Volume 4, Issue 3; March 2017
In This Issue:

II. Bright Spots
III. Village Voices
IV. Special Announcement
IX. Research
Save the date - March Network Connection Meeting  Save
Are you interested in making a difference in your community?

When: Monday, March 13th, 6-8 pm
Where: Boston Medical Center, Evans Seminar Room
Bright Spots bright
ROSE Breastfeeding Training (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere)
After attending a training hosted by Vital Village and  
Reaching Our Sisters E verywhere (ROSE), 24 Boston women were certified as  ROSE Community Transformers. Over the course of two days, the participants learned skills for providing culturally competent breastfeedin peer counseling. In March, they will begin a 6-month service commitment providing breastfeeding support at drop-in breastfeeding groups across Boston.
Vital Village Social Justice Mediation Launch/ Open House
On Sunday, February 19th, the Vital Village Mediators hosted an open house/launch for the community. This was an opportunity to learn about how mediation skills intertwine with day-to-day life and relationships. Participants learned how to get involved in the Vital Village Mediation program and were able to talk to the mediators about their experiences. If you would be interested in taking part in a mediation, hosting a mediation at your workplace/ faith community/ etc, or learning more about mediation with Vital Village, please contact [email protected]

Birth Sisters is hiring! 
The BMC Birth Sisters Program is currently looking for 3 new birth sisters (women interested in offering sister-like support during pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period). The Birth Sisters program provides a supportive community of fellow doulas, an innovative, multi-cultural training and per diem wages for successful applicants. Boston residents who speak other languages (especially Arabic, Haitian Creole and Brazilian Portuguese) are encouraged to apply!  Please reach out to Dona Rodriguez at 617-414-7333 to learn more. 

Village Voices Village
Check out Village Voices, celebrating the voices of our community! Village Voices aims not only to recognize the amazing work happening within our community, but also to listen to the stories of the people behind the work, honoring their energy, compassion, and unique perspectives. 

This week, we are so excited to share an interview with the wonderful Tiara Murphy! Click  here to read the latest Village Voices.

"I like to help people, and I think I am a resourceful advocate. I want to hear people's needs first. I am also raising my son on my own, and that relationship helps me realize the importance of the work I am doing." - Tiara Murphy 
Special Announcement - What has the Vital Village Community Partnership been up to lately?  Specialevent

VVCP Social Knitting and Crochet Group 

VVCP, a g roup of dedicated community residents, recently started a  Knitting and Crochet Social Group  to create a space for self-care, learning new skills, and meeting new friends. Please join VVCP to make hats, scarves, baby blankets, and other crafty designs for guests at Children's Services of Roxbury! Contact  KT 
for more information.

 Sundays, 2-3:30 pm
Where:  Dudley Cafe, Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St, Roxbury
CONtexts CONtexts
What would happen if you texted KIDS to 8-8-5-8-8? 
Vital Village is excited to offer a free texting service, in which users will receive information about 
community resources  (Mondays), useful 
youth wellness tips  (Wednesdays), and  fun family activities  (Fridays). To subscribe, please  text KIDS  to  88588 . You can also join the Facebook page  here or check out the ma p here

To give feedback on what information you'd like to hear about or to share resources you know about, e-mail [email protected] with the subject "CONtexts" or post on the Fa cebook page.       
Praising Parents  praisingparents
Through Wee the People, a program centered around "INSPIRING children to discover the power of their own voices, EXPLORING the tradition of protest through the visual and performing arts, and EMPOWERING parents to start conversations about race, class, and difference with age-appropriate tools and vocabulary", parents and their children wrote Valentines to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center.

Have an interview or a video that you  think would be perfect  for next month's  Praising Parents?  Share it with us at 
Around the Network network

Talk, Read, Play "Flash Rhyme Mob" Planning

"Talk, Read, Play will be a citywide day of action to continue our support of Countdown to Kindergarten's public awareness campaign supporting Boston families with children ages 0-5, in their role as children's first teachers! CFK is looking for community partners to provide information to families at childcare centers/ healthcare facilities/ libraries and to coordinate a Flash Rhyme Mob!"

When : March 9, 2017, 1:30-2:30 pm
Where : Dudley Branch Library, Roxbury, MA 02119- Community Room
Book Signing with Charles C. Daniels, Jr.

"Pre-Father Care establishes a safe environment where fathers and father figures can receive support in exploring their past hurt. Through a series of reflection exercises and powerful messages, fathers/ father figures will reconnect with their strengths and learn to accept the scars from their past in a nonjudgmental way."

When: Saturday, March 18, 1-3 pm
Where: Frugal Bookstore; 57 Warren St, Roxbury, MA 02119

HelpSteps Workshop

The Boston Public Health Commission is hosting a workshop around, a free and confidential web portal connecting people to health resources in Massachusetts.

When: March 3 and 24 (2 pm)
Where: Boston Housing Authority- Amory Apartments- Large Training Room, 125 Amory St, Roxbury, MA 02119
RSVP: Rachel.goodman@bostonhous
BPS Opportunity and Achievement Gap Speaker Series: Dr. Joy DeGruy

Author of  Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome- America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing , Dr. Joy DeGruy, will speak about "understanding how the past has influenced the present and opens up the discussion of how we can use the strengths we have gained to heal." 

When: Thursday, March 9, 5:30-8 pm
Where: James P. Timilty Middle School, 205 Roxbury St, Roxbury, MA 02119
Register  here

Phenomenal Moms Parent Empowerment Workshops

Phenomenal Moms is hosting workshops to help parents 
learn to handle the emotional challenges while advocating for your child's education, get support from other parents, bring skills back to your community, and learn to understand education data and what it means for your child. 

When: March 11, March 25, April 1 (10 am-2 pm)
Where: 215 Sydney St, Dorchester, MA 02125

Early Childhood Convening

Join the first conversation of 2017 to work towards a collective impact effort to support families throughout Boston. 

When: Monday, March 6, 9:30 am-12 pm
Where: Boston Children's Museum
RSVP  here

Community Action Network Meeting

Community Action Network is a group of community residents and professionals working together to reduce racial inequities in infant mortality and poor birth outcomes in Boston. It is an opportunity for people to share their voice and impact the health of women, children, and families.

When: March 8th from 2:30-4:30 pm
Where: Dimock Center 

If you are interested in attending this meeting or would like to learn more about CAN, please contact CAN coordinator Hitomi Abe at  [email protected]  or 617-534-7763.

Around the City city1
Family Gym

Check out Family Gym, a free play program for families with children ages 3-8!

When : Saturdays 10-11:30 am, February 4-April 15 (no family gym March 11)
Where : BCYF Blackstone Community Center (50 West Brookline St); BCYF Holland Community Center (85 Olney St); BCYF Madison Park Community Center (55 Malcolm X Blvd)
Questions? Call 617-635-4923 x2137
MBLA's Annual Know Your Rights Forum 

The Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association will host a space for middle and high schoolers to learn about their rights.

When: Friday, March 3, 6-8 pm
Where: Mildred Avenue Community Center
Pre-register :
Special Education Conference

Join the Special Needs Advocacy Network for their annual conference, in which former state legislator Tom Sannicandro will be the keynote. SPAN welcomes parents, special education advocates, administrators, therapeutic providers, and others to come together. 

Where: Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Rd, W. Marlborough 
Thursday, March 23, 8:30-2:30

Volunteer with Sole Train: Boston Runs Together

"Sole Train is about believing in yourself and never giving up. I learned that running isn't about winning; it's about trying your best and always following your dreams." -Youth participant

Sole Train: Boston Runs Together is a community-building and mentoring program that deconstructs impossible by using running as a vehicle for setting and achieving previously unimaginable goals. Sole Train is for you if you can commit to 1 or 2 weekday practices (Tues/ Thurs 2:30-3:30) and 3 weekend races- and if you want to join a supportive community of caring individuals!
Contact:  [email protected]
Learn more:
Social Issue Talk Series: Supporting Immigrants through the Citizenship Process 

Sponsored by Boston Open Impact, this talk will include Congressman Joe Kennedy and Project Citizenship (organization that offers free screening, citizenship workshops, application assistance, referrals). The social issue talk series features seven free events in March ( 

When: March 27, 8:30-10 am
Where: The Boston Foundation, 75 Arlington St, #1000, Boston, MA 02116


Parents Helping Parents Annual Forum:
"Listening to the Consumer: From Dis-empowerment to Empowerment"

Keynote speaker Georgette Todd uses "her life's story to help families and child welfare professionals understand the lasting impact foster care has on the child. This forum will also include a panel of parents and child advocates. 

When: Tuesday, March 28, 9-11:30 am
Where: Wheelock College, Ladd Room, 43 Hawes St, Brookline
Register: here

As goes the saying "do not re-invent the wheel," it is often useful to look to history when developing new ideas. With Vital Village, community members and organizations have studied and practiced mediation over the past three years. Using the approach of social justice mediation, specifically focusing on power dynamics and gathering deeper stories, the mediators are strengthening relationships within their communities. Yet, mediation is not new to Boston. In the article described below, Daniel McGillis evaluates several mediation projects from the 1970s, including one in Dorchester, and many of the principles described resonate even today. 

"Projects tend to focus on disputes occurring among individuals who have an ongoing relationship, whether as relatives, landlords and tenants, merchants and consumers, employers and employees, or neighbors" *. "Case criteria stress the project's preference for disputants involved in ongoing relationships"*Similarly, with Vital Village's program, the goal is to strengthen relationships while addressing the underlying issues. 

"Mediation typically presumes the possibility of compromise between the parties, and if one of the parties is considerably more powerful than the other sufficient incentives may not be present for that party to compromise" *. Considering power dynamics is crucial to mediation!

picket-fence-home-sm.jpg See here to learn more about the history of mediation in Dorchester. (Hathitrust Digital Library offers free articles- several of which focus on community-based mediation in Dorchester over the years!) To learn more about Vital Village's mediation program, contact [email protected].

*  McGillis, D  (1979).  Neighborhood Justice Centers and the Mediation of Housing-Related Disputes.  Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice.

The Boston Student Advisory Council developed a Student Rights App to educate students around student rights, school discipline, undocumented students, hate crimes, BSAC, local resources, and upcoming events. The App also offers a discipline toolkit and conduct grievance form, encouraging students to protect their rights.

Click here to explore the app. 
The Scoop on Stats stats
staying up to date with data measurement!

Before and after a training with Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, a group dedicated to providing culturally appropriate breastfeeding support, participants rated their confidence levels (using a scale from 1-5). Average confidence increased for each of these abilities over the course of the training!
Are you interested in getting involved with the breastfeeding work of Vital Village?
Please email Zoe  for more information! 
Like the Vital Village Community Partnership Facebook Page 
to  access  tons of  community-shared resources and help us get to 500 likes!
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88 East Newton St. · Vose Hall, 5th Floor ·  Boston, MA · [email protected] · 617.414.3674