March 2021 @ MPDC
The Haynes House Renovation
is complete!
MPDC would like to extend a huge thank you, first and foremost, to the Haynes House residents for their patience and active involvement in keeping the construction process moving over the last two years. The final product is more aesthetically appealing and better suited for the resident's comfort. We greatly appreciate their input and ongoing vigilance.

Thanks are also due to Dellbrook JKS Construction, Davis Square Architects, CS2CNE Consultants, Judy Cohn Relocation, the WinnResidential team, New Ecology Inc., and everybody else with a hand in making
this project a success!
Welcome WORC2 to Nubian Square
The Workforce Opportunity Resource Center's (WORC2) goal is to engage a local, community-based, and diverse workforce and businesses on all construction projects throughout the local neighborhood Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan

Through established community networks, NEI will ensure this construction-focused resource benefits workers and contractors both large and small. Their particular focus will be providing diverse workers and businesses with "one-stop shopping" for the resources and technical support promoting growth and success in either their career or business. In combination with NEI's experience and commitment to the community, they are confident they can provide meaningful and long-term investment that workers and contractors can build on – expanding their capacity on the immediate project and future projects in and around Boston.  

MPDC looks forward to the opening of their new space in Nubian Square!
Welcome, Marlene DaCosta!
MPDC is pleased to welcome Marlene DaCosta, a geriatric trainer & specialist, and announce that The Smith House Wellness Room is now open! Marlene has a great deal of experience with exercise and physical fitness work with older adults. She is a fitness-based business owner and a former lead trainer at Beth Israel Deaconess' health and wellness gym. Marlene is presently sharing program resources & COIVD-19 safe protocols with the Smith House residents and putting the final touches on the Wellness Room.

MPDC is looking forward to working with her to ensure The Smith House becomes an even healthier place to live. Thank you to the Wellness Room Planning Committee, 2Life Communities, Francine Godfrey & Amy Schectman, WinnResidential, and project funder, Enterprise Community Partners.
MPDC March Staffing Announcements
On March 23rd, MPDC CEO Leslie Reid officially announced Silvia Ramirez’s promotion from Accounting Manager to Controller.

Silvia Ramirez began her career with MPDC in 2012 as an intern in the Finance Department. She later went on to become MPDC’s Corporate Accountant and Senior Accountant. Silvia is a 2013 graduate of UMass Boston, where she majored in Business Management with an Accounting concentration.

Leslie comments, “Silvia has been a valued member of the MPDC family for more than eight years. She has been an important person in helping us navigate staffing transitions and MPDC’s response to the COVID pandemic, and we’re very much looking forward to her future contributions in this new role.”

Congratulations, Silvia!
Welcome, Mary McCullough!
MPDC is proud to have Mary McCullough as Hibernian Hall's 2021 Playwright-In-Residence. On March 26th, The Friends of Hibernian Hall hosted an intimate reception of over 40 people who joined Zoom to “Meet the Playwright.”
McCullough paved the way for many playwrights in theater and is a seasoned writer and performer who enjoys sharing her powerful stories about life, health, and social justice to all who would listen. She is continuously working on new content to fill the minds of imagination. 
Please enjoy this engaging article on Mary McCullough, written by Terry Byrne
with photos by Aram Boghosian.
In celebration of MPDC's 55th Anniversary, the spotlight was on Hibernian in March, with live-streamed artist talks and social media posts CELEBRATING legacy, HONORING community, and EMBRACING promise.

The month culminated on March 26th with the first Friends of Hibernian Hall Virtual Reception of 2021. The Zoom-based event was attended by 40+ Friends & members of the Friends of Hibernian Hall Advisory Committee. Guests enjoyed a moving talk with Hibernian Hall's 2021 Playwright in Residence, Mary McCullough. Mary shared her journey to becoming a playwright and what it means to her to be one.

MPDC is honored to have Mary as an inspiring member of the Advisory Committee and a former ACT-Roxbury Dramatic Shoutouts member. We look forward to working closely with Mary in the Fall to produce and present her latest play, “Smoked Oysters,” premiering online from October 14-15 and 21-22.

We look forward to Mary's contributions to Hibernian Hall's work this year, and we hope you all will become a Friend or renew your membership. Hibernian Hall relies on its Friends to keep its (virtual) doors open.  
Preparing, preserving, and creating healthy meals
In March, MPDC'S Health Equity & Community Wellness team began their virtual Meal Preparation & Participation classes (MPP) with participants of all ages. MPP classes teach the skills needed to prepare and cook healthy meals. Adrian, the youngest participant, loves the MPP class and says, "I am living my best dream ever, and that is being a cook!"

Cook along at home with this recipe from an MPP class!

Fresh Salsa
By: Eva Joseph

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 small cloves garlic, minced
2 cups boiling water 
3 large ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all & enjoy!
MPDC is now accepting applications for the
Hope Community Garden Club!

  • Garden opens May 2021
  • All ages welcome!
  • Kids’ Garden Club (2-10)
  • Hope Garden Plots for adults & older adults
  • Garden Club offers garden education, social connectivity, garden training, garden events, home gardening training, and other gardening opportunities
  • Limited space – Sign up NOW!

A special thank you to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, for their third year of support for MPDC's community gardens!

To sign up or for more information, contact
Leslie Stafford, Health Equity & Wellness Organizer / 617.946.6460
The Health Equity & Community Wellness Team wants to thank MPDC's Youth Development team, Office Kenneth Grubbs, SSS Security, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Book Festival, and Lovin' Spoonfuls for their partnership and volunteering.

Thank you for always supporting our residents and community with food distributions, PPE equipment, and beyond!
Public Art inbound for
The Dewitt Playground
Team P.L.A.Y. is working on a public art project that will be in the newly renovated Dewitt Playground. Take a couple of minutes to look at the video presentation. Marlon Forrester, a local artist who used to play basketball on the Dewitt Court as a teen, will be working with Studio Luz to bring this public art display to life. They will be conducting a pop-up on Saturday, April 17th to hear resident feedback on the project.

Stay tuned for the time and more info about the pop-up, and in the meantime, complete the survey!
WinnCompanies helps MPDC
residents stay safe
In March, MPDC partner WinnResidential received 120 vaccines from the state and created a partnership with Shaws Pharmacy. They conducted outreach to residents 65+ and vaccinated 121 older adults from the Haynes House, Smith House, and Madison Park Village. Prior to receiving the vaccine, residents were assisted with making appointments with their health care providers. There will be a second clinic for the next dose as well.
WinnResidential is looking to host another clinic once vaccines are open to all groups. 

If any residents need assistance with making appointments, they can contact Senior Community Coordinator Etai Belinky at 617-427-9242.

Thank you to Charelle, Etai, and all of the WinnResidential staff for their successful efforts and keeping MPDC residents safe!
Leslie Reid highlighted by
NeighborWorks America
Thank you to Madelyn Lazorchak of NeighborWorks America for writing this gorgeous profile of MPDC CEO Leslie Reid in honor of International Women's Month. 
DREAM at The Dewitt!
MPDC is thrilled to partner with the DREAM Program to host a summer camp at The Dewitt Center for MPDC residents. The DREAM Program seeks to help close the opportunity gap for youth living in low-income housing by pairing them with college mentors in hopes of creating intentional, lasting relationships. DREAM is currently accepting applications for the summer program that will run from June 21st through August 13th.

Please Contact Melissa Maharaj if you have any questions about the program.
Updates from MPDC's
Youth Development Team
Each year, through the Ralph Smith, Danette Jones, and Haynes Family Scholarships, MPDC helps several deserving students from Roxbury offset their college education costs.

Several college-bound applicants from Roxbury are selected annually by MPDC to receive scholarships toward each recipient's college tuition and expenses. MPDC's college scholarship program was established by a bequest from Ralph Smith's estate, our co-founder and first Executive Director, and a gift made in honor of Danette Jones, our second Executive Director. These scholarships make a meaningful difference in the lives of our young residents.

Interested in learning more about MPDC's 2021 Scholarship Program?
Contact MPDC Youth Workforce Manager, Yhinny Matos  / 617.849.6236.
The deadline for applications is 5:00 pm on June 11th.
Meet Anaiza Lyes! She is a former recipient of MPDC's Ralph Smith Scholarship. She lives in Roxbury and is attending UMASS Boston (Class of 2024). She also volunteers on Fridays for the food distributions at The Dewitt Center.

Thank you, Anaiza!
Youth Workforce Intern Becca is all smiles behind her mask at Soleil Restaurant and Catering as part of MPDC’s MWBE Small Business Support Marketing Youth Group. Special Thank you to College For Social Innovation for connecting MPDC with Becca!
Supporting the VOTES Act
MPDC endorsed the VOTES Act! The comprehensive election bill aims to remove barriers to voter participation and will:
  • Codify vote-by-mail and expanded early voting
  • Implement same-day voter registration
  • End jail-based disenfranchisement of eligible voters
  • Strengthen elections administration and security.
For more information, here is a summary of the bill.
Thank you to our March 2021
Newsletter Contributors!
Arlene Baldwin
Ben Baldwin
Charelle Danier
Chavella Lee-Pacheco
Dwayne Watts
Erica Davis
Eva Ackerman
Kay Mathew
Kelly Ransom
Leslie Stafford
Meghan Higgins
Olawumi Akinwumi
Silvia Ramirez
Yhinny Matos
Yvette Jordan
Summer Jobs & Scholarship
Info Session
Learn about paid Summer Youth Employment Program opportunities & how to apply for MPDC's Scholarship Program.

WHEN: Thursday, April 15
4 pm

WHERE: On Zoom

For more information contact
MPDC's Youth Workforce Manager Yhinny Matos.
Hibernian Hall presents:
Seeing Violet
A play written by Peter Snoad and directed by Vincent Siders.

WHEN: Premiering April 22 at 7 pm and available to watch
on YouTube from April 23-24, 2021

For more information contact
Hibernian Hall Program Director Olawumi Akinwumi.