A Journey of Growth and Compassion: Conrad Robinson

Camila Beiner
By Camila Beiner

Creating a Village

 A blog series profiling the work of community leaders across the country working to address the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice in their local communities. The series amplifies diverse leadership and the impact on communities, partnerships and members.

 Since becoming involved with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), Conrad Robinson has made it his mission to prioritize and recognize the needs of every family with which he works. “It's about being vulnerable, transparent, but also having compassion and understanding where people are coming from and supporting them through their journey,” Robinson describes his role at DCF as an Area Resource Coordinator where he works alongside supervisors, social workers, and managers to correctly identify the best placement for children at DCF. His department supports young adults between the ages of 18 to 22 who are transitioning from DCF to independent living. They also work with members of the local communities and families to keep children safe from abuse and neglect. Robinson, a long-time community leader with Vital Village Networks (VVN), eventually became a social worker and began to develop and implement plans for young adults who need direct social services, such as housing and mental health services. On top of his busy day job, Robinson also is the program director and lead faculty for the Certificate in Community Advocacy and Leadership program, a partnership between VVN and Urban College of Boston.

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Asking mental health to take a backseat during the coronavirus pandemic is a dangerous proposition

Julia Slayne
By Julia Slayne

Understanding and limiting the spread of coronavirus has consumed our focus over the past few months. Physical distancing, child care and school closures, the persistence of masks, hand washing, have been essential steps to help protect each of us from the virus. However, this physical distancing has consequences that we need to talk about: isolation, loneliness, boredom, monotony, stress, anxiety, and fear. Mental health often takes a backseat when physical health is at risk. Health is both physical and mental, and when we prioritize the physical, it is at the expense of our mental wellbeing. Quarantine may yield so many negative mental health consequences, it is dangerous to overlook how it is impacting our mental wellbeing.

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Let’s Get Counted: The 2020 Census

Tiffany Rodriguez, Cathy Luo and Lucas Sensius
By Tiffany Rodriguez, Cathy Luo and Lucas Sensius

Vital Village Network is excited to launch a cross-team collaborative effort to continue the conversation around the 2020 Census. We want to elevate grassroots resources and information regarding the ongoing 2020 Census. Follow along and engage in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. For comments, suggestions or feedback connect with Tiffany Rodriguez, NOW Program Coordinator, at tiffany.rodriguez@bmc.org.

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Through the Eyes of Children in the Village, They See Community!

Cathy Luo
By Cathy Luo

At our January 30th Vital Village Visioning Night, Network members gathered to share visions and goals for the community heading into the new decade. A resounding theme throughout the evening was the Village’s commitment to the community’s children. Dominique Bellegarde, a Breastfeeding Coalition leader and self-identified “Woman of the Community”, captured the energy of the evening in her statement, “We are raising the future generation of leaders.” 

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Vital Village Networks
By Vital Village Networks
A Statement from Our Beloved Community
We belong to each other.
We will strive to learn from all of our history: the generations of racial injustice and the generations of resistance and uplift.
We will continue to listen to and engage more authentically with one another and welcome new allies.
We will work to transform all systems—judicial, education, health, social service—and institutional laws that disproportionately criminalize and police people of color. Reimagining systems of collective care that nurture and support communities.
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