Network Connector, Volume 2, Issue 1; February 2015

 Network Connector Newsletter | Volume 2, Issue 1; February 2015
Dear Network Partner,
Wisdom for the Day: "The Network is unique, connecting people that share the same mindset and that have so much energy. That helps you continue your work." - Juan Carlos Ferrufino, Thrive in 5  
Network Connection Meeting - Save the Date!
Self Care for Advocates: How to take care of yourself as you care for your community. 
Notes from the 90 Day Challenge:
Community Engagement in Real Time: What I Learned from Woolson Street
Mirlande Joseph is a Community Organizer for the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (MFFC). Mirlande worked with Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition and Boston Natural Areas Network to open the Woolson Street Community Garden this past fall. Following the Leadership Summit, Mirlande set her 90-Day Challenge aim on building a neighborhood association in the Woolson Street Neighborhood. AmeriCorps VISTA member, Meghna Nandi, reflects on her work around community mobilization and her process of learning what community engagement looks like in real life - in "real time". Through Mirlande's emphasis on building strong relationships and listening to stories, she realized that community engagement is not about having a set "one-size fits all" road map, but about constructing the circumstances that empower residents to draw their own road maps. Learn more here.
What Happens When You Decentralize Communication?
As collective impact approaches spread, it is becoming important to understand how to harness the potential of a network to drive collective action. First, and perhaps most importantly: you get out of your own way. Networks have the benefit of helping to decentralize communication. AmeriCorps VISTA member Brian Diah reflects on an improvement effort to extend our network to online communications through BigTent and how as communication became decentralized, the backbone function faded into the background. Read the rest of the blog here.
Leadership Summit Booster
March 9th, 2015
From 5:00pm - 6:00pm  
Learn more about the 90 Day Challenge and what it takes to launch an improvement cycle. RSVP Here. There are ONLY 1 SPACE LEFT
Vital Village Info Session:
Join us for the
Vital Village Network 101 Session 
and learn how YOU can make a difference in your community!
  • An opportunity to share your ideas
  • Meet other engaged community residents
  • Learn about the Vital Village Network
When: March 5, 2015 from 2:00pm-3:00pm
Where:Boston Medical Center, Yawkey 1
850 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
Next Peer-Advocacy Action Roundtable  Meeting: 
The collaboration between DSNI and MLP Boston aims to foster peer-to-peer advocacy and legal skills for community residents. The first meeting will be held on 
 Thursday, March 19th from 6-8pm at DSNI
Congratulations to Woolson Street Community Garden: Rookie of the Year Award! 
They will be recognized in this years Community Gardening Awards at the Gardeners Gathering on 
March 21st at Noon
120 Forsythe St
Come Show your support!
Find out more event details HERE
For more information call 617-414-4370.
Male Engagement:
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 March 25th. If you are interested in attending or would like to take part in the discussion online on BigTent, please send us an email!
There is a FREE drop-in breastfeeding group in Mattapan on Wednesdays from 11:00am-1:00pm in the Gross Motor Room, ABCD Head Start, 535 River Street.
And don't forget about the BMC Baby Cafe at Codman Square Health Center every Monday and Wednesday!
In This Issue
Quick Links
Vital Village Website
Like us on Facebook!
Send us an email
Around The Network:
Vital Village will be hosting socioemotional learning and engagement activities at the  BMC bWell 
on Tuesdays from
V.I.P Strengthening Family Coalition
Wish you had a supportive environment where you can freely yourself without judgement?
learn new and alternative healing methods and reduce stress.

Discuss and learn new ways to support healthy recovery from trauma.

Become part of a community of like minded people that you can feel connected to and empowered by.

Childcare will be provided.

Attend their monthly meetings, the next one will be held on 
Thursday March 12th, from 6:00pm - 7:30pm
 25 Ambrose Street.
Find more information
Dorchester Cares: Fatherhood Engagement Taskforce 
will be showing the Black Fatherhood Project as part 1 of their Dialogue Series.

When: Saturday, March 28th from 1:00pm-4:00pm 
Where: Whittier St. Health Center

Email Karla Walker for more information
Upham's Corner Health Center Presents Family Ties:  
The Strengthening Families Program is  a group for kids 11-13 years of age, and their parents. Helping families to have a healthy, active and engaging relationship with each other. Food and refreshments will be provided!

Tuesday March 10th, from 4:30pm -  6:00pm
Find more information
or Call: 617-287-8000
Around the City:
Mayor Walsh Leads Boston's Annual Homelessness Census

Over 300 City officials and Volunteers started the Annual Homelessness census throughout the streets of Boston. Read the full article here!
Family Yoga at Upham's Corner
February 28th from 
The Power of Talk: Engaging Young Children
Talking to kids can help increase their vocabulary and helps build relationships. 
This is what 5 years of community restoration looks like this:
Micro-grants have funded creative projects, boosting the recovery of some Detroit neighborhoods.
How Housing Matters
is an online resource for the most rigorous research on how a quality, affordable home can contribute to a tangible benefits in educational performance, economic stability, and public health.