June 2019 @ MPDC
MPDC kicks off 2020 Census in Roxbury
MPDC kicked-off our 2020 Census efforts in Roxbury on Friday, June 14th at The Dewitt Center with special guest speakers Sarah-Ann Shaw , Mayor Marty Walsh , Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz , City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu , and District 7 Councilor Kim Janey

MPDC's Census organizing comes at a critical time for Roxbury as we work for fair representation while ensuring everyone is counted during the 2020 Census. MPDC is proud to partner with the MA Census Equity Fund to ensure residents are engaged, educated, and empowered with information about the Census. MPDC will continue to work with elected officials, neighborhood partners, and community members to ensure a fair and accurate count for Roxbury .
Unity Day fun for all!
On Saturday, June 15th, MPDC hosted its annual Unity Day, a fun-filled event for Roxbury residents . Unity Day was held inside & outside of The Dewitt Center and was jam-packed with over 100 guests. Highlights of the day included a delicious barbecue provided by Boyce Slayman, a fun interactive photo booth , face painting , a cardio dance class from TRILL FIT . Throughout the day, residents heard from vendors including Dana Farber’s Sun Safety Team , the Boston Public Health Commission, and the Census Bureau . It was a great day full of laughter, dancing, and joy!
A joyous June at The Dewitt Center
MPDC residents joined WinnResidential for their annual Mother’s Day Dinner at The Dewitt Center. The evening included giveaways, a photo booth, and vendors including ESAC Boston , Ellis Memorial , and Dream Collaborative .
The Dewitt Center was happy to welcome STEPRox Recovery Support Center for their annual meeting . Ten recovery centers from the North Suffolk Mental Health Association were in attendance. The event included t raining on conflict resolution facilitated by staff from the Institute of Health and Recovery .  
On June 4th, 826 Boston student poets celebrated the release of their latest book 'The Whole World is Watching' at The Dewitt Center. The book features poems about identity, home, and self-love. They were joined by Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola , author of the book's forward. The event featured an open mic and a book signing.
On June 8th, the Francis O’Bryant Mentorship Program (FOB) celebrated 17 young men who completed the 2018-2019 program. Parents spoke about the positive impact FOB has made on their sons' lives . Keynote speaker, T ony Richards Jr, Founder of No Books No Ball Basketball Program, communicated the importance of mentorship and building healthy relationships within the community.
Stay connected by following the
Dewitt Center Facebook & Instagram pages!
Thank you to our 'Friends' & supporters!
In June, MPDC took two opportunities to say “THANK YOU” to our friends and supporters!

On June 7th, MPDC held a  Friends of Hibernian Hall  reception as part of the closing weekend of Castle of Our Skins ’ week-long residency at Hibernian Hall . Attendees were treated to a screening of ' I Am Not Your Negro ,' a compelling documentary about writer James Baldwin.

Then on June 18th, MPDC held its 1st Annual  Donor Appreciation Event   at Backlash Brewery , located right down the street in Roxbury. With great music from Fulani Haynes Jazz Experience and delicious catering by Ethnica Gourmet , MPDC was thrilled to be able to celebrate the dedicated donors who help make our work possible!
Want to join us at our next donor event?
Consider becoming a  2019 CITC supporter ! Through this program, your donation of $1,000 or more comes with the perk of a  50% state tax rebate .   You can even make your donation in installments- a giving total of $1,000 or more by the end of the year provides you with this significant tax benefit! Contact Resource Development Manager Kay Mathew at for more information or  donate online today .
With MPDC, kids can garden too!
More than 20 Roxbury kids have a garden to call their own thanks to MPDC's Kids' Garden Club at Hope Community Garden! In collaboration with the Boys & Girls Club , Madison Park High School , Friends of the Children Boston , and the DREAM Program the Kids' Garden Club teaches up-and-coming green thumbs how to plant & grow seedlings , identify plants, and the importance of healthy eating . MPDC's Community Gardens are not just for growing vegetables & flowers they are also a place to grow physically & mentally. Thanks to Harvard Pilgrim for their support of our community gardens and initiatives like the Kids' Garden Club!
Hibernian Hall happenings in June
From June 2nd to 8th, Castle of Our Skins (COOS) presented a week-long series of events at Hibernian Hall titled “ I AM A MAN 2019 .” This residency featured film , spoken word , dance , history , and music . The week culminated with ' I AM A MAN ' a concert featuring poetry, interpretive dance, multimedia, and classical music by Black male composers, including COOS 2018-2019 Composer-in-Residence Brian Raphael Nabors .
On June 14th, Boston Arts Music Soul Festival (BAMS Fest) in partnership with Hibernian Hall hosted the State of Black Music and Art In Greater Boston . This two-part conversation featured Dyana Williams, Co-Founder of Black Music Month, and a lively panel discussion with music historians , arts educators , and practicing artists of color focusing on the current condition and future of Black music and the arts at a local & national level.
On June 15th, Philadelphia native Bilal Olivier hit the Hibernian Hall stage and gave Bostonians a soulful set of music to vibe to. Guests enjoyed the ambiance of jazzy blue and yellow lights while an imitate crowd of soul lovers sang along to hit tunes such as “Soul Sista” & "Fast Lane."
We’re excited to share that Hibernian Hall has received a Cultural Facilities Fund award from Mass Cultural Council ! This award will allow Hibernian Hall to complete major upgrades to its performance space in order to create more flexibility for its theater performances.
Hibernian Hall has been selected as a host venue for the 2nd annual Fierce Urgency of Now (FUN) Festival to be held the first weekend of September, highlighting performances by young emerging artists of color . Stay tuned for more information!
Stay connected by following Hibernian Hall!
2101 Washington Street wins Preservation Achievement Award
MPDC is honored to have received a Preservation Achievement Award from the Boston Preservation Alliance for our work on 2101 Washington Street.

MPDC purchased this property in 2011 and rehabilitated it into a mixed-use building with retail on the street level and 30 residential units above.

This commercial building is part of the original fabric of Dudley Square . Since its construction, the building has played a central role in the culture of Dudley Square, and it has become a symbol of the neighborhood. Built in stages starting in the 1880s and into the early 1900s, the structure is actually three buildings pieced together over time. For many decades it housed the ethnic supermarket and neighborhood anchor Tropical Foods .

“With this project, MPDC demonstrates that buildings carry valuable elements of community memory and sense of place for neighborhood residents. Their investment here not only provides critical affordable housing and retail opportunities for local businesses but bolsters community pride through the connections between past present and future ," says Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance.
A Tea Party at Hope Community Garden
MPDC's 4th Annual Garden Tea Party was a fun, festive, and colorful time for all on June 8th. Guests enjoyed a healthy meal , a smoothie recipe contest , and silly games. The highlight of the Tea Party is always the fashionable hats that the gardeners and their guests proudly wear while they enjoy a day in the beautiful Hope Community Garden .
June CEO Search Update
With a mix of gratitude and sadness, MPDC's Board of Directors accepted Jeanne Pinado’s resignation effective December 31, 2019. Jeanne played a critical role in the growth and success of MPDC.  We can’t thank her enough for her dedication, passion, and enthusiasm she has given over the past 20 years. 

Underway is a CEO search conducted by Ann L Silverman Consulting . The ideal candidate brings an appreciation for the legacy of MPDC’s founders and for the last 50 years of community development, as well as their ideas for moving the organization forward.
2019 MPDC Board Elections
We are pleased to announce the results of
MPDC's 2019 Board Elections!

At its annual meeting in June, MPDC elected three new members: Gloria Brooks, Karleen Porcena, and Bob Terrell. 
Returning board members include Malik Aziz, Matt Camp, Roger Carter, Elmer Freeman, Sonrisa Haynes, Eric Hall, Ayanna Hines, Dion Irish, Lisa Morishanti, Ivelise Rivera and Nina Ruff. The board elected the following officers: Lisa Morishanti, Board President, Ivelise Rivera, Vice President, Roger Carter, Treasurer, and Nina Ruff, Clerk/Secretary. 
Please join us in welcoming new officers and directors!

The board reflects the diversity of the Roxbury community , with 93% of the board either African-American or Latino. The majority of members live in Roxbury or Dorchester; 29% of members reside in MPDC developed properties in Roxbury.
MPDC Staff Spotlight:
5 Questions with Yaritsa Sanchez
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 a new MPDC staff member.
This month we are chatting with Youth Workforce Program Coordinator, Yaritsa Sanchez .

1. How did you land at MPDC in the Youth Workforce Program?

YS:  Youth development for me started my sophomore year in college. I was a participant in the Tisch Scholars Program at Tufts University, a leadership development program designed to help students build the skills they need to address pressing social issues in various industries. Through this program, I was able to work with youth at Sociedad Latina , The Center for Teen Empowerment , and Boston Mobilization in Cambridge facilitating workshops where young people get to dive into social issues that directly impact them at schools and in their homes. This work that has challenged me and has required that I dig deep into my experiences and privileges to have strong, meaningful connections with the young people I serve. No matter how many times I think about trying something new in my career, the young people I have the privilege of interacting with always give me a reason to stay in this line of work.

2. Where is your favorite place to go to in Roxbury?

YS: I love Dudley Café. It’s such a homey space to get work done, and they have amazing rice bowls.

3. What is your favorite thing, so far, about working at MPDC?

YS: My favorite thing thus far is being a part of a team of individuals who are deeply committed, reflective, and intentional about this work. This makes showing up for our young people and doing the work I need to do to better support them a lot easier and enjoyable.

4. What are your plans for the summer?

YS: I plan to drink plenty of water, soak up as much sun as a humanly possible, travel, and spend much-needed quality time with friends and family!

5. What do you hope for the future of Roxbury?

YS: I immediately think about how gentrification is pushing people out of this community, closing down businesses, and shifting the overall culture of Roxbury. There’s so much love and life in Roxbury, despite these challenges. I hope that in the future, the community of Roxbury finds ways to hold on to and uphold its authenticity and cultural significance.
MPDC 4th of July Celebration at the Community Garden
Join MPDC to celebrate the 4th!

WHEN: Thursday, July 4
7:00 pm - 10:30 pm

WHERE: Hope Community Garden
(55 Malcolm X Boulevard, Roxbury)

Madison Park Development Corporation invites you out for a night of entertainment, food, fireworks, and fun!
Orchard Gardens Resident Engagement Cookout Tour
Join us for food, fun, and learn about MPDC's Resident Engagement work!

WHEN:  Thursday, July 11
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

WHERE:  Island between Albany St. & Dearborn St.

Madison Park Development Corporation invites all Orchard Gardens residents for a fun cookout series. Learn about MPDC's civic and resident engagement work and share a meal with your neighbors!

MPDC's First Time Homebuyers Class
Ready to buy your first home? MPDC's First Time Homebuyers Class can help!

WHEN: Saturday, July 13 & 20
9:00 am - 1:30 pm

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

Are you Interested in starting your first time home buying journey?
To learn more contact  Dwayne Watts  / 617.849.6326.
SAVE THE DATE: Sparks for Arts
Sparks for Arts – November 1, 2019 – SAVE THE DATE!
Be sure to mark your calendars for MPDC's Annual Gala celebration where we will celebrate arts , culture , & community and support MPDC . You don’t want to miss it! Watch for information online and in the mail coming soon.