First Emerald Necklace Parkfest Spanning Parks on Sept. 24

The first-ever Emerald Necklace Parkfest will be the year’s biggest event for Olmsted Now, which is Greater Boston’s Olmsted Bicentennial. This free event will on Sept. 24 will span across parks of the Emerald Necklace, and will include free performances, kids' activities, art, games, dancing, and more. There will be picnic zones, parade decorating, data "community listening boards", and Necklace-wide scavenger hunts to prompt exploring the parks. Community groups and organizations will also be showcasing the ways they make the Greater Boston a great place for parks and public spaces.

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Non-Profit Helps Those in Crisis, Victory Programs, Opens Headquarters in Jamaica Plain

Victory Programs (VPI), a Boston-based non-profit which offers housing, prevention, and recovery services to individuals and families in crisis, has acquired a building at 404 South Huntington Ave to serve as its administrative hub for the more than 20 programs they operate across the Greater Boston area. “We’re happy to be in JP, a neighborhood that has always had compassion for those in crisis," said Executive Director Sarah Porter. "It feels great to be working surrounded by activists, advocates, and friends.”

VPI’s finance, development, communications, volunteer program, human resources, and administrative support staff now work from the new location, along with the agency’s senior leadership. These functions have moved from Victory Programs’ building at 965 Massachusetts Ave. to make way for a new navigation center for unhoused women and trans and non-binary people in the heart of the city’s Mass & Cass area.

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Boston Nonprofit Celebrates Jamaica Plain Senior Heading to Harvard This Fall

Boston-based United South End Settlement’s (USES) celebrates high school graduates, recognizing young people of diverse backgrounds who came up through USES’ programs and will be matriculating to college programs all across the state this fall. One of these graduates that USES is thrilled to cheer on is Betsy Resner from Jamaica Plain, who will attend Harvard University this fall. This is a particularly exciting milestone for the organization since Betsy belonged to the preschool class of 2009, demonstrating the long-lasting impact and value of high-quality early Education. This fall, many high school graduates are heading to college as a rite of passage into adulthood. For USES, this year’s graduates are a true testament to its development programs which provide Boston-area children and youths with quality education and enrichment opportunities with the goal of disrupting the cycle of poverty for those in underserved communities.

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Blessed Sacrament Meeting on Aug. 15; Landmarks Commission Says Blessed Sacrament Merits Landmark Status

On the heals of the Boston Landmarks Commission recently released report stating that the Blessed Sacrament Church Complex merits landmark status, there will be a community meeting to provide an update about the plans for preservation and redevelopment of the church. The community meeting will be led by the Hyde Square Task Force and Pennrose, which develops and manages real estate, on August 15 at 6:30 pm at Hyde Square Task Force (30 Sunnyside St.).  The meeting will be in English with Spanish translation, and refreshments will be provided. The Landmarks Commission said the five-building Blessed Sacrament Church Complex merits recognition as a landmark at the regional, state, and local level. "The complex is a physical representation of the social and cultural history and significance of the Catholic Church in Boston around the turn of the last century and in the early 20th century," says the Commission's report. Architectural historian Keith Morgan said the Church of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance Revival church architecture in New England.

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Anti-Circumcision Demonstration at Forest Hills on August 5

On Friday, a group called Bloodstained Men will be outside the Forest Hills T stop protesting America's most common surgery -- circumcision. The members of this touring non-profit are hard to miss because they wear white pants with red-stained crotches symbolizing the genital mutilation inflicted upon them. People are encouraged to speak to them because they want people to know about the irreversible, non-consensual procedure forced upon babies. In 2020, Massachusetts passes a statute criminalizing circumcision of females defined “altering the structure or function of the female genitalia for non-medical purposes." Also in 2020, after years of pressure by activists, Boston Children’s Hospital suspended the surgical “normalizing” of healthy intersex (having ambiguous genitalia) children.

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