2016 Social Justice Mediation Institute Graduates! 
Volume 3, Issue 11; November 2016
In This Issue:

III.   Bright Spot s
IV.   CONtexts

VIII.  Research
IX.    Useful Tools
Save the Date!: savedate
November Network Connection Meeting

What are  you doing to help children thrive? What are you doing with 
others to help children thrive? How can we help you do it more effectively? 

2017 is a few weeks away.  What are you doing over the next 90 days to achieve your longterm vision? Join us at the November network connection meeting to learn about the 90-day challenge model.  We will be hosting a community café style meeting to discuss how to best leverage our network resources in 2017. Click here to RSVP!

Monday, November 14th 
6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Evans 112A
BU School of Medicine Instructional Building 
72 East Concord Street Boston, MA 02118
2016 Vital Village Network Leadership Summit
December 13th and 14th 
The Nonprofit Center 

The Leadership Summit is a few short weeks away and we are so excited! Day 1 of the summit will be a restorative justice workshop and Day 2 will feature presentations, workshops, and panel discussions on housing insecurity and homelessness, the school to prison pipeline, safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, authentic community engagement, breastfeeding, mental wellbeing among men of color, mindfulness, data for social change, and a range of other topics.

Click here  to learn more about this year's summit and register for the event! 
Special Announcement  Specialevent

2016 Social Justice Mediation Institute

For two weekends in October, 20 community members gathered at the Roxbury Innovation Center for an intensive 40 hour training in order to become certified Social Justice Mediators. These Mediators will continue to develop their skills throughout the year, through monthly practice sessions and acting as mediators within their respective communities.

Following the Social Justice Mediation Institute, the mediators have continued to develop their skills at mediation refresher sessions, facilitated by Dominique Graham and Myles Green. Five mediators met on October 30 th for the first session, practicing role play scenarios with energy, passion, and excitement for the work. The second session will be on November 7 th . To learn more or to get involved, e-mail Katherine.wiley@bmc.org

"People who are in power don't have much to say."
-SJMI Participant

Introducing Vital Village's Newest Addition!
Village Voices!

We are launching Village Voices, in an effort to highlight the amazing work that community partners are doing around Boston! Check out our first submission below from Josette Williams!
Name/Title: Josette Williams - PROUD MOM, Countdown to Kindergarten and Community Change Agent

Where are you from? What brought you to where you are today?

Born in Brooklyn NY, raised in Chelsea MA. My upbringing was based in community activism. Speaking up against injustice has been a staple in my life. In particular, fighting for equity and true community engagement/inclusion with communities of color has been my organizing passion and strength. 

Where are you now?

I have been given the opportunity to travel and work in many positions within the education and health and human services field.  Working in the Boston community for over 30 years in many roles, it was only until I was asked to return to the education field as a Playgroup Leader did I realize I truly found my calling. Now as Program Manager of Countdown to Kindergarten ensuring our youngest scholars are given every opportunity to succeed early is my life long mission.

Where are you going? Where do you hope to go? What are your current goals?

Going back to school for early childhood education, raising a high school student, continuing to work as a change agent for my community.  Also my goals vary but are embedded in going back to school and working on self care for personal improvements. 

Who moves you? Who motivates you?

My daughter and hard working, compassionate, and committed change agents motivate me.

Bright Spots: bright
Breakfast IV Brothers/Men of Color and Health Documentary Screening

On October 15th, Vital Village collaborated with Breakfast IV Brothers and Mattapan United to screen the Documentary "The Mask You Live In" in order to stimulate a discussion about masculinity in American society. Over 40 men showed up to Mattahunt Elementary School early Saturday morning for some delicious breakfast, and the company of their fellow peers. Following the screening of the film, a lively discussion was had by all that delved into topics such as the misconceptions about what it means to be a man/father in contemporary society, how masculinity intersects with mental well-being, and how we as a nation can better support men of all ages. 

"The Mask You Live In" is a documentary by  Jennifer Siebel Newsom which seeks to  address how we, as a society, can better  support men by illuminating the struggles  most men endure as they attempt to create an identity they feel comfortable with, while  navigating through America's rigid definition of  what it means to "be a man".

BabyCafe at the Boston Children's Museum

Mothers with EBT cards who come to the weekly Breastfeeding Support Groups at the Boston Children's Museum enjoy free access to the museum for the visit. Any accompanying children get in for free as well! Come stop by, any Thursday from 10-11 AM!

Where: Boston Children's Museum 308 Congress Street, 2nd Floor Playspace
When: Thursdays, 10AM-11AM


Vital Village Network is excited to offer a free texting service, in which users will receive information about C ommunity Resources  (Mondays), useful Y outh Wellness Tips  (Wednesdays), and F un Family Activities  (Fridays). To subscribe, please  text KIDS  to  88588 . You can also join the Facebook page  here

To give feedback on what information you'd like to hear about or to share resources you know about, e-mail vitalvillage@bmc.org with the subject "CONtexts" or post on the Facebook page.
Praising Parents: praisingparents
A Father-Daughter Bond: One Photo At A Time

Steven Addis and his daughter Sabina
"These photos are far more than proxies for a single moment or even a specific trip. They're also ways for us to freeze time, for 1 week in October, and reflect on our times and how we change from year-to-year, and not just physically, but in every way."

Click here to see the whole video!

Have an interview or a video that you  think would be perfect  for next month's  Praising Parents?  Share it with us at 
Around the Network: network
VVCP Holiday Plans!

The Vital Village Community Partnership is excited for the holidays! They are planning some sweet surprises for kids this winter. To get involved or learn more about VVCP's plans for gift-gathering, crafting, and dessert-decorating, e-mail jwilliams8@bostonpublicschools.org or Katherine.wiley@bmc.org

Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Monthly Meeting

Looking to talk Food and Fitness? Come to Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition's Monthly Meeting!

Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition is a grassroots movement in the Mattapan Neighborhood of Boston designed for making healthy and affordable food, safe and inviting recreational spaces, and streets and sidewalks readily available to all.

Click here for more information

When: 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:45 PM
Where: Milred Avenue Community Center, 5 Mildred Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126
Mothers for Justice and Equality Health and Wellness Yoga Series

Mothers for Justice and Equality will be hosting a 4-week Health and Wellness Yoga Series during most of November! Yoga is perfect to relieving stress, improving mood, and helping focus.

Registration Required.
For more information, please call 617-516-8086

When: November 1st, 8th, and 15th from 5:15 PM-6:00 PM
Where: Office of Mothers for Justice and Equality, Hibernian Hall Building, 184 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA 02119, Suite 109 LL

Dudley Branch of Boston's Public Library's Play  Reading Book Club

Gain unique and radical access to plays, artists , and conversations at ArtsEmerson with the Play Reading Book Club at the Dudley Branch of the BPL.  FREE* weekly sessions at the library include reading scripts, discussing artistic and production values, and putting on your own showcase for your family and friends. No prior knowledge or reading of the plays is necessary. 

To register, please go to:
http://bit.ly/DUDLEYPRBC1617. For more info, contact Akiba Abaka at Akiba_abaka@emerson.edu or 617.824.3071. To learn more about each play, visit our website at www.artsemerson.org

VVCP Knitting and Crochet Social Group

Do you like to knit or crochet or would you like to learn? Do you have lots of extra yarn you'd like to share with a bunch of social crafters? Or would you like to share your skills? The Vital Village Community Partnership is hosting a weekly knitting and crochet group for adults on Sundays from 2-3:30 pm at First Teacher, starting Sunday, November 13 th . Leave your stress at the door and come chat with some new friends. Crafters, teachers, and supplies are all welcome! To learn more, e-mail Katherine.wiley@bmc.org or jwilliams8@bostonpublicschools.org

Around the City:  city1
Citi Performing Arts Center's YASCC Youth Committee

Join Citi Performing Arts Center's YASCC Youth Committee  for the second Youth Arts for Social Change Conference! Showcasing creative teens strengthening our community, this youth conference will feature presentations from various youth  organizations and artists. Free and open to teens of all ages.

RSVPs encouraged: leadnotfollow2016.eventbrite.com
For questions please call 617.532.1256
or email education@citicenter.org.

Art and Architecture Tour

Boston Public Library offers free public tours highlighting the celebrated art and architecture of the Boston Public Library's McKim Building (1895), a designated National Historic Landmark. 

Led by volunteer tour guides, the art and architecture tours begin at the Dartmouth Street entrance of the Central Library in Copley Square. No appointment is necessary for parties smaller than eight people.

For more information and a full schedule of public tours, visit  www.bpl.org /tours.

Where: Central Library
When: November 10th, 6 PM
Documentary Screening at Northeastern Crossing

The Northeastern Humanities Center will be screening the documentary "The Land" on November 21st, from 5:30 PM-7:00 PM. Please join an evening of film screening and panelists about the critical benefits of play and healthy risk-taking for all children. 
This is free and open to the public.This event is on Nov. 21 from 5:30pm-7:00pm at 20 West Village F in Northeastern University. 

"At The Land, children climb trees, light fire, and use hammers and nails in a play-space rooted in the belief that kids are empowered when they learn to manage  risks on their own"
Student Transportation City Council Hearing

Come to the City Council hearing to support the effort to allow students to acquire MBTA bus passes for those living less than 2 miles from their school!

"There is a crisis in Boston, and it's preventing our children from getting to school and getting their education! If a Boston Public school student (7th grade or over) lives up to 2 miles from their school, they are DENIED an M7 T/Bus pass. These passes provide transportation to and from school, afterschool programs, internships, and jobs at no cost to students and families. There are many children whose families simply can't afford to give them MBTA fare daily. Those kids are forced to walk miles alone, in all weather, through secluded neighborhoods where they may not feel safe. Other kids just stop attending altogether. 

Stand with us on Wed Nov 9th at 6 PM at Reggie Lewis Center for a student transportation hearing hosted by Councilor Tito Jackson. We need you to SHOW UP and bring everyone you know who cares about this so that the city sees how important this issue is to our community. You will hear stories from parents, students, school staff, and others who are experiencing the daily challenges due to a lack of equity and access.

Contact Sheena Collier at DSNI for more info or if you would like to testify - scollier@dsni.org"

  For more information, click on the links below!

During times of economic downturn, were pop songs laden with more communal lyrics?

Click here for more information!
" Positive Psychology is a scientific field whose knowledge then translates into multiple different exercises, activities, techniques and interventions that can be used with coaching clients, at work in group settings, by students, employees and anyone who wants more satisfaction and well-being in their professional and personal life."

So, how does one take a Daily Vacation? Each day, set aside some time (however long that may be) for yourself - drinking your morning coffee on the porch, going for a short walk, making your favorite dinner. These Mini-Vacations don't even have to be travel related. The whole point is to get in the mindset that you are treating yourself to something special everyday. As stated in the article, "Research has shown that, rather than their intensity, the frequency of positive emotions and feelings is a stronger predictor of our overall level of happiness. Meaning that it's more effective to increase the number of positive experiences, than it is to intensify them."
Click here for more information!
The Scoop on Stats: stats
staying up to date with data measurement!

Men of Color and Health Survey

In collaboration with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Mattapan United, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporant, and LISC: Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Vital Village has distributed surveys in order to gather information in order to learn how better to support men of color in the city of Boston. The graph above shows how participants responded to the question "In general, how is your health?" This study is still ongoing though. So far, 174 surveys have been collected and analyzed, with a goal of 300 surveys total .

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88 East Newton St. · Vose Hall, 5th Floor ·  Boston, MA · vitalvillage@bmc.org · 617.414.3674