Woburn: Building Understanding and Community

Over the years SCI has slowly spread its roots, branching out to what is now nineteen different towns and cities across the Eastern Massachusetts area. It is amazing to see its growth, and even more amazing to see the impact that is has made in countless communities. As SCI creates new partnerships, it never fails to deepen the existing ties that is has created. Woburn is a prominent example of SCI's commitment to building long-lasting partnerships and understanding within a community.

This summer, SCI partnered with the City of Woburn to hold the Woburn Unites Vigil. The vigil was to show support for the city's police officers and ALL members of its community. This interfaith event was planned in the wake of a number of violent acts across the nation. It represented an opportunity for Woburn to come together to support their local police as well as show respect to each and every member of the community, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity.

Following the vigil, SCi and St. John's Baptist Church hosted a Community Forum on Race Relations. In the form of a panel discussion headed by a number of community leaders, audience members were able to engage in an honest and candid dialogue about race relations. The goal of the forum was to not only start an initial conversation, but also to provide a safe space where community members could feel comfortable raising questions, issues, or concerns. The discussions will continue in the months ahead with a series of events dedicated to issues of race and diversity.

Moving forward, SCI plans to create a program to address needs identified by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was administered to Woburn high school-aged students. The survey showed that Woburn student's report rates of bullying and suicide ideation higher than the state average. In partnership with the Woburn Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Woburn, SCI will soon be launching a program to engage youth leaders in addressing these topics.