July 2020 @ MPDC
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 10 th year.
Become a Sparks for Arts Sponsor
Support Sparks and enjoy benefits for yourself and your company as a major sponsor. For more information contact MPDC Resource Development Manager Kay Mathew .
Thank you, Boston Resiliency Fund!
We are proud and happy to announce that MPDC has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the  Boston Resiliency Fund , supporting our COVID-19 related efforts to ensure that vulnerable households have access to healthy food . The award will expand our food distribution reach to an additional 300 homes in partnership with Orchard Gardens Resident Association and  Ethnica Catering , which will provide hot meals weekly through the Summer and beyond. Thank you to our partners , Ethnica Catering EatWell , and the City of Boston for working with MPDC to ensure food distribution to the homes of older adults, people with disabilities, and families at the Madison Park Village, Orchard Gardens Estates, St. Botolph Terrace, and Schoolhouse properties.

Led by the MPDC's Health Equity and Community Wellness Team, our expanded weekly food distribution reaches nearly 2,000 households. In partnership with  Lovin' Spoonful's Food Rescue , families have received groceries delivered safely to their front doors by trained staff and volunteers during COVID-19. We want to thank the City of Boston for their continued support providing volunteers and personal protective equipment that supports our ability to continue to distribute healthy food to our community safely. 
Announcing MPDC's Virtual Job Fair
Fall into your new career before autumn!

WHEN: Tuesday, August 25
11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Meet virtually with a variety of employers from construction & building trades about employment opportunities.
All participating GC’s have active projects right now!

For more information contact Katrina Conrad –617.849.6226
Updates from MPDC's
Community Support Team
The COVID-19 pandemic continues hitting our communities hard, causing a great deal of trauma in families due to the uncertainty of access to food, paying their rents or mortgage, and increased violence. However,  violence has become one of the most problematic issues right now in Roxbury . We are witnessing an escalation in violence within our communities, which we haven't seen in a while. Furthermore, we have to add the violence generated by the police, which detonated in massive reactions of communities nationwide under the leadership of Blacks Live Matter. All of this is causing much tension and trauma among residents and community members. 
Under the leadership of Lavell Fulks , MPDC's Community Support Initiatives have been  working diligently to help prevent the issues of violence in our communities regardless of the current pandemic.  
Community Support does this work through a program funded the Boston Public Health Commission called Village in Progress (VIP) , and the Roxbury Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) in partnership with the Whittier Street Health Center . VIP focuses its work at Orchard Gardens and Madison Park Village, primarily by engaging youth in positive activities and building relationships with the residents in both places. NTT deals with the trauma caused by violence in individuals and families by working and referring them to services. The scope of services include:

 Violence Intervention Program (VIP)
· Facilitate neighborhood meetings to address residence safety concerns
· Organize community outreach activities and projects to reduce violence
· Identify Resident Block Captains and volunteers to lead community projects
· Support Youth Outreach and crime intervention
Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT)
· Respond to incidents of violence in Roxbury
· Provide residents with information to access trauma-informed services
· Support victims, family, and residents in identifying services
· Provide safe spaces within the community for healing
· Support at funerals
MPDC has responded to all incidents and provided the materials informing about trauma resources within the neighborhood that the violence occurred. 

The work of MPDC's Community Support Team can be found in  an interview made by WBUR
Give to MPDC today!
Now more than ever, MPDC relies on its supporters to help see us through 2020's uncertainty. Your $1,000+ gift will ensure that our programmatic work continues in relevant, meaningful ways. We've migrated programs online and created new programs to meet our community's current needs, including increased food distribution and a  Relief Fund , which provides mini-grants to small local Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. Your donation of $1,000 or more is eligible for the  Community Investment State Tax Credit Program , offering a 50% state tax rebate on the gift. You can make your donation at  madison-park.org  or contact  Kay Mathew , MPDC's Resource Development Manager for more information on how you can give to MPDC and receive benefits from the CITC program.
MPDC's Census Committee stays
busy all Summer!
MPDC's nine-person Census Committee has called over 500 MPDC households to help people complete the 2020 Census. The committee will now combine Census and voter mobilization efforts to educate MPDC residents and Roxbury community members on the three Massachusetts voting options this fall: the new mail-in ballot system, early voting, and day of voting. Stay tuned for a Voter Mobilization Speakers Series in late August, organized by the Census Committee and the high school Summer Youth Employment Program!
Special Grants Awarded to MPDC
MPDC is pleased and proud to announce recent grants awarded in support of our COVID-19 related work and ongoing programs. We received a special $63,690 grant from NeighborWorks America to sustain MPDC’s capacity to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the community. Similarly, Dana Farber Cancer Institute awarded MPDC a special $20,000 grant in light of the pandemic to build our capacity to continue Health Equity programs and other key neighborhood initiatives. And, Boston State Community Trust (BSCT) awarded MDPC a $10,000 grant supporting our Summer Youth Employment Program. As steadfast partners with NeighborWorks, Dana Farber, and a longstanding recipient of BSCT grants, we remain very grateful for their continued confidence in MPDC's work!
Youth stay creatively engaged
with MPDC this Summer
MPDC's Summer Youth Employment Program kicked off in full force! MPDC's innovative Summer Program engages youth in dynamic programming that includes a weekly 20-hour, five-tier program track with virtual summer jobs, professional trades training, civic and enrichment workshops, and fitness activities. Our partnerships with other organizations and businesses include meaningful work with agencies such as Include Innovation , Black Economic Justice Institute , Councilor Julia Mejia's Youth Steering Committee, and more. 

MPDC's Summer Trade Academy includes education in investing, stock trading, real estate, music production, and dance . For enrichment and civic justice initiatives, youth participate in community organizing, photography, podcasting, wellness, and life skills . Through a collaboration with Mattapan Food and Fitness , youth participate in weekly socially distanced nature walks. VLA Dance , Trillfit , and AfroBeats Dance have also enhanced the program curriculum with creative movement and body conditioning

Thank you to all of our Summer Youth Employment Program partners!
#DoItAtTheDewitt... virtually !
The Dewitt Center is happy to host The DREAM Program . DREAM has adapted summer programming to fit a virtual model due to COVID-19. DREAM currently uses The Dewitt Center on Mondays to prepare activity bags for their campers in Madison Park Village and Orchard Gardens Estates, and on Wednesdays to film virtual activities.
Ellis Memorial reopened for camp at The Dewitt Center in late June, providing daily childcare for ten campers. Campers participate in daily physical activities to stimulate their minds and maintain their health. In July, campers participated in 'Coupon Math,' an educational activity on couponing and its value. Campers also enjoy activities such as 'Mood Charades,' gardening , and education surrounding COVID-19 safety.
EVkids started camp on July 6th at The Dewitt Center and has four weeks of virtual sessions planned. Campers were sent “Camp in a Box,” which has all the materials needed to participate in virtual activities, including crafting, games, and singing
The Kids' Garden Club can't be beet !
MPDC's Kids Garden Club (KGC), organized by Leslie Stafford , MPDC's Health Equity and Wellness Coordinator, has been very active this Summer! The Kids Garden Club supports and teaches Roxbury children how to grow vegetables and fruits and eat more of them! This year's KGC includes thirteen participants, ages 2 to 10 years old. Recently, Leslie had the opportunity to speak with 8-year-old Daileylah and her dad about her experience gardening at home. 

Daileyah enjoys getting up every morning to check on and water her beans, carrots, cucumbers, and beets. Daileylah is learning the cost-benefit of growing healthy food. She sees the cost of cucumbers in the grocery store and compares it to the free cucumbers she grows at home. She feels very independent in her garden and is always looking for recipes for her harvested vegetables!
MPDC Staff Spotlight:
5 Questions with Juan Leyton
  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 Vice President of Programs, Juan Leyton .

1. What is your role as Vice President of Programs at MPDC?
J: The Vice President of Programs oversees all the programmatic activities of MPDC (Community Action, Hibernian Hall, The Dewitt Center, and others), and provides support in other areas of the organization as needed. 
2. What are some MPDC initiatives or programs you are excited about?

J: This is a hard question! I get excited about all of the programs at MPDC. I am excited about our programming for youth this Summer, our Census and Get Out The Vote initiatives, our weekly food distributions, and our community gardening programs , just to name a few.

3. Where is your favorite place to visit in Roxbury?
J: I like going to Haley House to grab some coffee and food and I love walking on Dudley Street.
4. What do you like to do in your spare time?
J: I like to spend my free time gardening, taking walks, reading books, and watching soccer.
5. What do you hope for the future of Roxbury?
J: I hope that our community remains organized, vibrant, and hopeful of what we can do together, given the hard times we are going through with COVID and racism.    
Summer Online Movement Series
Join Hibernian Hall and VLA Dance for a summer of movement!

WHEN:     Mondays & Wednesdays
July 6th to August 12th

Hibernian Hall and  VLA DANCE  are excited to collaborate on the  Summer Online Movement Series , a weekly mixed-level movement class for youth and adults taught by the professional dance artists of VLA DANCE. Classes include yoga, conditioning, and contemporary dance practices. All classes are taught on both Mondays and Wednesdays online and will be designed for small indoor spaces. Registration is free but donations are accepted.
Community Spotlight at Hibernian Hall
Hibernian Hall's weekly live stream featuring our community partners, local artists, & special guests!

WHEN:    Mondays at 2 pm

WHERE:        Facebook Live & YouTube

Join Olawumi as she checks in with artists and community members to learn how they have remained inspired during COVID-19.
Boston Children's Chorus Auditions
Boston Children's Chorus is auditioning new members this summer to start in Fall 2020!

WHEN: Virtual a uditions will be held on the following dates:
August 12, 13, & 15
September 9, 10, & 12

BCC is open to singers 7-18 years old, and has a place for everyone, regardless of skill level. Their next season, Waves of Change, will use songs to explore the myriad impacts of human movement across space and time.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Factsheets for Young Adults
CDC has produced a series of factsheets for young adults, ages 15-21. The factsheets cover a variety of topics, including what test results mean, how to stay safe at the pool or beach, how to wear a face covering and other preventive measures.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The Baker-Polito Administration announced a new $20 million, statewide fund to assist low-income households facing difficulty making rent and mortgage payments. The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program will provide direct funding to eligible households who have suffered financial hardship during the State of Emergency put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.
ERMA will expand eligibility for rental and mortgage assistance to more low-income households who have been impacted by the crisis by adjusting the income threshold beyond the state’s traditional Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. This includes households within the 50-80% range of Area Median Income (AMI). Like the RAFT program, ERMA will provide up to $4,000 for eligible households to pay rent or mortgage payments in arrears going back to payments due April 1, 2020. Beginning July 1, applicants can reach out to the eleven agencies that administer RAFT on the state’s behalf, this includes the  nine Housing Consumer Education Centers , as well as  LHAND  and the  Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance .
Accredited Schools Online

Many graduating students lost the services of their community centers when the pandemic hit. Months later, now with school closed for the summer, those looking for guidance in the direction of their careers are still restricted to online sources. 

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is committed to promoting success in higher education. They have put together a series of guides to employment that covers graduate employment, master's degree hiring considerations, and internship fundamentals, and are hoping to reach students in Roxbury with your help.

You can take a look at their series here:
Employment Guidance Series

The City of Boston is offering free 90-day Bluebikes passes   to help out some of Boston's most important workers: those employed at grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and local retail shops.  Anyone who works in these industries is eligible for the pass.
In the time of COVID-19. Sent by Kresge Foundation.
The Center for Cultural Power / The Kresge Foundation
If ever there was a moment for cultural strategy -- it’s now. A global pandemic has magnified the flaws of our capitalist system, but, also, the power art and culture to uplift, disrupt, and build community. The Center for Cultural Power offers #NoGoingBack : A COVID-19 Cultural Strategy Activation Guide for Artists and Activists to meet the moment. Check it out!