December 2023 @ MPDC
MPDC's Youth Workforce Team wraps up 2023 with holiday joy!
In December, MPDC youth made a significant impact by working at the food pantry and delivering close to 50 boxes of groceries to the community. Youth also volunteered at a toy drive for the Neighborhood Network Center and Score for More, bringing joy to nearly 2,500 families.

MPDC's Youth Workforce wrapped up 2023 with celebrations, including a Friendsgiving potluck, the Career Path Exchange (CPX) Enrichment Showcase, and the annual Youth Workforce Holiday Party featuring gift-giving, a delicious dinner, and appreciation awards.

MPDC bids a heartfelt farewell to the Fall 2023 cohort of interns Daniel, Lilly, and Yarendy, who provided invaluable support to MPDC's youth and community programs. MPDC wishes them success in their future endeavors!
Immersive art pops up at Hibernian Hall
"The Frame Buffet," an immersive exhibit at Hibernian Hall, recently celebrated the innovative work of Roxbury artist Nygel Jones, captivating attendees with 21 unique pieces that pushed the boundaries of geometry through woodworking and painting. In addition to the showcase, Nygel provided a live demonstration, revealing the meticulous process behind building his extraordinary frames. 

The 3-day event showcased talent and featured a Hibernian Hall-produced documentary, offering an intimate glimpse into his creative process.

Watch "The Frame Buffet" documentary film here
The Dewitt Center had a delightful December!
In December, AfroDesiaCity Productions hosted its launch of 'The Best of Us Podcast' at The Dewitt Center. The "Breaking Barriers in the City" event addressed wealth disparities in Boston

Approximately 50 guests attended the launch in the gym. They enjoyed light refreshments and drinks while engaging in a fireside chat with a panel that included Emmy-nominated composer Malik Williams and dancer Stiggity Stacks. The panel shared their experiences as residents and entrepreneurs in the city. 
The Dewitt Center hosted the end-of-year gathering for Building Black Wealth, which welcomed guests from their community to celebrate the organization's mission of educating and providing resources to enhance the lives of the Black community through wealth-building initiatives.

Representatives from the Boston Public Health Commission addressed the audience, discussing ways for both guests and Boston residents to lead healthy lives free from racism, poverty, violence, and other systems of oppression, aligning with their mission. A Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection representative also attended the event to share information about the numerous job opportunities available in 2024.
WINNResidential hosted their annual holiday gathering and toy giveaway for MPDC residents at The Dewitt Center. Over 100 residents were treated to holiday sing-alongs, dancing, dinner, and gifts from Toys for Tots.
The holiday season is a great time to spend celebrating with loved ones. For five years, the Dewitt Center has enjoyed the unique honor and privilege of hosting many celebrations with MPDC residents, staff, partners, and the community.

This past December was no different when MPDC was given the early holiday gift of celebrating Mrs. Darlene White-Dottin. She is a retired Boston Public School Teacher featured in a 2012 photo with President Barack Obama, former Governor Deval Patrick, and her 2nd grade class from The Orchard Gardens K-8 School. She and her class were invited to a historic visit to the Whitehouse, where they recited Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in the Diplomatic Reception Room in the White House. The photo, which hangs in The Dewitt Center as part of its prestigious art collection, is powerful.

Mrs. White-Dottin, a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), Incorporated, was contacted by her sorority sister, who noticed the photo while visiting The Dewitt Center. The Norfolk County Area Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta then got The Dewitt Center to plan a visit for Mrs. White-Dottin, who was unaware that the photo was displayed for public viewing.

When she arrived, she was surprised to see approximately 40 people, including her close family, friends, and sorority sisters, there to pay homage to a phenomenal woman, educator, and change agent.

Delta Sigma Theta is a public service sorority founded on January 13, 1913, by 22 dynamic black women on the Howard University campus. Mrs. Dottin has continued the sorority's 111-year legacy of changing the world with acts of service and kindness locally, nationally, and globally.
A year of impact with MPDC's
Civic Engagement Team
MPDC is thrilled to share that thanks to community involvement and support, 1523 contacts were reached by the Civic and Resident Engagement Team, surpassing last year's efforts and this year's goals.

A heartfelt shoutout to MPDC's dedicated volunteers, including nine youth activists, as well as Marisol Olivera, Joyce Williams, JoAnn Williams, Ismael Diaz, Belencita Rosa, Jeanette Varris, Lascene Hooker, Bill Peterson, Stephanie Thomas, Jeanet Bledsoe, Olivia Eaton, Yolanda Mays, and Anthony Mays. A special shoutout to MPDC partners Massachusetts Voter Table and Democracy Hub!

Here's to a year of growth, collaboration, and positive change. Get ready to make your voice heard in 2024 and engage with these upcoming opportunities:

Voter Registration Drives
Join MPDC in ensuring that every eligible voter is registered and ready to participate in the democratic process.

Educational Workshops
Stay informed about candidates, policies, and the electoral process through engaging and insightful workshops.

Volunteer Mobilization
Be a part of the action! Contribute your time and energy to support various civic initiatives.

Community Dialogues
Foster meaningful conversations about civic issues that matter. Your insights and perspectives make a difference.
Tuesday, January 23rd is Ranked Choice Voting Day at Hibernian Hall! Ranked Choice Voting is a simple upgrade to our elections that lets voters rank the candidates in order of preference and will expand equity and inclusion in Boston. Join MPDC, Ranked Choice Boston, special guests Boston City Councilors At-Large Julia Mejia and Henry Santana, and Boston District 7 City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson to learn more!
MPDC Staffing Announcements
To kick off 2024, MPDC is proud to announce Lydon Vincent's promotion to Director of Community Action, Sandra Sierra's promotion to Associate Director of Community Action, and Patrice Sheperd's promotion to Senior Administrative Assistant.
Lyndon Vincent brings over 30 years of experience in youth development and programming to MPDC. He began his career in Boston in 1994 with Roxbury Youth Works as a Community Monitor at Roxbury Youth Works, a community program for adjudicated adolescents committed to the Department of Youth Services providing life skills workshops, mentoring, educational placement, and employment support.

Before joining MPDC, Lyndon was Assistant Deputy Director of Case Management Services at Youth Options Unlimited Boston (YOU Boston). For twelve years, he worked through the ranks as a Case Manager. He connected program youth ages 14 to 24 with community resources, subsidized employment opportunities, and educational supporprimarys major focus is to empower them to become productive citizens in their education, employment, and career advancement. He also served as the law enforcement liaison between YOU Boston, the Boston Police Department, the Suffolk Probation Department, Boston Public School, and the Boston Public Health Commission.

Before migrating to the United States, he served as a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for 15 years.
Lyndon is very passionate about providing resources and service to his community and has touched the lives of countless young men and women within the City of Boston. His commitment and dedication to public safety are influenced by his love for humanity and routed in a quote from Frederick Douglass: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.“

He is the Vice President of Unity Sports and Cultural Club and a member of the Board of Trustees at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

He is a caring, easy-going, and friendly individual. He respects the views of others and believes that everyone should be treated with respect. He enjoys leisure time with family and friends, traveling, and watching sports.
Sandra Sierra is a workforce development professional with over 20 years of human service and community development experience. She has managed successful workforce development programs while supporting and connecting community residents with various community resources. Formerly, she managed the Opportunity Employment Program Manager position at Madison Park Development Corporation, where she oversaw a Gun Violence Prevention Initiative by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. A primary goal of the program is to help participants complete their HiSet credentialing while providing support in career and vocational exploration, mentoring, mental health referrals, and community mobilization around the prevention of community violence. Sandra understands the positive impact youth programs can have since she continues to advocate to increase opportunities for community youth experiencing barriers to education and living wage employment and support youth to gain marketable skills and economic mobility. 
Patrice Shepherd, a Roxbury resident, loves working at MPDC, where she can give back to a community she loves to live in, and seeing the changes in the neighborhood gives her hope for a brighter future. She believes that "Together we can divide we fall" in a community means residents and activists come together in a safe space to work on complex issues and be the changes they want to see. Being able to work on the other side, she sees the hard work pay off when residents in the neighborhood attend a community event like MPDC's Annual Garden Tea Party. It is a great feeling to help bring people together!
Thank you to MPDC's December 2023 Newsletter Contributors
Allison Anderson
Haris Lefteri
Dr. Ingrid Tucker
Kelly Lydon
Lyndon Vincent
Meghan Higgins
Patrice Shepherd
Sandra Sierra
Zeyanna Defortunato
Food Pantry @ The Dewitt Center
WHEN: Every 1st & 3rd WEDNESDAY of each month
11:00 am

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

The Dewitt Center and the Islamic Multi-Service Organization (IMSO) host monthly food pantries. Canned goods, fruit, pasta, spaghetti, and more will be available for pickup! Supplies are limited.

For more information, please contact IMSO at
[email protected] or call 617.442.2805.
Roxbury Roots
WHEN: Saturday, January 20
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
WHERE: Hibernian Hall
(184 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA)

Join Hibernian Hall for a night of gathering and live storytelling around the campfire. "Roxbury Roots" is back by popular demand after its first successful year! Allow the night to take you through a great range of human experiences filled with laughter, tears, and truth.
Actors' Shakespeare Project presents
'Battle of the Wits' Trivia Night
WHEN: Monday, January 29
6:30 pm - 8 pm
WHERE: Hibernian Hall
(184 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA)

Boston’s biggest Theatre Trivia Night of the year is BACK! Immerse yourself in a riveting evening of intellectual duels, where wit and wisdom are the only forms of currency. The evening will include a range of activities, from theatre trivia to raffles, plus snacks and beverages will be provided!
Community Chamber Concert
WHEN: Sunday, February 4
3 pm - 5 pm

WHERE: Hibernian Hall
(184 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA)

Join the Boston Symphony Orchestra for a FREE afternoon of classical music at Hibernian Hall.
Jean Appolon Expressions
African Dance Workout
WHEN: Mondays from January 8 to March 25
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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

Immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of African dance, connecting with its roots and storytelling through movement. All levels of experience are welcome! Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or taking your first steps, this event is designed for everyone.
Actors' Shakespeare Project presents
August Wilson's: King Hedley II
WHEN: Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 31, 2024
Various Times

WHERE: Hibernian Hall
(184 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA)

Following one of ASP’s most acclaimed and successful productions of all time, Seven Guitars, Actors’ Shakespeare Project returns to Hibernian Hall in 2024 for another installment in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle: King Hedley II.

Fresh off of a seven-year stint in prison, King Hedley II (named after his father, who was played by Johnnie Mack in ASP’s Seven Guitars) dreams of going straight. He’s going to open his own video store — even if he has to steal every refrigerator in Pittsburgh to make it happen. Returning home to the Hill District in 1985, King finds that his community is beset by violence, con men, and redlining. As King fights to keep his family afloat, the harsh realities of Reagan’s America threaten to drag him under.

Hailed by Variety in 1999 as “maybe the most passionate work that August Wilson has penned to date,” King Hedley II dives into family tensions and the Black experience in America with Wilson’s signature poeticism and power.