FP and Alternatives for Community and Environment

First Parish is Embarking on a New Venture and We Start With Two Action Opportunities! In building a bridge between suburban First Parish and the city group “Alternatives for Community and Environment” (ACE), FP’s Social Action Committee is seeking to achieve two objectives. The first is to link the concerns of the Racial Justice Task Force with a city organization that serves people of color in Roxbury with a justice-seeking program. The second is to link the environmental justice concern of the Green Congregation Committee with a population that is negatively impacted by environmental injustice. ACE addresses both of those objectives. It serves people of color and one of its primary purposes is to organize local people to work for environmental justice in Roxbury, where politicians along the way have placed highly polluting businesses that harm the health of local people.

At this point we are at the first stage in our tie with ACE. Two opportunities are coming up soon in which you can become involved. One is to participate in an ACE “toxic tour,” which will take place on Wednesday afternoon, June 24th (not Tuesday the 23rd as first published). We will carpool from the church at 2:30 p.m. to start the tour as soon as we arrive at the ACE office in Roxbury. The tour will last for an hour and a half. We will be led on a walking tour of the area where ACE works and see both sites where they have been successful in cleaning up environmental threats and other toxic sites where they are intending to do the same. This will be a fascinating opportunity to learn about issues grounded in racist politics that play out a short distance from Needham. So far ten people are signed up to go, but there is room for as many as can fit the time into their life schedules.

The second opportunity comes up a bit sooner on Saturday, June 20, when ACE will sponsor a day-long “Hyjack dah Hood 2015—on Structural Racism and Displacement.” It is an effort to lay the groundwork for stopping the displacement of local people by moneyed interests that threaten the neighborhood in the interests of people who can afford expensive housing and restaurants. In that process low income local people, including a high proportion of people of color, will be displaced and forced out of their neighborhoods. The day will take the form of a festival with food and music, but also workshops to provide tools for resistance. We are invited to serve as volunteers who help out where needed in setup and making things flow smoothly. So far three of us ar planning to go for the morning, leaving from the church at 8:15 a.m. to arrive and help out from 9:00 to noon. But others are welcome to join us. This will be another fascinating opportunity to learn about a key issue and to get to know others at the event.

Call or email XXX, if you would like to participate in either/both of these events.