February 2021 – Roxbury, MA– This year, Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) marks 55 years since its founding. MPDC was born out of both an innovative vision for the future and necessity during an era in which the Roxbury community faced unprecedented challenges grounded in racial and economic injustices.
In 1966, the survival of the Lower Roxbury community was at risk. Bulldozers were demolishing hundreds of homes, churches, and businesses through the City of Boston's urban renewal program. A small but determined group of activists fought back. Led by community members including Ralph Smith and C. Vincent Haynes, the group mobilized residents against the further destruction of their neighborhood. They created their vision for the area and procured the resources they needed to rebuild their once-thriving community. This effort resulted in the creation of the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation in 1966.
The organization was later renamed Madison Park Development Corporation in honor of a local park that was a victim of the demolition. For our 55th Anniversary, we pay homage to this park in our logo, created by local designer Pleased Design, with a creative rendition of an aerial shot of Madison Park from 1966.
As one of the very first community development corporations in the nation, MPDC has accomplished a great deal- building and preserving over 1300 units of high-quality, affordable housing; restoring Hibernian Hall, now a local leader in bringing arts and culture, particularly work from artists of color to Greater Boston audience; creating and growing our now robust Community Action department, which brings a diverse range of programs and resources to hundreds of residents and community members each year; and most recently, the creation of the Dewitt Center in the heart of Madison Park Village, which has quickly become the site of high quality, multigenerational programs, and a vibrant community gathering space.
MPDC's CEO Leslie Reid reflects, "I find it fitting that this important Anniversary occurs during another period, much like our founding years. In 2021, we commemorate an important milestone, celebrating the legacy of the incredible leaders who came before us while reaffirming our commitment to uplifting the beautiful, vibrant community we serve. As we reflect on the past, we also look forward to embracing the promise of the next 55 years."
Lisa Morishanti, President of MPDC's Board of Directors, adds, "MPDC has been a pillar in the community for more than five decades. Throughout our history, we have been innovative and rooted in community. Our commitment to people and Nubian Square is steadfast and everlasting. This 55th year marks an opportunity to look towards the future and all of the endless possibilities that exist as we continue to focus on racial and economic equity in Roxbury."
MPDC will be celebrating the 55th Anniversary all year long, kicking off in February with the launch of Madison's Train 2 Trades website (MT2T.org). MT2T.org brings an interactive virtual classroom into people's homes and builds their skills in the construction and building trades, which will create a larger pool of qualified, trained residents to meet Greater Boston's growing demands construction industry.
"As we embark on the celebration of MPDC's 55th year of community impact, it's important that we stay true to our mission in supporting the advancement of our community. Today, in celebration of the launch of MPDC's 55th Anniversary, MPDC is thrilled to premiere MT2T.org, which will create a larger pool of qualified, trained residents to meet the growing demands of the Greater Boston construction industry. MPDC is aiming to position all projects, particularly in the Roxbury neighborhood, to exceed the demands of the Boston Residents Jobs Policy and to create future leaders within the construction industry," says Katrina Conrad, MPDC's Workforce Diversity & Development Manager
MPDC's plan for each month is to focus on a specific program area and celebrate the past, honor the future, and embrace the present. In February, the spotlight will be on Black History Month and past, present, and future Roxbury leaders. The month will culminate with virtual performances honoring past & present leaders curated by Hibernian Hall.
Stay tuned to MPDC's social media, monthly newsletter, and website to CELEBRATE Legacy, HONOR Community, and EMBRACE Promise with MPDC throughout 2021.
For more information on MPDC's year-long 55th Anniversary celebration, contact Kelly Ransom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Madison Park Development Corporation
CDC Madison Park Development Corporation is a leading developer of affordable housing in Nubian Square, a presenter of arts that reflect the culture of the community, and a promoter of Roxbury's health and well-being, working alongside residents and allies to empower the community, fight health disparities, create opportunities for construction sector job training and support our youth.