Roxbury Love: Reflecting on Mandela, MA


On September 14th at 6pm join Epicenter Community at Hawthorne Youth & Community Center, as they go back to 1986, when community organizers Curtis Davis and Andrew Jones had the foresight and wisdom to see that many developers were considering the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, the South End, and Columbia Point to be the next frontier of development in Boston. What Curtis, Andrew and other leaders such as Mel King, Gloria Fox and Byron Rushing were fighting for then, we are living the reality of it now as our neighborhoods are becoming gentrified.


Davis and Jones put forth a secession plan called the Greater Roxbury Incorporation Project (GRIP). The plan would have carved a new municipality out of the neighborhoods and that the new city would be named in honor of jailed South African leader Nelson Mandela. Although the proposed municipality did not gain the votes it needed to pass, Dr. Curtis Davis, one of the co-founders of GRIP and part of the design leadership team for the newest Smithsonian Institution, The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), will join the event.


Dr. Davis will be giving a keynote on “Leadership, Movements and Reflections on Social Change Agency.” After the keynote there will be a brief panel with leaders and artists from then and now.  It will be an evening of reflection to learn from the past as the people move forward during a time of gentrification in Boston’s black and Latinx communities.


Register here.