Boston, MA- Today Mayor Walsh will join former Mayor Ray Flynn and long-time community advocate Mel King to launch the Boston Peace and Democracy Discussions.
The Boston Peace & Democracy Discussions are designed to engage children in discussions with family members, teachers, librarians, police officers, street workers, nurses, doctors, and clergy members about how to combat violence and create a more peaceful and democratic city and country. Peace & Democracy eBooks and Digital Games that encompass multicultural literature, activities, and curriculum, will enhance the discussions.
“This partnership further enhances our commitment to providing alternative paths for our young people,” stated Mayor Martin Walsh. “I thank Ray Flynn and Mel King for supporting this effort, which will help to better serve our youth and families by talking about important issues that impact their everyday lives.”
The first Peace & Democracy Discussion will be supported with, It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way: A Barrio Story (No tiene que ser así: una historia Del barrio) written by Luis J. Rodríguez. It is a story about a Latino boy who is being pressured to join a local gang and learns to overcome his troubles.
After reading and discussing this story about gangs and violence in one neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, students and participating adults will discuss their points of view about how violence in our city and in our society can be prevented.
Based on feedback from this launch, a prototype will be provided for free to all schools and educational organizations in Boston who serve grades 4–5. By September 2017, the goal is to provide one eBook per grade level for all grade levels, pre-K to 12, focusing on violence prevention. Future Boston Peace & Democracy Discussions will focus on discrimination and income inequality.
“We are excited to be a part of this important dialogue and initiative that promotes literacy, candid discussions about life choices and decisions, and violence prevention,” said Bill McGonagle, BHA Administrator.
The Julia Butler Family Center, located at BHA’s Lenox/Camden development in Lower Roxbury, was recently renovated, and provides after school programming for community youth and their families: Center staff will participate in the Discussions with area youth. The Center is currently operated through a new partnership between Vibrant Boston, the Boston Ministerial Alliance and the BHA.
The Boston Peace & Democracy Advisory Board is in the process of reaching out to potential supporters and partners. Mel King is the honorary chairperson of the board and was just recently joined on the board by former Mayor of Boston, Ray Flynn.
About Boston Authority (BHA)
Boston Housing Authority (BHA) provides affordable housing to more than 58,000 residents in and around the City of Boston. Residents are assisted through a combination of public housing and federal and state voucher subsidy programs that provide a wide variety of housing opportunities. As the largest public housing authority in New England, the BHA houses close to 9 percent of the city's residents.
Our mission is to provide stable, quality affordable housing for low and moderate income persons; to deliver these services with integrity and mutual accountability; and to create living environments which serve as catalysts for the transformation from dependency to economic self-sufficiency.