"There is a concerted effort right now to convince you that 'nothing can be done.' It is designed to make you give in to the exhaustion of this moment. Don’t believe it. It’s a lie. We have power if we mobilize it." - Sherylynn Ifill
Saying 'enough' will never be enough
To Our Beloved Community
The events of the past few weeks have rocked us to our core. There are no words for our present reality. As a Network that comes together to promote child wellbeing and advance equity, we must evolve to meet this moment and ensure that every child and family has the opportunity to thrive in a safe and flourishing community. Saying 'enough' will never be enough. Community-led mobilization and collective actions are required.

May we all find the space and connections we need in this moment and look to our collective garden for range, room to heal in community, and affirming the necessity of change and movement. Challenge us to do more - contact us to share your reflections and ideas for how we can work together to create space for healing and collective action.
Village Voices
Network members' voices bring good news and share highlights from
around our community. 
If you would like to read our Spanish Network Connector Newsletter, you can access the first issue here! If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email Michelle Ramiz at ramizmic@bu.edu.

Si desea leer nuestro boletín informativo de Conector de red en español, ¡puede acceder al primer número aquí! Si desea que le agregue a la lista de correo, envíe un correo electrónico a Michelle Ramiz a ramizmic@bu.edu.
Family Play Week 2022
Are you interested in participating in a week-long summer program with your child(ren) this summer? Apply for Family Play Week 2022, for families with children from 0 to 5 years of age. The options are a hybrid week, an in-person week, and a week facilitated in Spanish. Please see the link below to learn more and apply!

¿Le interesaría participar en un programa semanal este verano con su(s) hijo(s)? Inscríbese para el programa Family Play Week 2022, para familias con hijos de 0 a 5 años de edad. Las opciones incluyen una semana híbrida, una semana en persona, y una semana facilitada en español. ¡Puede hacer clic en el botón abajo para ver más detalles e inscribirse!
Action Alert!   WITNESS, LEARN and JOIN us for a Juneteenth Week of Action to advance Juvenile Diversion, Expungement, and Raise the Age legislation.
June is Pride Month
Pride Month

Pride Month celebrates the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals and the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. In addition to the unique experiences and challenges that LGBTQ+ individuals face, given the diverse range of genders, races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds the community represents, many individuals face multiple layers of marginalization. Factors such as economic status can severely impact the mental and medical care that is available, and often correlates with other socioeconomic status-dependent issues people may face.
There are many ways that you can support the LGBTQ+ community, both the individuals in your life and through activism. Below are some suggestions:
  • be aware of your own biases and work to address them
  • use inclusive language
  • listen and learn more about the unique challenges and health issues that LGBTQ+ individuals may face
  • use your voice to address anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, such as the more than 240+ bills proposed this year alone targeting medical providers, teachers, and parents and their ability to support transgender minors

Below we have linked some resources for LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as caregivers, educators, providers, and allies.
Men's Mental Health and Father's Day
This Men's Mental Health Month we would like to share some resources and organizations that are working with men to reduce the stigma of seeking mental health help and helping nurture healthier, happier individuals. Please see our linked Instagram post to explore some more statistics, as well as interact with the linked organizations.
Network Events
Connect with Vital Village Network at these upcoming events. Click
event to RSVP or learn more.
June 23rd
5:30-7:30pm EST

Join us on Thursday, June 23rd, for our Social Justice Meditation Community Event! More details coming soon.
Community Events
Join Vital Village Network partners and other community organizations at these upcoming events. Click event to RSVP or learn more.
Thursday, June 16
9:30AM - 12:30PM
State laws and policies can sometimes be hard to find and understand, so what are ways we can make this information more accessible to the communities they impact? Through group work and skill-building, participants will walk away with knowledge to increase their effectiveness and impact within the community, and feel confident in bringing their voice into the local policy arena. Learn more and register here!
Saturday, June 18th
11:30AM - 2:00PM EST

We invite you to join our Annual Resource Fair to share resources that will aid our families in homeless shelters, transitional living and middle class families. This event is catered to the community with a strong focus on Fatherhood. The theme is “Uplifting families while strengthening our community." Our guests will participate in a virtual brunch, a light workout/meditation, informational resources promoting health, wealth and wellness. We will present our Family of the Year Award to a family who transitioned from shelter into housing. Register here!
Boston Juneteenth Community Events

Embrace Ideas Festival
This five-day long festival, including a Juneteenth block party at Nubian Square on Friday, June 17th, is full of events, including a long list of partners and speakers to enrich the conversations that will be had. Learn more on the official website and see a more comprehensive schedule here, including speakers, detailed breakdowns of the day, and tickets.

Friday, June 17
4:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST
The Embrace Ideas Block Party will celebrate artistic expression through a lively party that will include some of the city's best turntablists. This evening celebration will be a joyful night of dancing, music, community, and delicious food provided by the area's best BIPOC-owned food trucks will transform Nubian Square into the hottest party in town. Register here!

Saturday, June 18
5:00 - 7:00pm EST
In celebration of Juneteenth, The Emancipator is bringing together local artists and educators to present a FREE, multimedia community event centered around themes of freedom, emancipation, and resistance. The program will feature local artists’ personal interpretations, performances, and expressions of freedom and emancipation, as well as a pop-up workshop and discussion exploring 6 Ways of Resistance with Mia Henry, CEO of Freedom Lifted. Register here!

June 15: 4:00PM to 5:45PM; June 21: 4:00PM to 5:30PM; June 22: 11:00AM
WITNESS, LEARN, and JOIN us for a Week of Action to advance Juvenile Diversion, Expungement, and Raise the Age bills centered around Juneteenth. Co-sponsored by the MA Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition, #ImagineDifferent by striving to move the needle on youth justice, so ALL youth have the resources they need to be safe and well in the world. Register here!
Check out more community events on our Website and Facebook.

Check out job, volunteer, and grant opportunities available in our
Free Wi-Fi Routers Available from the Boston Public Library

The Office of Housing Stability is partnering with the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Boston Public Library (BPL) to provide residents who need internet service with a free wi-fi router. BPL will also be able to provide free Chromebooks when funding is allocated.

To sign up, you will need to follow the instructions below:
  • You will need an active and accessible email account. If you do not have an email account, you can sign up for a free Gmail account at www.gmail.com.
  • You will need a Boston Public Library card number. If you do not have a BPL card/number, you may sign up for an e-card at bpl.org/ecard.
  • Once you have your email and library card, go to bpl.org/long-term-lending to complete the request for a router and/or Chromebook.
  • Pick up your router at the Office of Housing Stability, located at 43 Hawkins Street. Call (617) 635-0328 or email OHSIntake@boston.gov for more information.
If you do not have access to a device to complete the above steps, you may use a computer at a Boston Public Library.

The routers will have free connectivity at least until the end of June 2023 and are anticipated for longer. Act quickly! These devices are limited in number! After receiving devices, sign up for free computer and technology classes at www.bpl.org/computer-classes or call (617) 859-2323.
Youth Voice to End Youth Homelessness in Boston

The Mayor's Office of Housing invites you to respond to this survey with your ideas about how to design and support a sustainable youth-led group of young people with lived experience in homelessness or housing instability in Boston.

Boston is committed to ensuring that young people are involved in decision-making, including having key leadership roles and responsibilities in the implementation of a coordinated plan to end homelessness among youth and young adults. To that end, the City funds the Youth Action Board (YAB), which operates as a formal committee within the Mayor's Office of Housing.

We are looking for ideas on how to structure and sustain a youth-led group that will provide ongoing feedback to the City and community on how we can improve services. The group will also provide community education and influence key decision-makers. Responses are due by 5PM on Friday, June 24 2022. 
New American Integration Program (NAIP) AmeriCorps Member 

As an AmeriCorps member serving in the New American Integration Program, you will join a cohort of up to 30 NAIP members to serve at partner sites across Massachusetts to provide job readiness training, ESOL/civics instruction, and/or citizenship application assistance. For the 2022-2023 AmeriCorps service year, BCNC will host two NAIP members at two separate locations – one in Boston and one in Quincy.

Click on the flyer to download and learn more! You can also press the button to go to the application directly.
The Family Mobility Program Coordinator will be primarily responsible for coordinating and supporting Family Mobility initiatives that move families towards economic independence (i.e., Job Readiness Workshops, parenting supports, coaching). Please reach out to Ella Zimbalist with any questions! 

This position will bring the voice of those with lived child welfare experience into program planning and implementation to improve outcomes for the children and families engaged in the Safe Babies Court TeamTM (SBCT) approach. If you are a parent with lived-experience in child welfare and are interested in being a parent leader, please complete this Interest Form.

Under the guidance of the Program Manager and the support of the Community Engagement and Communications Director, this position works to improve equitable access to nutritious food with respect to affordability, physical accessibility, educational awareness, and cultural appropriateness. The Project Coordinator will provide training, communications, and support the Program Manager with outreach materials and outreach plan development. See more here!

The scope of work for this internship will include supporting two community initiatives - OFJ’s Community Grant program and the Boston Food Access Council Mayor’s Food Access Agenda. This intern will work closely with the Deputy Director of the Office of Food Justice but may be asked to contribute to other work in the office. See more here!

The Catalyst for Change (CFC) Fellowship focuses on radical imagination as a key component of pursuing racial justice. The award is intended to catalyze community-based and artist produced visions for creative solutions to injustices. Learn more here!

Leah Wing (Co-Founder of Social Justice Mediation Program/ UMass) is developing the Kapok app to improve efficiency and communication among medical responders working in disaster situations. Leah is looking to bring on a Program Manager (5-6 hrs per week) and a Mobile App Developer (5-10 hrs per week) who can help finalize and deploy the app.
Program Managers will lead a team of student developers and are required to have programming knowledge with Flutter and either Javascript, Java, Python, C or C++ Node.js.
Program Developers are required to have experience with Flutter and Dart; object-oriented programming languages; programming for Android or iOS; Firebase; and experience with remote data via REST and JSON.

Youth Transitions Task Force
The Youth Transitions Task Force plans to continue the conversation around early college and career alongside our current work on dropout prevention and re-engagement integrations.
Please contact Inanna.Pickering@bostonpic.org if you would like to be added to the calendar invitations for our monthly meetings on Thursdays from 9:00-10:30am.
Our next meeting will take place at 9:00am on June 16th, 2022.

If you are interested, please contact Leah Wing aleahwing@gmail.com or developer.kapok@gmail.com for more info. 
Resource Connector
Learn more about resources relevant to children and families in our community from our community.
Resources to Discuss Gun Violence and Tackle Gun Reform:
Contact your U.S. senators:
We can't let our U.S. senators look away from our tragic reality: Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in this country. This form can be used to contact your state representatives to urge them to act in the best interest of their constituents and our communities.

Everytown USA is proposing a comprehensive list of solutions, including alerting police to failed background checks, violence intervention programs, repealing gun industry immunity, and disarming teachers, among many more. You can explore these solutions and join the movement here.

The Coalition’s current work is divided into four areas: Education, Legislative Advocacy, Community Organizing and Member Support. Gun violence is a complex problem requiring multi-faceted solutions, so the Coalition is continually growing and evolving to better serve the Commonwealth. Learn how to get involved through attending events, activism, and education.
On June 11th, this past Saturday, thousands of people gathered all over the country, with about 40,000 in Washington D.C. alone.
The organization was founded by teens who survived the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida, and are now working on mutual aid projects, comprehensive proposals for legislature, and organizing marches like the one we saw on Saturday. These mobilization efforts are of critical importance and if you would like to join or support, please click here to learn more.
COVID-19 Resources:
Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5-11 access safety information and coming soon locations, hours, and website links for vaccinations.

Vital Village’s COVID-19 Resource Map regularly updated with descriptions, contact info, locations, hours, and website links for important basic family needs.

Protected Together sharing information safety information about vaccines

Find COVID-19 Testing Near You find your nearest testing site, including many with walk-in availability at boston.gov. Regular COVID-19 testing, both when sick and asymptomatic, can help prevent community spread of the virus, so we appreciate you taking advantage of these opportunities!
For Children and Caregivers:

Boston Children’s Museum Sign-Up for Weekly Activity Emails to receive fun activities you can use to enrich and support children at home, as well as articles and podcasts.

HandholdMA.org, is a family friendly website designed for parents of school-aged children in Massachusetts who are worried about their child’s mental health. Is your kid just being a kid, or is their behavior something to worry about? If so, what are the next steps you can take? HandHold will help you figure that out.

Sitters for Scholars, our volunteers are prepared to provide high-quality babysitting in person for children while parents pursue their education. To maintain the safest environment, both sitters and parents will be required to be vaccinated and boosted, and all individuals, including children two years and up, will also be required to wear a mask. You can sign up here, or see more information here.

Find your ideal therapist of color and boost your wellness journey with content written by and for people of color. 

Scoop on the Stats
Explore data from across the United States
As gun violence increases in the United States and lives are lost, the conversation about gun regulation is more necessary than ever. In an article by Nicholas Kristof called "How to Reduce Shootings," the author explores correlations and statistics that illuminates what can be done to reduce gun violence. Firstly, states with stricter gun regulations and less gun ownership have drastically lower rates than the states with more lax gun laws. Secondly, the author exposes a "scandalous lack" of research on gun violence, highlighting a need for such research to help guide future legislative decisions.

The author proposes the following public health-oriented approach to gun regulation, modelled after the automobile safety regulations:
Pew Research Center polling demonstrates that more than half of households both with and without guns support restrictions and regulations.
Another indicator of change is the bipartisan deal proposed earlier this week that would require background checks for arms purchase, restrict arms purchase to individuals age 21 and over, as well as preventing those with prior domestic violence charges from buying arms. Also, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Organization v. Bruen this past November, and will likely release their decision relatively soon. This decision will concern conceal and carry laws in New York state and may have larger implications, seeing as 25 US states now allow individuals to conceal and carry without any type of permit or safety training, according to CNN. The strong public support for gun regulation and the proposed deal signal a changing tide, to which perhaps the Supreme Court will contribute.
Sharing Technology
Explore technology related to child and family well-being.
The UPDATED Abundance Boston Food Access App 3.0.2 is now available! Abundance empowers Boston residents to easily access affordable, high-quality food resources. Download the FREE app today!
The COVID-19 Resource Map now has updated addresses and hours of over 90 locations in Boston currently provide free breakfast, lunch or dinner for youth, and 10 free community fridges open to the public 24/7.
Update! CONtexts: Community Resources on Health & Nearby Fun Promotes positive outcomes for caregivers and children ages 0-5 by sharing resources through a FREE text service and interactive map. CONtexts is temporarily under construction until further notice. Please see our social media for resources.
Language Justice
Are you interested in receiving this newsletter in Spanish? Please email Michelle Ramiz to be added to the mailing list!

Le interesaría recibir este boletín en español? ¡Por favor mande un correo a Michelle Ramiz para que le añaden a la lista de envío!
We Did it Together!
Collective actions and investments.
Thank you for championing our shared mission to expand a collective responsibility for all children
Our Mission

Vital Village is a network of residents and agencies committed to maximizing child, family, and community wellbeing.
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