August 2020 @ MPDC
US State Primary Election Polls Open from 7 am to 8 pm
Mass Voter Table, a non-profit that integrates nonpartisan voter engagement with grassroots organizing, created a questionnaire for each of the candidates running for the US Senate.

You can view Democratic candidates Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III's responses to the questionnaire here.

You can view Republican candidate Shiva Ayyadurai's responses to the questionnaire here. Republican candidate Kevin O’Connor declined to respond to the questionnaire.

Thank you to our amazing Voter Mobilization Outreach Committee! If you would like to join us and help get out the vote in November, please contact Civic Engagement Fellow Eva Ackerman / 617.997.6287.

Check out & share this fun voting graphic Kenya John, an MPDC Opportunity Employment Program participant, created for the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

The deadline to register to vote for the November 3rd general election is Saturday, October 24th.

The Dewitt Center is a polling location!
Vote in the State Primary TODAY at The Dewitt Center (if it is your designated polling location) between 7 am-8 pm.
Updates from MPDC's
Community Support Team
Through continued collaboration with resident leadership at Dudley Greenville, Roxbury Village in Progress (VIP) distributed 65 meal kits to residents. Along with food, residents received COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment kits containing masks, sanitizer, soap, and safety information. 

The monthly VIP meetings will resume in September virtually on Zoom. The Orchard Gardens meetings will be held on the third Thursday of each month. The Madison Park Village meetings will be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Meeting times TBD. For more information, please contact MPDC's Community Support Coordinator Lavell Fulks / 617.849.6277.
MPDC has 2020 State Tax Credits
for your donation!
Your gift of $1,000 or more will earn a 50% state tax rebate as part of the Community Investment Tax Credit program. MPDC welcomes donations in support of its programs now more than ever. Designate your gift to initiatives that counter the impact of COVID-19 like our robust Food Distribution and support for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses. Donate to any of our programs supporting community health and wellness, including Youth Development, Workforce Development, Resident Leadership, Civic Engagement, The Dewitt Center, and Hibernian Hall. For more information regarding the CITC program and earn a 50% state tax rebate, contact MPDC's Resource Development Manager Kay Mathew. As always, we thank you for your continued support.
Celebrating a successful Summer
for MPDC's Opportunity
Employment Program
MPDC's Opportunity Employment Program (OEP) has made changes to reach its goals during COVID-19 successfully. This Summer, OEP transitioned its HiSET preparation classes and workforce development workshops to a virtual model. MPDC distributed Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots to every participant that needed them. During the Summer, participants worked towards their HiSET credential and focused on projects concentrating on gun violence prevention and systemic racism and were showcased at MPDC's Summer Closeout Celebration. The OEP team plans to build on this Summer's momentum and success and kick-off OEP's Fall session on September 8th. If you are interested or know anyone who might be interested, please fill out this quick intake form, and a member of the OEP Team will be in touch!
A Summer of Movement Hibernian Hall
Hibernian Hall and VLA Dance presented a successful Summer Online Movement Series on Zoom for six weeks this Summer, which included classes focusing on yoga, conditioning, and contemporary dance practices. Dance and creative methods were used to teach emotional grounding, reading, and writing skills to 160+ youth and adults. Learn more about Hibernian Hall & VLA Dance here.
Hibernian Hall's dynamic online programming always makes room for you as a Friends of Hibernian Hall member. In June, we hosted a fabulous online Friends reception in honor of Hibernian Hall's Playwriting Lab. This Fall, we plan to bring the Friends back together for another exciting virtual reception. Your membership offers benefits like these and provides vital support to our ongoing arts and culture programming in Roxbury. Support the arts and artists of Nubian Square & Roxbury and join today! For more information, contact MPDC's Resource Development Manager, Kay Mathew.
MPDC Youth cap off the Summer
with a celebration!
MPDC's Summer Youth Employment Program capped off the Summer with an exciting showcase of performances, demonstrations, speeches, and special guests. Over six weeks, 45 youth were engaged in a robust array of creative and educational programming that included podcasting, beat making, real estate, and investment wealth building.

The two-hour virtual celebration featured remarks from worksite supervisors, including Pilar Tucker of Empower Our Crown, Michael Williams of The Greater Boston Pan-Hellenic Council, and Boston City Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia. Special thanks to Councilor Mejia's office for providing technical support, The Clubhouse Network, and Boston Public Health Commission's Peer Leadership Institute for their collaborative partnerships. A special shout out to Annie Duong of the John Hancock Foundation and the City of Boston's Department of Youth Engagement and Employment for their assistance and to Janet and Richard Goldenberg for their generous support of the program.
The DREAM Program successfully wrapped up its first Virtual Summer Camp! MPDC residents were thrilled to have their children participate in the daily virtual camp. Each Monday this Summer, DREAM staff met at The Dewitt Center to prepare activity packages delivered to each camper. DREAM staff used classroom space on Wednesdays to film virtual activities and engage with campers. The Dewitt Center would like to congratulate The DREAM program for a fantastic job!
Ellis Memorial and Madison Park Development Corporation joined forces many years ago to provide school-age programming in Madison Park Village, initially at 40 Raynor Circle. In July 2018, Ellis began hosting programming at The Dewitt Center. We shared a vision to expand robust school-age programs within The Dewitt Center. Unfortunately, the changing landscape of Boston Public Schools with the school day ending later, many schools providing after school programs internally, and the decline of school-age children within the city have made it exceedingly difficult to continue at The Dewitt Center. MPDC has enjoyed partnering with Ellis Memorial and has a deep appreciation for their contribution to Madison Park Village over the years. Thank You, Ellis Memorial!
Pi-Tap, a Dewitt Center program partner, launched its second session of its Summer Youth Entrepreneur Course. The course offers a program for young entrepreneurs interested in developing a business idea, sharpening their pitch, and learning best practices from business leaders who can provide advice, connections, and mentoring. The course is free, and students receive a $100 stipend after completing it. Learn more here.
Dewitt Center program Dreams 2 Reality is back virtually! Bring your kids' energy and passion to each class as we practice our fitness skills together every Saturday at 11:15 am. Register in advance for this FREE class here.
A bountiful garden season for MPDC community gardeners
The MPDC Hope Garden Community, working with Leslie Stafford, MPDC's Health Equity and Wellness Coordinator, has been very active this Summer!  

Hope Garden is supported by Peer Health Leader Amerelis, who has more than ten years of gardening experience. With this experience, she helps other gardeners plant, harvest, and prepare healthy meals at home. She enjoys going to the garden three times a week to harvest the season’s squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and herbs to distribute to her neighbors in need whose households have been affected by the COVID-19.  
Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award for Whittier Phase I
Congratulations to the recipients of the 26th annual Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards (Edson Awards), which recognize outstanding affordable housing developments and organizations that have demonstrated especially impactful use of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. We congratulate our partners at the Preservation of Affordable Housing & the Boston Housing Authority on their recognition for HUD Preservation of Whittier Phase I.
Bodega Makeover in Roxbury
Over the past year, Health Equity & Wellness Organizer Leslie Stafford has supported The Bodega Makeover Project, an innovative effort to upgrade a Dudley Street bodega and dramatically increase their capacity to provide healthy foods to their neighborhood customers. MPDC is proud to support this vital project, providing healthy food access for our neighbors!

Founded by Evelyn Brito, the Bodega Makeover Project received support from Stafford, who brought her experience as a Healthy Community Champion. Previously, Stafford worked with the Boston Public Health Commissions’ “Rethink Your Drink” initiative, which targeted Roxbury bodegas and supermarkets. Stafford continually works to spread the message of healthy food options to families and communities. While she was an advocate working with The Bodega Makeover Project to promote healthier options for customers, she also told the stories of Hispanic & Urban communities that traditionally have had less access to healthy food. The Grand Re-Opening of Vega Brothers on Dudley Street happens in September!
Updates on the Haynes House Renovation & 2451 Washington Projects
The Haynes House Renovation is in its final phase of construction. The 131 units were split up into eight Phases, and seven of those Phases are complete! A nearly finished facade can be seen from the parking lot on the northwest side of the building. A decorative fence will wrap the Ruggles/Shawmut corner, with a design celebrating Roxbury's Vincent Haynes.
Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the project so far, especially our residents & community!
Completion of the 2451 Washington Street Homeownership Project is expected in early October. The lottery for the seven affordable units is complete and prospective buyers are currently going through the application process. All but one of the market-rate units have reservations.
For more information, contact Megan Reagon / 617.849.6329.
Residents take action for
PLAN: Nubian Square
Throughout this pandemic, it has become painfully apparent that, as a society, we must remain steadfast yet fluid. In line with this new way of being, the Madison-Whittier Coalition submitted a letter to the Boston Planning and Development Agency with suggestions about engaging residents who do not have access to technology in PLAN: Nubian Square. Some of the suggestions included enhanced signage, extending the period for public comments, and mailing meeting notifications via the postal service. For more information about MPDC's involvement in PLAN: Nubian Square, please contact MPDC's Community Planning Manager Chavella Lee-Pacheco / 617.849.6223.
REMINDER: You have until September 30th to complete the Census!  
An accurate count for the Census will ensure more than $16 billion federal dollars support social services programs, including SNAP and Section 8, for those who need it most!

Your information will be kept confidential. Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing any identifying information either with public or private entities.

Complete via phone by calling 844-330-2020 (Spanish: 844-468-2020) or online at
MPDC's first virtual Job Fair a success
Over 65 Greater Boston residents joined MPDC for its first Virtual Construction Job Fair on Tuesday, August 25th. Eager job seekers were able to speak with Project Managers from Dellbrook/JKS, DF Pray General Contractors, and NEI General Contracting about current projects and learn from their subcontractors about immediate opportunities.  

After the Job Fair, three participants were immediately offered positions on neighboring projects. MPDC would like to recognize Deshawn Cameron, a Madison's Train 2 Trades program participant, and Beryl Gardens resident with his recent job acceptance with North Atlantic Concrete at the Whittier Street Redevelopment site in Roxbury.  

Thanks to our partners at the Boston Housing Authority and the Preservation of Affordable Housing for another successful Job Fair!
MPDC teams up with the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition
The Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition (BBCC) is hosting a COVID-19 safe family drive-in movie experience at Bartlett Yard in Nubian Square! The BBCC was founded this year in response to COVID-19. The Coalition is comprised of a group of stakeholders and thought leaders from Boston that have formed a united effort to demand that decisions, policies, and actions taken and resources committed to our community of residents and businesses are effective. Their goal is to ensure Black residents and Black businesses are in a better place post-pandemic than before. The BBCC believes that the only way to accomplish their mission is to interject themselves into every aspect of the response and recovery process. The six-week drive-in movie series will feature a family-friendly film screening, live entertainment, food trucks, and more. MPDC is excited to co-host BBCC's movie night on Saturday, September 19th for our residents to enjoy a safe, socially distanced movie. Stay tuned to your inbox for more details!
MPDC Staff Spotlight:
5 Questions with Chavella Lee-Pacheco
 As a way for our community to learn more about our staff members, we have started the '5 Questions' series. These monthly interviews in our newsletters feature five random questions with an MPDC staff member. 
This month we are chatting with Community Planning Manager Chavella Lee-Pacheco.

1. What is your role as Community Planning Manager at MPDC?
C: In this role, I work closely with residents of MPDC properties to build a healthy community through advocacy and programming regarding the built environment, like PLAN: Nubian Square

2. What are some MPDC initiatives or programs you are excited about?

C: Outside of my department, the affordable home-ownership opportunities that MPDC is developing when many Bostonians are being displaced make me really happy.

3. Where is your favorite place to visit in Roxbury?
C: Many of my favorite places are in Roxbury. I get most of my books and calendars from Frugal Bookstore, and (almost) everything health-related from Essential Body Herbs. No trip to those stores is complete without a chocolate chip cookie from Haley House!
4. What do you like to do in your spare time?
C: In my spare time, I like to read or spend time outdoors. Whichever I’m doing, I’m almost always accompanied by my happy 2-year old. 
5. What do you hope for the future of Roxbury?
C: I hope Roxbury's future is shaped by those who have been rooted in it for generations.
Free Bike Repair in Roxbury
Bring your bike to get repaired for free!

WHEN: Saturday, September 12
1 pm - 4 pm

WHERE: The Dewitt Center Plaza
(Outside 122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury, MA)

Residents can bring their bikes and have them repaired by professional mechanics on the spot. There will be $5 coupons available on a first-come, first-serve for residents who want to make purchases from the Boston Cyclist Union. BCU will have helmets and bike equipment (inner tube, lube, patch kits, etc.) available for sale.

There is currently a shortage of bike equipment due to COVID-19, so supplies are available but limited.
The Jazz Standards Duo -
Virtual Performance @ Hibernian Hall
Join us online for a performance from the Jazz Standards Duo!

WHEN: Thursday, September 17

Virtual Gala
Thursday, November 19, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us for our annual Sparks for Arts Gala - a creative online evening with music, dinner, artists, and Community Catalyst Awards. Save the date and watch for upcoming information about this fabulous event, celebrating its 10th year.
Become a Sparks for Arts Sponsor
Support Sparks and enjoy benefits for yourself and your company as a major sponsor.
The Union of Minority Neighborhoods Help-Line for those experiencing poverty and unemployment is now live.
They are open 10 AM to 3 PM Monday thru Friday to assist the community in the Boston area with resources and referrals with:
Food Pantries
Housing Issues
Unemployment Assistance
And more...