I am writing as a community leader about the recent news that Hyde Square Task Force is planning to sell Blessed Sacrament Church with no restrictions. When I moved in 1972 from Mission Hill to Forbes Street in Jamaica Plain, the Blessed Sacrament Church became my place of worship, until 2002, when the doors were closed by the Archdiocese of Boston. In 1980 I started as a community organizer to create community and engage residents, including the Latino community. We got help from Sister Virginia Mulhern and Father Donahue at Blessed Sacrament, plus Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC.) We worked together to lobby and advocate for justice and affordable housing. Blessed Sacrament Church was a center of our work for social justice.
With reports of students suffering from social isolation and fundraising efforts facing strong headwinds, Jamaica Plain-based BostonScores, one of the largest afterschool providers of the Boston Public School System, found an ingenious way to fill two needs with one deed. On June 1, the 20-year old organization started Boston Moves!, a campaign that allows individuals to form virtual teams around the goal of being active and raising critical funds for underserved Boston students. The campaign hit the nerve of the current times: Fifteen teams (and counting) are now competing with each other in the categories of most active minutes per week and most funds raised. Among them are the New England Revolution front office, Deloitte and Acadian Asset Management, as well as several groups of individuals. The most active team logged an average of 60 daily minutes of activity for each participant during the past week.
The Recording Academy's national board of trustees now includes a Jamaica Plain resident. Terri Lyne Carrington, founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, was reelected to the board for her second consecutive term. Chelsey Green, an associate professor in the String Department and a resident of Jamaica Plain, will join the board for the first time. The board also now includes two Berklee faculty members and a Berklee Online student. Andrew Joslyn, acclaimed composer, violinist, and current Berklee Online student, was also elected to the board.
Hyde Square Task Force is receiving $50,000 for its youth music education programming thanks to the Lewis Prize for Music. The Lewis Prize for Music's COVID-19 Community Response Fund is distributing $1.25 million to 32 Creative Youth Development (CYD) organizations across the U.S. that have adapted and responded to the pressing needs of the young people they serve amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hyde Square Task Force’s Musicians in Community is one of three Afro-Latin arts teams that youth in grades 8-12 can join at HSTF. Musicians in Community is offered year-round at no cost to participants, and youth receive training in areas such as music theory, ear training, songwriting, improvisation, music history, stage performance, and overall musicianship. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, programming has occurred virtually.
Community Servings, a Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses, has appointed Devin Allston as Delivery Operations Manager. In this newly created role, Allston works closely with the kitchen team to ensure the timely delivery of healthy meals to clients across Massachusetts. Since March 1, the number of clients served by Community Servings has risen by 30 percent to 1,300, as medically tailored meal services continue to be integrated into new patient-centered models of care. The agency has also increased its meal production by 50 percent since the start of the pandemic. “Our organization has experienced tremendous growth this year, and we’re working to meet the increased need by investing in people with the right skills to help us deliver nutritious meals to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings.