November 2019 @ MPDC
MPDC + United Way = A great team!
MPDC, in partnership with United Way , distributed & delivered 200+ turkeys , trimmings , and grocery gift cards for ingredients to families in Roxbury during the Annual Thanksgiving Meal Giveaway on November 23rd. This year, an estimated 500 people were provided with the delicious & nutritious ingredients needed to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Twenty volunteers, including MPDC staff, Madison Park Village Resident Service Coordinators, and community members, helped to make the day run smoothly & successfully. "It feels so amazing to have lead this project for the past four years!" says Leslie Stafford , MPDC's Health Equity & Wellness Organizer. Special thanks to MPDC's Health & Wellness Team, United Way, and all of the volunteers!
Earlier in November, United Way & MPDC teamed up to distribute household necessities & hygiene kits to Madison Park Village residents. Kits included everyday items such as shampoo, toothpaste, paper towels, and diapers. One resident remarked, "When you can't afford these items, and United Way & MPDC puts it right in your hands unexpectedly, you are so emotional. No one has ever done anything like this for me before. " Thank you to United Way for continuously supporting our residents!
A notable November at
The Dewitt Center!
The Dewitt Center held a community dinner in November , where Dewitt Center program partners and their participants & nearly 200 guests gathered to share a meal and celebrate together . The evening included performances by Black Flag Dance Crew, the Roxbury Youth Orchestra , and Boston Pulse Poetry . During the program, MPDC resident Stephanie Thomas presented Pauline Sheridan with an award for being a peer leader and a community activist for over 50 years. Keynote speaker, Pilar Tucker explained how The Dewitt Center provided a platform for her to facilitate mental health workshops that birthed the launch of her business, Empower Our Crown . Special thanks to the Islamic Multi-Service Organization for donating food and drinks, and our volunteers for all their hard work!
The Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority , partnered with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute , and The Dewitt Center to celebrate Cancer survivors at their 'Faces of Faith' event. 'Faces of Faith' shares stories of Cancer survival in order to demystify the disease and to support those who are living vibrant lives after Cancer. Sam Ogden, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute photographer, took profile photographs of over 70 survivors, all of whom are volunteers at faith-based institutions in the Greater Boston area. The exhibit has been featured at several faith and community-based organizations throughout the Boston area.
The Boston Home Center held its Annual Fall Fair at The Dewitt Center, which included free informative classes , financial assistance , affordable housing lottery opportunities , as well as lenders and realtors that spoke to prospective homebuyers about their services.
The Pink & Black Ladies, in partnership with Ty’s Table & The Dewitt Center held an informative workshop on Breast Cancer awareness . Debra Groomes, a former MPDC Resident Service Coordinator, gave a testimony on her Breast Cancer journey, which she experienced while conducting peer health workshops in Madison Park Village in 2004. 
Stay connected by following The
Dewitt Center Facebook & Instagram pages!
Self Esteem Boston visits MPDC
In November, Marion B. Davis, President of Self Esteem Boston , presented an award acknowledging Yaritsa Sanchez , MPDC's Youth Workforce Program Coordinator, for her completion of the Skills for Building Confidence & Skills for Responsible Relationships curriculum Self Esteem Boston's 'Skills for Success' curriculum is an expanded life skills program which develops basic self-esteem tools and essential personal skills such as setting and achieving goals, positive communication, and effective parenting, leadership skills, learning how to work successfully with others, and sustaining accountability. Congratulations, Yaritsa!
MPDC youth lend a hand at the
food pantry!
MPDC youth were on hand to work with Lovin' Spoonfuls at the food pantry to help Smith House residents shop and carry groceries . While they helped with the distribution, which takes place every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Friday, they also took a moment to help residents understand the nutrition facts and shared some tips on preparing healthy meals.

MPDC has proudly partnered with Lovin' Spoonfuls since 2018 and is grateful for the work they do to promote healthy communities . Lovin' Spoonfuls donates low sodium and low sugar food from supermarkets including, Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Trader Joe's, including meat, canned goods, fruits, vegetables, and organic foods. Because Roxbury is considered a food desert , MPDC teams up with partners like Lovin' Spoonfuls to ensure that our residents have access to healthy foods at no charge!
An energetic November for MPDC youth!
In November, MPDC youth participated in Mass Rock Against Racism , an interactive day of activism & education about Boston’s hip-hop culture and its influence on bringing communities together against racism . The day included a forum, hip-hop lunch, a dance session, and an inter-generational discussion about racism. Mass Rock Against Racism began 40 years ago as a response to violent racial relations that were happening in the city. The event is coordinated by Pacey Foster and sponsored by the Boston Public Library .
MPDC was honored to co-present the inaugural 'No Trauma No Drama Forum' with the Center for Teen Empowerment on November 18th at The Dewitt Center. This youth-planned, youth-led event , which attracted over 85 young people from Roxbury and beyond, brought together participants in MPDC’s After School Youth Employment Program with youth organizers at Teen Empowerment for an evening of robust discussions and moving performances. The evening kicked off with an amazing panel discussion about the impacts of trauma and how we can do a better job as a community of promoting healing and connections to resources. Panelists included State Representative Liz Miranda , Citizens for Juvenile Justice , activist & Boys Out of the Hood founder, James Mackey , Dominus Tavares , B2 Community Officer Kenneth Grubbs , and MPDC’s Licensed Clinical Manager, Vanessa Benzan-Monteiro , L.I.S.C.W . The evening continued with a series of testimonials and performances by youth expressing their own experiences with trauma. 
This forum is part of a multi-year project MPDC. is undertaking to increase community mobilization and education about the impact and signs of trauma to reduce stigma, promote increased utilization of services, and to encourage more significant community-based collaborations around this pressing issue impacting our neighborhoods.

We would like to sincerely thank Boston Children’s Hospital for supporting this project as part of the Collaboration for Community Health Initiative !
HiSET classes at MPDC
MPDC was selected as one of ten partners for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health-funded Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) initiative , which will work to promote and identify effective services to reduce gun violence and other forms of violence in Roxbury. 

MPDC’s Opportunity Employment Program (OEP) features a variety of activities created to accomplish the GVP initiative's goals, including HiSET preparation classes and workforce development workshops. OEP has been conducting workshops and holding HiSET preparation classes since September for a fantastic group of young people from our community. They have all proven to be enthusiastic and eager to be successful in the program . We are currently accepting referrals for our next round of HiSET classes, which begins January 6, 2020. 

If you are interested in learning more about OEP or signing up for the next round of HiSET classes, please, fill out this short intake form or contact Wilbur Smart / 617.849.6239.
Dewitt Center Spotlight:
DREAM Program, Inc.
Dream Program, Inc. pairs passionate & energetic college students with youth. DREAM Program, Inc. provides its participants with access to a toolkit of programs such as trips, culminating events, after-school programming, and more. Roxbury based DREAM mentors occupy The Dewitt Center with their indoor programming, including crafts , gym time , and, recently, a fun Halloween party. Currently, 28 MPDC residents are paired with a DREAM mentor from Northeastern University , whom they shadow on campus to gain firsthand experience of what student life is like at Northeastern.
A nifty November at Hibernian Hall
On November 9th, VerBaLiZation  celebrated its 20th anniversary at Hibernian Hall. VerBaLiZation is Boston's longest-running open mic gathering. The performers filled the room with spoken word, rhyme, song, and dance. Congratulations to VerBaLiZation!
Also in November, American Repertory Theater , in collaboration with Hibernian Hall, presented three fantastic performances of The Movement Theatre Company ’s production 'What To Send Up When It Goes Down' written by Aleshea Harris and directed by Whitney White. Check out this fabulous op-ed about the production as well as this glowing review from The Boston Globe, and this story from WGBH .
The Hibernian Hall team was thrilled to participate in the  2019 National Arts Marketing Project Conference  in Florida for professional development in the latest technical arts marketing skills. The conference featured panel talks and hands-on workshops focusing on the latest strategies and innovations in the arts marketing sector.
Stay connected by following Hibernian Hall!
MPDC staffer speaks on
Latina Equal Pay Day
MPDC's Resident & Civic Engagement Manager, Beyazmin Jimenez , participated in "Latina Leadership & The Fight For Equal Pay , " a panel hosted by the Mayor's Office of Women Advancement , Amplify Latinx , and AAUW . The panel featured flash talks with Carmen Arce-Bowen , Adriana Ramirez, and Alexandra Valdez , highlighting Latina Equal Pay Day . Following the event, AAUW hosted a salary negotiation workshop. Congratulations, Beya!
MPDC addresses climate change with LISC Boston
MPDC is honored to have received a Resilient Affordable Housing Grant from LISC Boston  to address climate change & heat resilience . LISC Boston is assessing three of MPDC's affordable housing properties and supporting future mitigation plans given that Lower Roxbury is part of a “ Most Severe Heat Island, ” according to the City of Boston’s Climate Response Report . MPDC is looking forward to educating , mobilizing , and preparing all Roxbury residents for climate change .
MPDC staffer joins Congresswoman Pressley in D.C.
Lavell Fulks , MPDC's Community Support Coordinator, was recently recognized by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley in Washington, D.C., and included in her announcement of The People's Justice Guarantee , a resolution that calls for an overhaul of the criminal justice system .
The plan is driven by five core principles: shared power, freedom, equality, safety, and human dignity.  
Congratulations, Lavell!
Giving Tuesday is TOMORROW!
2019 has been a year of action here at MPDC and we could not do this work without your support. This #GivingTuesday   on December 3rd , we hope you’ll consider kicking off your year-end giving by supporting MPDC and supporting community-led development in Roxbury.

Your contribution of $1,000 or more to MPDC also provides you with a  50% state tax rebate, doubling your impact as part of the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program. Help us continue to fight for a city that is livable and welcoming for all.

Please consider making a gift to MPDC this #GivingTuesday and watch the mail for MPDC's end of year annual giving opportunity.
MPDC Staff Spotlight:
5 Questions with Beyazmin Jimenez
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 Resident & Civic Engagement Manager, Beyazmin Jimenez (or, as everyone calls her, Beya).

 1. What role does the Resident & Civic Engagement Manager play at MPDC?
B : Our resident and civic engagement programs aim to inform, educate, and engage our residents and the community of Roxbury in local issues that affect their quality of life. Through our nonpartisan political organizing through Rox Vote and our various resident leadership programs, we are hoping to lift the voices and experiences of our residents so that they have more autonomy over the decisions that affect their lives.
2. What are some MPDC Civic Engagement initiatives you are excited about?

B : I am really looking forward to diving into our Census 2020 outreach work! The Census is such a critical tool and historically has left out communities of color like Roxbury. By ensuring a fair count in Roxbury, we are ensuring our voices count and are heard so that our neighborhood receives the necessary resources it needs to thrive.
3. Where is your favorite place to visit in Roxbury?
B : I love getting coffee at Dudley Café ! It is such a cute neighborhood café, and I love sneaking away to grab a coffee and meet with friends there after work.
4. What do you like to do in your spare time?
B : I love writing, reading, and traveling!
5. What do you hope for the future of Roxbury?
 B : I hope Roxbury claims its space as a diverse hub of creative opportunity for all its residents. The contribution that Roxbury residents have had in terms of culture and art cannot be denied.
4th Annual Harmony & Hope Concert
A concert in honor of Survivors of Homicide Awareness Month.

WHEN:  Saturday, December 7
3:00 pm - 5:00 p m

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

This concert is an annual community event designed to celebrate the lives of those lost to violence and to serve as a collective stand against gun and street violence in Boston.
Roxbury Stringfest
Voci Angelica, Boston City-Wide String Orchestra, and City Strings United at Hibernian Hall.

WHEN:  Sunday, December 8
3:30 pm - 5:30 p m

  WHERE:  Hibernian Hall
(184 Dudley Street, Roxbury)

Cello and vocal trio Voci Angelica leads Roxbury Stringfest, a free concert featuring youth ensembles Boston City-Wide String Orchestra and City Strings United . At this performance, they will adapt Puerto Rican song arrangements commissioned for “ A Boston Tribute to Cellist Pablo Casals ."
Fall Into Winter At The Dewitt Center!
MPDC will be giving away winter clothing at The Dewitt Center!

WHEN:  Tuesday, December 12
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

Join MPDC for FREE music, cocoa & hot beverages, refreshments, our winter warm giveaway.
The Dewitt Center Member Holiday Party
Members of The Dewitt Center are invited to join us for a fun evening of celebrating!

WHEN:  Tuesday, December 12
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

Celebrate the holidays at The Dewitt Center with, games, prizes, activity stations, holiday crafts, a photo booth, food, and surprises! 
You must be a Dewitt Center Member to attend.
Movie Night at The Dewitt Center
Enjoy a movie at The Dewitt Center.

WHEN: Friday, December 13
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

Watch ' This Christmas ' while enjoying popcorn & refreshments. All ages welcome.
Celebrate The King
Kick-off the holiday season at Hibernian Hall's holiday musical production!

WHEN: December 13 - December 16
Various Times

  WHERE:  Hibernian Hall
(184 Dudley Street, Roxbury)

TICKETS:  $25 - 35

Join Hibernian Hall for 'Celebrate the King,' a modern-day musical version of the Birth of Christ arranged & produced by Melvin Murphy and starring the talented cast of The Higher Praise Gospel Choir & The Stajez Cultural Arts Dance Group .
Dewitt Center Hot Chocolate Bar
Stop by The Dewitt Center for a
delicious warm beverage!

WHEN: Tuesday, December 17
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

Customize your own cocoa with marshmallows, peppermints, and cookies provided by The Dewitt Center.
Winn Senior Holiday Lunch
A special holiday luncheon for seniors!

WHEN: Thursday, December 19
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

Join WinnCompanies to celebrate the holidays and eat a delicious lunch alongside your Madison Park Village neighbors.
Please visit the MPV management office to register.
Winn Winter Wonderland Celebration
Madison Park Village's annual Winter Wonderland event for families!

WHEN: Thursday, December 19
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

(122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury)

This annual multi-generational event features toy giveaways, dinner, music, and lots of holiday festivities. Families must register to attend.
Please visit the MPV management office to register.
MPDC Holiday Hours
Madison Park Development Corporation offices, The Dewitt Center & Hibernian Hall will be 
Closing at 2 pm: Tuesday, December 24 & Tuesday, December 31
Closed: Wednesday, December 25 & Wednesday, January 1
We apologize for any inconvenience.