August 2021 @ MPDC
Tea time at Hope Community Garden!
In August, MPDC celebrated the 5th Annual Garden Tea Party in the Hope Community Garden. The Tea Party kicked off with great food and music, followed by a hat contest and a scavenger hunt that brought lots of laughter to the crowd. The kids came in dressed up in beautiful hats and hung out in the Kids' Zone, where they crafted hats and socialized. Kids and adults all agreed that this fun family-friendly community event was a success!

See you next year 2022!
MPDC's Summer Youth Employment Program ends with excitement
Finally, the summer Employment Program safely gathered in small groups to enlist over 50 youth summer participants. Interns worked at close to 30 meaningful employment internship sites, complemented by career development courses mostly held at our main offices on Dudley Street.

Over the summer, our youth law participants studied the Meghan the Stallion and Tory Lanez case like lawyers, led by non-profit youth law organization Street Litigators. The last case was held at the Northeastern Moot Courtroom. Youth played the defense against actual volunteer prosecutors and won. They were honored to be joined by State DA, Rachel Rollins!

The MPDC Mural Crew designed impactful imagery that included the founders of MPDC, Vinny Haynes, Ralph Smith, and Beryl Roach, encircled by MPDC's 55th-anniversary logo accompanied with the word "Roxbury" in a vertical mobile mural installation production. This 10'x40' installation titled "A Love Letter to Roxbury" is expected to premiere on Washington Street in September.

MPDC's Youth Workforce Team capped off the summer with an outstanding Closeout Celebration with over 70 attendees. It displayed a showcase of presentations that included construction, healthcare, real estate, art, and dance. The end-of-year celebration also had an award ceremony, a yummy Halal dinner, and a heartfelt dedication to the manager.
Now accepting Sponsorships for
MPDC's 55th Anniversary Gala
It’s that time of year when you can become a sponsor of our annual community Gala, Sparks for Arts, and this year, we're celebrating MPDC’s 55th Anniversary here in Lower Roxbury! Sparks for Arts is your opportunity to take advantage of the CITC program and receive a 50% state tax rebate on your donation of $1,000 or more to MPDC. Donations can be made online or through the mail. Watch for your Sparks Sponsorship Packet and plan to attend the virtual Gala celebrating MPDC's 55th on Thursday, November 18th.
MPDC's Donor Appreciation event with Dr. Karilyn Crockett
MPDC was thrilled to host a Donor Appreciation event with author Dr. Karilyn Crockett in August. Dr. Crockett was joined by her old friend and mentor, Byron Rushing, and MPDC CEO Leslie Reid for a lively and robust discussion regarding neighborhood history, where we are now, and what the future holds as we work to ensure community well being and wealth building. Dr. Crockett led the discussion about her book, People Before Highways. She recounted the history of community activism in Lower Roxbury in the 1960s and early 1970s as urban renewal and plans for the Inner Belt were defeated. This victory led to the formation of MPDC, formerly known as the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation, one of the first Community Development Corporations in the nation to reclaim neighborhood land and re-build their neighborhood.
It is time to Get Out The Vote!
The Community Engagement Team has begun the Get Out the Vote efforts for this Fall. On Tuesday, August 15, MPDC staff led a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Training with volunteers. MPDC is offering stipends to those that want to volunteer time with us as we attempt to spread GOTV information to the community. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Javier Gutierrez / 617.849.6322.

You can get out and vote safely this election season at
The Dewitt Center!
The Dewitt Center will be open on September 14th, 2021 for the Preliminary Municipal Election and again on November 2nd, 2021 for the Municipal Election for those who vote at this location.
MPDC x Starbucks:
OEP finishes the summer strong!
This summer’s Starbucks Job Readiness Program cohort took to the street to explore the different Starbucks stores in the Boston area! In partnership with Mass Mentoring and Starbucks, MPDC initiated a scavenger hunt activity, tasking the youth with navigating three other Starbucks stores along the MBTA Orange Line to accomplish various objectives. During their visit to the Assembly Row Starbucks, students were asked to approach two Starbucks partners and ask about their favorite benefits of working at Starbucks. The primary focus of the activity was to gain familiarity with each location and learn more about the interview process as they start to finalize their interview dates for their new jobs.
VLA Dance wraps up another successful summer at Hibernian Hall
This Summer, VLA Dance taught various forms of dance to youth and adult cohorts at Hibernian Hall. With 150+ registrations over the five weeks, VLA Dance’s most successful class was the Afro-Cuban Folklore (Yoruba) / Orisha Dance Technique class. Other classes included Contemporary Dance, Caribbean Fem, Hip Hop, and Yoga. Everyone had an incredible time and was so happy movement programming was happening in their neighborhood. Special thank you to Victoria Awkward, VLA Dance Director, for bringing this activity back to Hibernian Hall!
An awesome August at
The Dewitt Center!
The 3Point Foundation wrapped up its 6-week summer learning academy at the Dewitt Center. 3Point’s Summer Learning Academy ran for 6 weeks, from July 6th to August 13th. By utilizing project-based learning and 21st-century skills, the program seeks to close the opportunity and achievement gap for middle school students of color in Boston. They have incorporated Empow technologies for STEM components, as well as social-emotional learning and digital art. Students engage in basketball, golf lessons, and rock climbing field trips. 3Point’s summer ended with final presentations based on the style of the hit show Shark Tank. Students researched a community issue, developing innovative solutions, and presented their ideas.
Madison Park Village hosted their annual Back to School Event for MPV residents. Over 200 residents received free backpacks packed with school supplies while enjoying fun-filled with different activities and food vendors.
The Dewitt Center would like to thank Bikes Not Bombs for their bike donation to Dewitt Center youth. Bikes Not Bombs worked with the STRIVE program this summer held at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. Youth interns spent their summer building and repairing bikes as part of Bike's Not Bombs' annual bike donation. We’re honored that they chose The Dewitt Center to receive this year's bike donation!
Housing Navigator is now live!
The Housing Navigator is now open to the public with listings of over 2,000 properties in 267 towns. Start your housing search today on the revamped and newly launched website.
MPDC Staffing News
Thank you to our August 2021
Newsletter Contributors!
Arlene Baldwin
Carlos Taveras
Javier Gutierrez
Justina Thompson
Kay Mathew
Kelly Ransom
Leslie Reid
Leslie Stafford
Meghan Higgins
Yhinny Matos
The Arboretum Experience @ Harvard University!
Hibernian Hall, Havard University, and A.R.T present the Arboretum Experience!

WHEN: September 4th - September 25th, 2021
Times vary, please click 'get tickets here' for more information!

WHERE: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (125 Arbor Way, Boston, MA, 02130)

For more information, contact Haris Lefteri.
Smoked Oysters @ Hibernian Hall!
Hibernian Hall presents Smoked Oysters, Written by Mary M. McCollough and Directed by Dawn M. Simmons!

WHEN: September 17th - 26th, 2021

WHERE: Hibernian Hall (located at 184 Dudley St., Boston, MA, 02119)

For more information, contact Haris Lefteri.
Virtual Meal Preparation & Participation Classes!
MPDC is hosting a free, virtual Meal Preparation and Participation class!

WHEN: Saturday, September 25, 2021
9 am - 10:30 am

WHERE: Online

For more information, contact - 617.946.6460.
2451 Washington & Haynes House Renovation Virtual Ribbon Cutting Event
Join MPDC in celebrating two major milestones in Roxbury!

WHEN: Friday, October 1st
4:30 pm

WHERE: On Zoom
Sparks for Arts: 55th Gala
Tickets on sale soon!

WHEN: Thursday, November 18th
6:30 pm

WHERE: On Zoom

Save the date to celebrate MPDC's 55th Anniversary virtually with performances, surprises, Community Catalyst Awards, and the premiere of our 55th Anniversary mini-documentary on Thursday, November 18th, 2021.