Network Connector, Volume 2, Issue 3; May 2015


Dear Network Partner,
"Before making assumptions about absent fathers and completely casting them all into one category, the following questions should be asked: What is the story behind their situation? Is there a reason behind their situation? Is there a reason behind their experience? How do they as a male member of our society view themselves? These questions will enable one to better understand the father as a person, rather than as a problem." - Charles Daniels, Founder of Father's Uplift

Notes from the 90 Day Challenge:

 Save the Date!

 Join us for a Community Cafe Model Meeting! This meeting will support the development of BeingDadBoston, a web-based resource for fathers and Network Pitches.

Dinner and Childcare will be provided

Network Driven Collaboration: Male Engagement 

Our latest Note From The #90 Day Challenge is available now! Learn more here about Network Driven Collaboration and the impact it has had on our Male Engagement efforts.

Around The Network:

Talk Read Play Flash Mob Success!(Dudley Library Flash Rhyme Mob)

Throughout the city of Boston, at 11:00am, over 1,000 children showed off their nursery rhymes as they participated in the Talk! Read! Play! campaign which was initiated by Network Partner Josette Williams at Countdown to Kindergarten.  Congratulations to our network partners for hosting such an engaging event emphasizing the community's role to help children develop through talk, reading and play! 
Members of the BMC Pediatrics Unit participated in the Flash Rhyme Mob for the first time this year. 
Learn more about Talk, Read, Play here.

Peer-Advocacy Action Roundtable (PAR) Meeting: PAR members are developing skills to communicate & negotiate so that they can and assert their interests, needs and rights. 

If you are interested in developing your advocacy skills or engaging in meaningful conversations on topics that impact your community Join Us, RSVP Today!

When: Thursday, May 21st 
Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Where: Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
504 Dudley St.
Roxbury, MA

Mattapan Community Health Center MCHC hosted their first integrated behavioral health planning meeting to address behavioral healthcare. Network Partner Sharon Callender (pictured left) is a member of the BHI Steering Committee. Read more here.

Fatherhood Engagement Series

Last month, the Family Nurturing Center hosted a screening of the documentary "The Black Fatherhood Project" to kick off their Fatherhood Engagement Series.

This month, the dialogue will focus on Healthy Relationships, Raising Strong Children and Finding Solutions to System Barriers (DOR, DCF, and Probation). Join the discussion to share your experiences and learn about the resources that can help men and fathers in our community!

When: Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 
Time: 1:00 - 4:30pm
Where: St. Peter's Teen Center,
278 Bowdoin St, Dorchester, MA 02125
To learn more about the Male Engagement Series, or to RSVP - Click here!

The Boston Shines Neighborhood Clean Up Initiative will be taking place in Mattapan and Dorchester this weekend, May 1st and 2nd. This event is only possible through the thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to making sure their neighborhoods shine! Click here to find out more information about where your community will meet!
For more information call (617) 414-4370.

Male Engagement Strategic Planning Meeting:

How can we provide fathers with the resources they need to be active in their children's development?
A cohort of Vital Village Network partners are meeting regularly to discuss ongoing work related to male engagement and fatherhood initiatives. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, May 20th from 3:00- 4:30pm. If you are interested in attending or would like to take part in the discussion online on BigTent, please send us an email!

Bright Spot:

Congratulations to Ann Wang! 1st Place in 2014 College Competition  

Ann Wang is a Photojournalist studying at the BU College of Communication. She came in 1st Place for the Photo Story section. The piece, pictured below was taken during a meeting hosted by Charles Daniels, Father's Uplift. 
2014 Leadership Summit Short Video
2014 Leadership Summit Short Video
Ann has also helped us capture  Network moments such as the 2014 Leadership Summit Video (click on the video). 

Click Here to look over the other entries in the competition. 

In This Issue

Vital Village Website
Like us on Facebook
Send us an email

Vital Village will be hosting socioemotional learning and engagement activities at the BMC bWell Center on Tuesdays from 2-4pm.

Around The City:

DSNI Welcomes a New Executive Director!

Juan Leyton is a long-time Boston resident who has extensive experience in economic development and community building. Learn more about Mr. Leyton Here. 

Upham's Corner Library Reading Readiness Story Time:

Children ages 3 - 6 and their caregivers are invited to join a reading readiness story time session! Come sing, read books, play games and develop key literacy skills!

Power of Play Festival

 Will be held at Boston Children's Museum: 
Friday, May 8th    (5pm-9pm)
Saturday, May 9th (10am-5pm) 

Children and Adults of all ages will be able to experience the power of play through unique hands on activities in and around the museum. 

Vital Village Network Partners get in FREE
Boston Natural Areas Network
14th Annual Spring Festival & Plant Sale!

Celebrate the new growing season with BNAN!

When:Saturday, May 16th, 2015
Time: 10:00am
Where: City Natives, 30 Edgewater Drive, Mattapan, MA
Enjoy a day of community celebration with fun activities for the whole family, educational workshops, food and music! 

Early Childhood and the Future of our Commonwealth Documentary and Panel Discussion:

When:  Monday, May 11th, 2015
Time:   9:30am - 11:30am 
Where: State House
            Room 428,
            24 Beacon St, Boston

The Raising of America  documentary will be screened in Boston this month and will be followed by a panel discussion.This film screening will provide a variety of expert viewpoints on why early childhood experiences are crucial. Here are the panelists:

Renee Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD, Director Vital Village Network 

Kira Taj, MPH, Senior Associate for Research and Project Management at Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children 

Charles E. Carter, Jr., Ph.D., LICSW, Chief Strategy Officer, Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child 

Scott Brody, J.D., CEO, Everwood Camp Partners 

Mother's Day Walk for Peace

Take part in the Annual Mother's Day Walk for Peace to support the programs and services of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. 
Join in with the group of advocates who stand against violence in our community!
When: Sunday, May 10th, 2015 
Time: 7:00am 
Where: Town Field Park, Fields Corner, 1520 Dorchester Avenue,
Dorchester, MA


How Paid Leave Can Keep Kids and Families Healthy.

3 states and 16 cities have paid sick leave laws which ensure employees do not have to pick between caring for a sick child at home and the wages they would earn. What happens to the other parents who don't have access to paid leave? Read the Report Here.
The National Partnership for Women and Families identified local action throughout the US that is advocating for paid leave. 

Restorative Justice: A Case Study of Oakland Schools

The report identifies the implementation and impact of restorative justice as a tool to combat racially disproportionate discipline & suspensions.


A Call To Men:

Tony Porter, Director of A Call to Men discusses the role men have in preventing domestic and sexual violence. 
How can we reshape the
Learn how we can reshape the "Man Box."
Vital Village Network | | |
88 East Newton St.
Vose Hall, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02118