JP’s Hoeh Receives Award From United Spinal Association

The Greater Boston Chapter (GBC) of United Spinal Association recently held its 2020 Virtual Fundraiser and presented the 2nd annual Elmer
Bartels Leadership Award to Jamaica Plain's Christopher Hoeh. The GBC Honoree of the Year Award was given to Diane and Ron DeRoche of Melrose. Since 1992, the GBC, a Woburn-based nonprofit, has provided peer mentor support and other resources to individuals and their families affected by a
life-altering spinal cord injury or disorder (SCI/D) within the Greater Boston area and beyond. In 2019, the organization, in collaboration with Elmer Bartels' daughter, Joanne Stanway, created the Elmer Bartels Leadership Award to recognize individuals in the SCI/D community who are trailblazers that tackle barriers, work towards the greater good, and demonstrate leadership skills. The award is named in honor of the late Elmer Bartels who served as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for more than 30 years.

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New Organization Producing 7th Annual Jamaica Plain Porchfest

Jamaica Plain Porchfest's co-founders Mindy Fried and Marie Ghitman, are thrilled that one of JP's favorite annual event is being handed over, with love and gratitude, to the artists and art-managers from Dunamis, a Boston-based nonprofit organization. JP Porchfest is a vibrant music and arts festival that takes place on porches, patios, stoops, driveways, church and community center yards, and all over the neighborhood. The mission of the daylong event is to bridge the divides of race, class, culture and immigrant status through the power of the arts. There are performers of all kinds: music, dance, theater, spoken word, storytelling, circus arts, and comedy. JP Porchfest has had a long-standing collaboration with Dunamis, originating with the organization’s Executive Director, J. Cottle, serving as Porchfest’s Volunteer Coordinator for two years before curating a Dunamis Porch for an additional two years.

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Emerald Necklace Conservancy Calling for Art Submissions from Young Artists

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is calling all young artists to submit their best drawing, painting, collage or two-dimensional work of art for a chance to win a coloring book and be featured on the Conservancy notecards. The Emerald Necklace Children’s Drawing Contest is going through January 4, 2021. We are excited to announce our first-ever Children’s Drawing Contest. Park visitors ages 2 to 12 are invited to enter their best Emerald Necklace-inspired drawing, painting, collage or any two-dimensional work of art for a chance to win a printed copy of the new Emerald Necklace coloring book and have their art featured on exclusive Conservancy notecards

Click here to learn more.

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Opinion: Why I Support State Sen. Chang-Díaz’s Police Reform Bill

Racial profiling continues to be a problem in Massachusetts and throughout our country, as people continue to be prejudged because of the color of their skin. Often, police officers will attack first and ask questions later. According to the ACLU Massachusetts, Black and Latinx motorists are significantly more likely to be stopped and have their vehicle searched. A 2018 analysis of Boston court data showed that Black motorists are nearly 15 times more likely to be charged with a motor vehicle offense in certain parts of the city. In the movie The Hate You Give two innocent Black teens are driving on a back road at night enjoying each other’s company when they get pulled over by police for being Black.

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VOAMASS Announces Winners of Annual Veterans Leadership Awards

Volunteers of America of Massachusetts (VOAMASS) recently announced the winners of its ninth annual Veterans Leadership Awards, which honor those who have served in the military and those who support them. VOAMASS is a Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals through residential and outpatient behavioral health treatment, re-entry for incarcerated offenders, veteran services, and senior living. This year's honorees include Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone; a veteran who was wounded during Operation Enduring Freedom; a social worker; and business leaders. “VOAMASS is proud to partner with special people and organizations in support of veterans facing challenges such as securing employment, finding housing or gaining access to behavioral health care services,” said Charles Gagnon, President and CEO of VOAMASS. “The Veterans Leadership Awards are our way to recognize and thank those who have sacrificed for our nation and the individuals and organizations that help and support them in getting the services that they need and deserve, and to which they are entitled.”

About the Winners

Sergeant Aaron Hale (Ret.) of Santa Rosa, FL is the recipient of the Captain Thomas J. Hudner Award in recognition of his active duty service, including three deployments to the Middle East as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team Leader.

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