The Charlestown Coalition News: 

Issue 67

March 2022


Acknowledgement of Recent Community Violence

The Coalition would like to take a moment to reflect on the recent community violence in Charlestown and other Boston areas. If you or someone you know is in need of support during this time, please contact our Trauma Response Team either through our hotline at 617-726-0058 or email Phenice Zawatsky here.

TURN IT AROUND Celebrates Shannon!

This month, TURN IT AROUND friends, family & alumni gathered to celebrate Shannon! We are so grateful for the opportunity to all meet up again, reminisce on old times and share with some of our new members just how impactful being part of TIA can be.


Peace Park Update


Those of us at the Charlestown Coalition and within the community wanted to share an update regarding the Peace Park project.

In early 2021, we received a large grant to completely revitalize the Peace Park at Mt. Vernon St to continue its role as a calm and inviting community space. Since being awarded that grant, our team has hired a landscape architect and drawn up plans for the plaza. We have created a "Friends of the Peace Park" Nonprofit, to oversee the project and construction. We are currently in the process of working with MassDOT (who currently owns the parcel of land) and the City of Boston (who will take over ownership once construction is complete) to keep the project moving along. The current expectation is to break ground this summer 2022. Please reach out to Ciara Williams (email here) with any questions, concerns, or if you would like to be more involved in the process!

Upcoming Event: Peace Park Clean Up!

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March Race & Equity Dialogue

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Another great Race & Equity dialogue took place in March, with Senator Edwards and her new chief of staff, Eduardo. The closer we get to the two year anniversary of these meetings, the more we reflect on the importance of continuing these conversations.

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Join us on Tuesday April 26th at 5:30pm for our monthly Race & Equity Discussion. This series explores important topics about the impact of race, policing in urban settings, and equity. It is open to all members of the Charlestown community and the general public. Please note we will be resuming in person meetings this month!


This forum is being co-sponsored by the Charlestown Coalition, Turn It Around Youth Program, Senator Lydia Edwards and her team.

Community Partner Highlight: Smart from the Start

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We are so grateful for our community partners and could not do this work without them. This month we want to highlight the occupational therapy department from MGH Institute of Health Professions. The OT department has been busy serving the Charlestown community in the last few years through a variety of activities. 

Under the mentorship of Dr. Emily Eddy, Alexandra Haney, Meghan Costello, Haley Willis, and Kylie Nee, 3rd year occupational therapy doctoral students, have been providing both virtual and in-person yoga sessions for toddlers and youth at the NEW Health Center both in spring of 2021 and spring of 2022. The yoga sessions are about 25 minutes in length, and open to all Kennedy Center families, and target movement, strength, coordination, and mindful breathing. Haley Willis has also served the Coalition by providing mindful yoga and stress-relief education to the youth in the Health Alternatives program at Charlestown High School. At first, the group was hesitant but after a session or two, everyone participated and had a great time with Haley. Most importantly, the group learned a new wellness practice to add to their "toolbox" of coping skills!

As well, under Dr. Cathy Leslie’s mentorship, 3 occupational therapy doctoral students have been involved with implementing a literacy/language program for 4 year olds, and 2 of them are also seeing toddlers at the Kennedy Center with an OT once per week to provide OT in the classroom.

We want to thank the Institute of Health Professions for their support to the Charlestown community.!

Meet the Trauma Team

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The Charlestown Coalition’s Trauma Response Team was formed in July 2016 through a grant from the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH). The Trauma Response Team initially started as a group of residents who wanted to learn more about trauma, its impact on the community, and how they could best serve residents during traumatic situations. 


Over the past several years, the Trauma Response Team has served as an important part of the Charlestown Coalition by supporting the community and connecting people to treatment concerning issues around loss, community violence and substance use disorders. Our Trauma Response Team consists of dedicated and passionate people who are leaders in their community. 


This month we want to recognize Javon Robinson who is a younger member of our team. Javon is a long-time resident of Charlestown who has worked at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club for years and currently serves as the Teen Program Manager of the Charlestown club. He has been a huge presence in the community for children and teens, offering ongoing support, guidance and a positive outlook and energy. Javon is one of those people that lights up the room with his smile and he sees the best in everyone. Javon truly cares about making a difference in Charlestown and ensuring that people know where to turn when they need support. He understands the blessings and challenges living in a Boston community and does his part to ensure that youth stay on the right path We want to thank Javon for his kind heart, sense of humor and dedication to the community.  


To learn more about Javon Robinson or our trauma team. go to our website at:


Upcoming Coalition Meetings

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Trauma Response Team

April 5th at 5:30 PM

Meetings are held at Charlestown Adult Education. Contact

Phenice Zawatsky to learn more.

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Charlestown Family Support Task Force 

April 5th at 12 PM

Meetings are held virtually until further notice. Contact

Phenice Zawatsky to learn more.

Open Job Postings


Job Posting: Boston Police Cadet Program

Are you 18-26 looking for a career path in law enforcement? Take a look at the Cadet Program through BPD, and contact them for more information! Thank you to Sgt. Chevrette for sharing this opportunity.

Job Posting: Project Manager with Mass General Hospital Office of Equity and Community Health

In November 2020, the MGH Office of Equity and Community Health unveiled the Hospital’s Structural Equity Plan. The goal of the plan is to address structural and overt racism within and outside the organization. These efforts are now in complete alignment with Mass General Brigham’s (MGB) United Against Racism (UAR) efforts, referenced locally as the Equity Inclusion Plan. The Project Manager will play a critical role in supporting ongoing coordination and management of several programs and activities within the Office of Equity and Community Health.

See posting here.

Where Are They Now?


Guess Who? It's Khalid!

Find out what he has been up to and how Turn It Around has impacted his life!

Read more here


Youth of the Month

TURN IT AROUND’S Youth of the Month for March is Destany Samuel. Destany is one of our newer TIA members, but you wouldn’t know it by the way she throws herself, 100%, into everything we do; And also volunteers for any community service project(s) we’re involved in.

I really can’t wait to see the type of impact that Destany has on TIA and the Charlestown community moving forward! Congratulations Destany! Keep up the good work!

-Mswati Hanks,

Youth Program Coordinator


Voices of Recovery

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This month, we interviewed Tina Goodnow, active community member, on her road to recovery.

Read the whole interview here

To learn more about our programs, our staff, community partners, resources, upcoming events, TURN IT AROUND, program impact, and more, click below:

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