On Tuesday May 9th 2017, Homes for Families and Project Hope hosted their first annual, People United event. We shared space, diverse perspectives, and common ground.
The Dudley – Project Hope community came together to share some of the advocacy and organizing, as well as some of the possibilities for new action to address social justice issues being faced by local residents.
The event was designed with the focus on action and with acknowledgement of how important it would be to tap into the community’s wealth of experience, given their long history of successfully organizing and mobilizing.
Some of the hot topics were gentrification/displacement, hunger and food justice, immigration, homelessness prevention, the cliff effect, and fair housing/discrimination.
Participants and partners included members of the Project Hope community, Representative Capuano’s office, Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz’s office, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Irish International Immigration Center , The Food Project, The Consumer Advocacy Team (Homes for Families) and Boston Tenant Coalition.
As an immediate action residents filled out the Fair Housing Assessment Survey in order to inform the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing process.
Looking to the group’s abundant and diverse skills and abilities as a major resource was a key theme. Other themes included:
- Asking local spaces (e.g. Salvation Army, Schools, Churches) to invite community members in to organize
- Turning to bilingual members of the community to translate (informally), and
- Reviewing and expanding how the community is made aware of the existing community resources as well as opportunities to join in local advocacy and organizing efforts.
We thank Project Hope for their work on the event! We are grateful to have been a part of a meeting focused on drawing upon the strengths of the community to generate collective change.
(Picture above from left to right: Christine Dixon, Project Hope; Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George; Sister Margaret A. Leonard, Project Hope; and Linda Wood-Boyle, Project Hope)