at 5:30 PM
Where: BMC Demo Kitchen, Yawkey 2nd Floor
RSVP here!

Vital Village is teaming up with the BMC Demo Kitchen to design a community-developed recipe book which we are hoping to share with our network once completed! Click on the link below to submit a recipe! Alternatively, you can email recipes to . Feel free to submit as many recipes as you would like!
When Mediation Becomes Facilitation 

Ever been called in to mediate a conflict, expecting it will be resolved by helping parties decide on the "Who gets What" only to find out that the real problem is "What is the real problem?" or "How should we do this?"  That's when a whole different skills are needed.  What do you do?  

Join Matt Thompson, Affiliate Trainer for the Interaction Institute for Social Change, in a discussion and training on when mediation becomes facilitation. 

When: June 19, 5:30-8 pm
RSVP here
Village Voices  
Advocacy in Action
In Vital Village's Advocacy in Action Urban College course, students learn and practice tangible skills for advocacy work. This past spring, several of the students advocated to lift the welfare cap on kids.

"We don't want to be on benefits; nobody wants to
 be. I think we all just, we have to, that's why we do it.  You need to support your family somehow."

Click here to read the full article.  

Around the Network 
MEN- Male Engagement Network- Launch at Breakfast IV Brothers 

Come learn about the MEN, making connections while building pathways to success for men of color. This is a safe space to receive and give support, learn and teach, heal and be healed.

When: Saturday, June 10, 8:30 am 
Where: Kroc Center, 650 Dudley St

Father's Uplift POWER Gala 

Join Father's Uplift for their annual blue tie event, as they work to support child, paternal health, and male engagement. This year's POWER gala will combat homelessness among fathers by raising funds to create, "Boston's first residential and community safe haven for men and their families." Vital Village is sponsoring a table at the gala. If you are interested in attending, e-mail
When Sunday, June 18th - 5:00pm-11:00pm 
Where: Hyatt Regency, 575 Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA 02139
Father and Family Fun Day!

Head over to Harambee Park on June 10th from 12-4 pm for fun activities, food, and music for Father's and Families Fun Day!

For more information click  here!
Boston Education Action Network - Critical Conversation with Boston Education Leaders 

Join a conversation on educational equity, focusing on supporting social-emotional learning, lowering suspension rates, and recruiting and retaining teachers of color. 

When: Monday, June 12th, 6:30-8 pm
Where: Old South Church, Copley
MassHousing's Crisis to Calm Conference

Come to Mass Housing's Crisis to Calm conference on June 15th to learn about how to better support mental health within a housing lens!

When: Thursday, June 15th, 2017
Where: Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center

For more information, click  here!
Mattapan Hugs and Play Group New Location

Stop by for playtime, breastfeeding support, and shared community. 
When: Wednesdays, 11 am- 1 pm
Where: Mattapan Public Library

Click  here for more information!
10th Annual Mattapan Moving for Life

Enjoy a 1.5 mile walk through the nature sanctuary, fitness training sessions, aerobics, cooking demonstrations, and children's games.

When: Saturday, June 10, 9-1 pm
Where: Boston Nature Center - 500 Walk hill St, Mattapan
Family Play Week

Parents/ caregivers and their children 0-5 years old will practice the power of play with science, technology, engineering, math, music, and art activities, promoting a stronger, more connected community. This is a collaboration between Countdown for Kindergarten, First Teacher, Boston Children's Museum, and Dudley Public Library.

When: Session 1- July 10-14; Session 2- July 17-21
To apply call 617.238.7275 or email
Vital Village is excited to offer a free texting service, in which users will receive information about  community resources  (Mondays), useful 
youth wellness tips  (Wednesdays), and  fun family activities  (Fridays). 

To subscribe, please  text KIDS  to  88588 . You can also join the Facebook page  here or check out the ma p here

To give feedback on what information you'd like to hear about or to share resources you know about, e-mail with the subject "CONtexts" or post on the Fa cebook page.       
VVCP, a group of dedicated community
 residents, recently started a Knitting and Crochet Social Group to create a space for self-care, learning new skills, and meeting new friends. Please join VVCP to make hats, scarves, baby blankets, and other crafty designs for Children's Services of Roxbury! 
Contact  KT  for more information.

When: Sundays, 2-3:30 pm
Where: Dudley Cafe, 15 Warren St, Boston, MA 02119
Around the City 
Boston Alliance for Community Health Meeting

Come learn about and discuss approaches to preventing youth substance use disorder. Read more and RSVP here .

When: June 15th, 5:30-8 pm
Where: Whittier Street Health Center, 290 Tremont St; Roxbury, MA 02120 
My Brother's Keeper Family Walk

Celebrate "faith, friends, and family fun," while learning about the work of the My Brother's Keeper initiative.
When: June 10
Where: Stonehill College
500 Washington St
Easton, MA
Register: here
7th Annual Mattapan on Wheels

Ride with family and friends on the Neponset Trail. Free helmets available.

When: July 22, 8 am 
Where: George H. Walker Playground - 528 Norfolk St
Register here 
"Children pulled into the child welfare system are too often not afforded the kinds of stabilizing support systems that are essential for their healthy growth and well-being. This puts them at high risk of developing reactive behaviors that lead to their entry into the juvenile justice system. Involvement in the juvenile justice system is tied to academic failure, future arrests and other long-term consequences."
For more information, and to read the full report, click here!
To take action and join the Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition, e-mail Hannah.
Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) created a best practices guides for bringing restorative justice into the schools based on their experiences in Chicago, outlining steps such as "educate yourself, talk with more parents, identify your allies, bring your ideas, and keep at it." Read the complete guide here .
The Scoop on Stats 
Stay up to date with data!
Health of Boston Report_ Boston Public Health Commission

As rental costs continue to rise in cities like Boston, how can we ensure that Boston residents can remain in their homes and support stable living environments throughout childhood? 

In this report by the Boston Public Health Commission, factors such as housing are taken into account as impacting child and family health. According to this report, people who rent rather than own their homes experience significantly greater rates of asthma, diabetes, and anxiety. Read the full report here

Source: Boston Public Health Commission, "Health of Boston", 2014-2015

Job Postings
Families First Program Manager 
Families First is hiring a Program Manager for its Power of Parenting Program, through which "parents participate in twelve weeks of comprehensive programming held at a partner site in their neighborhood and four weeks of online complementary learning." The Program Manager will recruit for, coordinate and deliver the Power of Parenting program at several locations around Boston.  

For more detailed description of the position, please click  here
Smart from the Start Education Coordinator and Program Facilitator 
Smart from the Start is hiring a Spanish-speaking Education Coordinator and a Program Facilitator for their work to support families, engage communities and prepare children for school. Smart from the Start offers,"home visiting, parenting education and support, adult education, information and referrals to vital services," among other fun, educational resources. 

Anyone interested can contact:

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88 East Newton St. · Vose Hall, 5th Floor ·  Boston, MA · · 617.414.3674