Arnold Arboretum Celebrates Plant Graduation Class of 2021

Plant graduation season, an annual rite of passage at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, is an occasion for pomp and circumstance as well as a reminder of our connections to nature and the power of plants. The Plant Graduation Class of 2021 took place on April 2 and featured more than 500 plants, some rare and endangered, graduating from the nursery and finding placement throughout the 281-acre landscape of the free and open museum teaching the world about plants. Before the plants officially graduated from the greenhouses for their new “careers” out in the field, a commencement ceremony was held to honor the budding and burgeoning Class of 2021. “The fact that there are more and more plants being planted and groomed and protected and nourished shows the importance of this place," said District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley. “At the Arnold Arboretum we do conservation, education, and we are trying to make sure people understand their responsibilities to the planet and to their fellow species,” added Ned Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum.


JP Movie Night April 15: Right Whale Survival vs Survival of Lobstering Industry?

It’s April, a month when we are invited to take a moment to turn our attention to our environment, and contemplate, literally, the future of the planet. Endangered species and climate change, habitat erosion and ocean pollution, human needs versus animal rights. JP Movie Night has selected a very important film to screen to mark the occasion. On April 15, it will show Entangled, a documentary made by filmmaker, Boston Globe reporter and Jamaica Plain resident David Abel, that covers the struggle between the east coast lobstering industry -- whose nets often harm the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale -- and conservation groups struggling to save it from extinction. The film is being co-sponsored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum.


‘Resurgence’ Projection Show, Outdoor Events at First Baptist Benefitting Non-Profit Campaign

The Centre for Faith, Art, and Justice, the non-profit organization sponsored and housed by First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, will be hosting a series of three outdoor events the next three Saturdays. The events will be on April 10, April 17, and April 24 at 7pm. The purpose of these events is to highlight the capital campaign to finish the rebuild of the upstairs sanctuary/community space which was originally destroyed when the building burned down in 2005. The events will highlight the “Resurgence” projection show created by MASARY which will be shown across the front of our building every night from 7 to 10 pm from now until the first week of May. In addition, the events will feature live music and performances from local artists, speeches from community leaders and activists, as well as more information on the work the Centre does in our community and the work we hope to do in the future with our newly renovated space.


JP Nonprofit Community Servings Launches Targeted COVID-19 Meals Program

Jamaica Plain's Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families in Massachusetts experiencing critical and chronic illnesses, recently announced another expansion of its meal delivery program with the launch of a targeted COVID-19 meals program to support individuals and their families dealing with food insecurity during the global pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of clients the agency serves weekly has increased by 56 percent, with capacity expanding to meet the need. To help identify and enroll participants in the three-month program, Community Servings is partnering with Massachusetts-based health care providers who can refer individuals that have recently tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those presumed positive or at high risk. “Expanding our medically tailored meal delivery to help feed people impacted by COVID-19 is possible thanks to the generous philanthropic support that we have received over the past year,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “This program, which enables Community Servings to advance its social and health equity vision, is a means for many of our neighbors in need to receive healthy meals tailored by our registered dietitians and cooked with care in our kitchen while safely recovering at home.”

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Community Servings has prepared and delivered nearly 650,000 medically tailored meals to more than 2,000 people.


Nonprofit VOAMASS Names Rejoyce Owusu Director of Human Resources

Jamaica Plain based Volunteers of America of Massachusetts (VOAMASS), a nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals through residential and outpatient behavioral health treatment, re-entry for justice-involved individuals, veteran services and senior living, recently announced the appointment of Rejoyce Owusu as director of human resources. Owusu will oversee all aspects of the agency’s human resources activities, including oversight of talent acquisition, employee training and development, agency accreditation, and compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Owusu will play a critical role in developing relationships with employees across programs and locations, using her leadership skills to make the organization an employer of choice. “During this critical time for our profession and the communities we serve, having skilled and compassionate leaders like Rejoyce on our team is critical,” said Charles Gagnon, President and CEO of VOAMASS. “We are excited to welcome her to VOAMASS and are looking forward to utilizing her experience to strengthen and expand our workforce to better serve the thousands of individuals we support.”

Owusu, a Bronx, N.Y. native and Dorchester resident, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree in management from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. Prior to joining VOAMASS, she was HR Director at ideaMACHINE Studio, a Brooklyn-based video production service, and previously worked in talent acquisition at Prudential Financial.