What is a good citizen and how do you create one?

Harvard University's Graduate School of Education recently hosted a forum through their #Askwith series titled, "What is a good citizen and how do you create one?" The forum explored the themes of citizenship, civic engagement and diversity, not only within the United States but on a global level as well. It featured three distinguished panelists: Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), Callie Crossley, radio and tv host for WGBH, and Michelle Fine, distinguished professer at the City University of New York.

As the panelists navigated these topics, they raised a number of interesting questions that have us asking ourselves, "How can I be a more engaged citizen? What can I do to give back to my community?" Kei offered what she considers the tools for good citizenship:

- Radical skepticism

- Appetite for different perspectives and alternative explanationsRead more

CHNA 15 Presents its Cultural Proficiency Workshop

At a time when tensions are high and our nation is experiencing a profound social and cultural transition, CHNA 15 will be sponsoring a free community workshop on the topic of cultural proficiency. The workshop will feature presenter, Susan Naimark, who is a part-time faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Boston, School of Education. She is also an affiliate trainer with Teachers 21 and Interaction Institute for Social Change, and serves as co-chair of the board of directors for Community Change, Inc. Read more

Dorchester community comes together for Holiday Gift Giveaway

This past Saturday, December 10, the Codman Square Health Center hosted their annual Holiday Gift Giveaway Celebration at the Codman Square Great Hall. The gift giveaway was a resounding success thanks to the hard work of a number of partner organizations that came together to support this great cause.

Included amongst these were MyDorchester, Notre Dame Academy, Toys for Tots, Dutch Maid Bakery Inc., Uber Boston, and Home.stead Bakery & Cafe. Our very own SCI AmeriCorps member, Giavanna Wilson, who serves at the center, was heavily involved in coordinating the event. She organized the volunteers, negotiated gift donations, and oversaw most of the behind-the-scenes preparations.

At the end of the giveaway, the center gave out 730+ gifts to more than 250 families in need in the Dorchester community. Not only that, but volunteers and families alike got to enjoy pizza and cakes donated by local food joints while listening to festive holiday music throughout the day. Overall, the Dorchester community was able to come together and celebrate the joy of the holidays with one another!

SCI Attends Encore Boston's #Gen2Gen Campaign Launch

On Monday, December 12, SCI was excited to attend the Encore Boston Network's Generation to Generation campaign launch event at The Boston Foundation. It was a motivating two and a half hours of nonprofit networking, compelling speakers, and idea exchange. 

Generation to Generation is a five-year campaign focused on mobilizing adults aged 50+ to help young people thrive. Its pilot programs are being launched in four cities including Los Angeles, San Jose, and Seattle, with the hopes of expanding to over 250 communities. The idea came about due to the ever-more-visible notion that we are in the midst of an intergenerational war. Many people across the nation believe that each new generation will be worse off than their parents. However, surveys have shown that millions of adults 50+ are eager to devote their time and energy to working with the youth of today and help them lead vibrant, successful lives. In response, this campaign hopes to close the intergenerational gap and allow for collaboration across all age groups. Read more

Boston University Hosts Public Health Symposium

On December 1, the Boston University School of Public Health held a symposium titled, "How Does Where You Live Affect Your Health?" The focus of the symposium was to explore the roles of the built environment and housing on one's health, and to evaluate the science behind studies and interventions that can improve the health of vulnerable populations not only within the United States but around the world. The event featured over a dozen experts and professionals within the field, each of whom had the chance to address the audience, presenting stories from the field as well as the findings of their studies.

Amongst those who spoke at the symposium were Ron Sims, the former Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Shakira Suglia, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. I highlight these two speakers because their talks focused not only on the links between neighborhoods and public health, but also on the importance of social capital and community networks.Read more