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“El Barrio Tours” Screening - Rebecca Schofield

On Monday, August 18th, a group of over 60 Boston area residents came together to watch “El Barrio Tours: Gentrification in East Harlem” at Villa Victoria in Boston’s South End. The event, organized by Inquilinos Boriquas en Accion (IBA), City Life/Vida Urbana (CL/VU), Right to the City, and Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), focused on the dynamics of gentrification in our city and how we could grow and strengthen the movement to prevent displacement.
The people at the El Barrio film screening were from a range of neighborhoods, backgrounds, and organizations. They came from East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Lynn, Dorchester, Somerville, the South End, Malden, Roslindale, Roxbury, Chelsea, Cambridge, Brockton, and Newton. Many community-based organizations, including the Chelsea Collaborative, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE), Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA),the Brazilian Immigrant Center, Roslindale Village Main Street, and the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) were represented by staff, members, and volunteers.
Eliza Parad, a Community Organizer with DSNI, and Darnell Johnson, the Right to the City Boston Coordinator, introduced Andrew J. Padilla and his “El Barrio Tour” project. Andrew, a photographer and independent journalist, made this award-winning film in 2011 to tell the story of gentrification in his East Harlem neighborhood. The film was intended to kick off the evening, but some technical difficulties sidelined the screening and led to our first discussion of gentrification in Boston. While tech-savvy event organizers worked to play the movie, Eliza and Andrew asked the group how we recognized gentrification and what it meant to us.
A man stood up in the back to talk about the signs of gentrification in his East Boston neighborhood; “now people are talking about how there are families living in East Boston, there are people pushing strollers and raising kids. There were always families here, just not white families. It’s like we weren’t real families.” This striking comment kicked off a string of stories and questions about how the processes of gentrification made people feel like they weren’t “real.” A woman from Bridgeport, Connecticut described how highways were built through her city, around working class neighborhoods so that folks traveling from the suburbs or New York wouldn’t see the vacant homes and dilapidated storefronts.

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Mattapan United Walking Tour: Highlights - Rebecca Schofield

On July 23rd, Mattapan United led a walking tour of Mattapan for the Social Justice Funder’s Network and Associated Grant Maker’s summer outing. Mattapan, where poverty rates are higher and incomes are lower than the Boston average, has been overlooked by funders for far too long. The Mattapan United walking tour was an opportunity to bridge that divide between over 20 funders and the Mattapan community.

Mattapan Unitedis a four year old coalition, funded by Boston LISC, with a mission to organize the community and identify priorities for the future of development and quality of life improvements in the neighborhood. A core group of over a dozen community leaders has led the local coalition, engaging hundreds of others in community meetings, surveys, and data analysis to identify Mattapan’s 6 priorities. The coalition’s convening agency, ABCD’s Mattapan Family Service Center, provides leadership, space, and a full time staff person to coordinate the initiative.

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AmeriCorps Spotlight - Raul Jusino

Raul Jusino - I have been serving at the Allston Brighton CDC, as the LISC AmeriCorps Bilingual Homeownership Specialist. During this time, I have been able to help potential homeowners become more confident and better prepared for a huge step in their life. It has been a very rewarding experience to know that I have been able to play a positive role in this process, due to the great training and support I have gained through my team, The Homebuying Mentors. In my role I have not only taught Home buying classes in both Spanish and English, but I have also played a vital role in growing The Homebuying Mentors presence on Social Media. After my term ends, I look forward to continuing in Community Development and will also continue to work towards my goal of growing my DJ service company.  For more information on LISC's AmeriCorps program click here.

   

AmeriCorps Spotlight - Emma Walters

Emma Walters serves as the LISC AmeriCorps Community Engagement Coordinator at the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation (ABCDC). She works with neighborhood residents to identify issues and problems within their communities and collaborates with them to find solutions. A resident of Allston herself, Emma has developed a deeper and more defined understanding of her community by engaging a wide range of residents and community activists throughout Allston Brighton. Emma has been inspired by community development work and hopes to continue in the field. She has a BA in International Relations and Religion from Boston University.  For more information on LISC's AmeriCorps program, click here.

   

AmeriCorps Spotlight -Shira Tiffany

Shira Tiffany serves as the LISC AmeriCorps Financial Stability Program Assistant at The Midas Collaborative. The Midas Collaborative is a statewide network of community groups increasing economic stability in Massachusetts. Shira supports Midas as they build capacity for their member organizations and provide direct services to Massachusetts residents. Shira supports community partner organizations as they provide residents with matched savings accounts. She also helps residents enroll in Midas’ free financial coaching program. Shira has enjoyed learning and serving at Midas and as an AmeriCorps member, sharing the last nine months with her fellow LISC AmeriCorps members, and the great introduction to the world of community development in Massachusetts. Shira hopes to continue to support community development work in Boston. She has a BA in International Development from Boston University. For more AmeriCorps articles click here.

   
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It Takes All of Us!

LISC had a great year in 2013. We invested almost $800 million in urban and rural communities around the nation for new affordable housing, schools, safety programs, job services, and playing fields. We could not have done so without the tremendous support of our partners and funders. This year's report celebrates the partnerships and collaborations that make it work. We are proud of all that has been accomplished nationwide.  To view the full LISC 2013 Annual Report click here.

   

Interested in becoming an AmeriCorps Member Host?

LISC Boston invites Massachusetts non-profit partners to submit an application to host an AmeriCorps member. Members are funded through our national LISC AmeriCorps program via an application to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). LISC Boston will begin the program for full-time and half-time members on October 1, 2014 and continue through July 31, 2105. LISC Boston has 15 full-time 1700-hour, 2 half-time 900 hour, 2 quarter-time 450-hour, and 3 minimum-time 300-hour AmeriCorps positions available to invest in our neighborhoods. The goals of the LISC AmeriCorps are two-fold. First, we hope to provide community-based organizations the opportunity to implement projects which they could not otherwise do without the AmeriCorps member; and to give individuals committed to revitalizing low-income communities the opportunity to learn and develop skills in the field of community development. 

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From the Boston LISC staff

Boston LISC Staff Blog

Boston LISC Staff members share their perspective on LISC's work, the community development world. and many other topics.

LISC Hosts LEED Green Associate Training Steve Griffith - April 3, 2014 On March 18th, LISC partnered with the Massachusetts Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-MA) to host an ...
Intern Update: Writing a Master's Thesis Steve Griffith - March 26, 2014   As a final stepping-stone to the achievement of my master's degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Plan...
Reflections on the NESEA Building Energy ’14 Conference Steve Griffith - March 12, 2014 Last week, I attended my first Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Building Energy conference. The annua...
LISC Visits the White House - Bob Van Meter Affordable healthcare coverage available through the Affordable Care Act can improve the lives of low and moderate income residents in affordable hous...

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