MLK Day of Action
More than 200 volunteers of all ages turned out for our sixth annual MLK Day Of Action at the Blackstone Innovation School and our South End program site at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. They came from many different partner organizations including: Episcopal churches, synagogs, Boston Public Schools, Americorps Programs, the Match Charter School Mentor Program, Edward Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, and Northeastern University.
Mayor Spotlights Teen Organizing
In his 2016 State Of The City address, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh unveiled plans to renovate Ramsay Park, thanks to the efforts of SSYP's teen organizers. Ramsay Park is one of the few green spaces in the Lenox neighborhood, which is home to one of our two year-round program sites. Despite its potential to be a family-friendly recreation space, it has long been an epicenter of drug use and violence in the neighborhood. SSYP's teen organizers came together last winter to plan the park's transformation as part of the B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign's anti-violence initiative. (Read the Boston Herald Article, which includes links to video footage, here.)
Walk To End Gun Violence
On December 17th, Executive Director Tim Crellin and B-PEACE For Jorge teen organizers led nearly 100 people on a candle-lit peace walk through the South End. The event, which received extensive media coverage (including Fox News, WCVB, Telemundo, and NECN) was organized in response to a number of incidents of gun violence including the lethal shooting of Wellington Ruiz on nearby Aguadilla Street the previous week.
The event brought together young people, long-time residents, clergy, police officers, and elected officials with the common goal of bringing peace to the neighborhood. Massachusetts State Representative and long-time South Ender Byron Rushing spoke in Blackstone Park, saying "We want everyone here to be safe." The walk continued through Villa Victoria to O'Day Park -- as teens read prayers for peace by Rabbi Harold Kushner, Maya Angelou and St. Francis.