Were you in Jamaica Plain on Saturday after former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidential election? If so, you heard church bells ringing, car and air horns honking, people cheering, pots and pans being banged, dancing in the streets, and a whole lot more celebrating. Around 11:40 am or so word got out that Biden had been elected... The bells at the First Church in Jamaica Plain were ringing! Mere feet away at The Monument people were celebrating!
You've probably heard a TED talk — the "Technology, Entertainment and Design" presentations seem to be everywhere these days. This weekend the concept made its Jamaica Plain debut as organizers brought more than 20 speakers from the neighborhood together to explore the topic "joy and purpose." The list of speakers read like a "Who's Who" of JP personalities. They included:
Chrismaldi Vasquez, alumnae of Hyde Square Task Force
Edith Murnane, who started the city's Office of Food Initiatives
Shamus Moynihan and Rick Berlin, co-producers of the JP Music Festival
William Morales, executive director of the Egleston Square Youth Center
Megan Moore of Boston University filed this report on the event, which was held at First Church in JP Unitarian Universalist. "Only in JP can you go from ex-con to a TEDx speaker" The wildly inspiring @WillAMorales on engaging tweens #TEDxJP pic.twitter.com/q65Ue4qIk1
— Charlotte Fixler (@CharlotteFixler) October 5, 2015
The resolution of a community-dividing dispute in a San Francisco neighborhood has lessons for JP, one sociologist told the crowd at the most recent JP Forum. Beth Roy, a longtime mediator in the Bay Area, gave a talk titled, “Mediating Gentrification: How One Community Created Unity Out Of Divisiveness.”
Roy shared how she helped mediate an eight-year dispute in her own changing neighborhood of Bernal Heights. The San Francisco neighborhood is similar to JP, with an "urban village" feel, according to the San Francisco Gate. In 1980 the community branch library created vibrant murals on its exterior walls. And 30 years later, the adored branch library was being renovated.