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Video of Good Neighbors Panel Discussion and Message from USES’ CEO

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

by Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle, USES President & CEO

On Thursday, November 5th Sylvie Tissot, author of Good Neighbors: Gentrifying Diversity in Boston’s South End, State Representative Byron Rushing, USES Board Member Chris Cato, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Reverend Timothy Crellin, Head of the South End Forum Steve Fox, activist and life-long resident Joyce King, and roughly 100 community members gathered for a discussion and open dialogue on the intersection of diversity, inclusion, and gentrification in the South End and Lower Roxbury.

Video of the evening can been seen above, courtesy of WGBH's Forum Network.

It was wonderful to see so many people turn out and participate in this very important conversation about where we are as a community, and where we want to be. If you were in attendance, you may have noticed that we were joined by a group of teens from St. Stephen's Youth Program. After the panel, Jhanel Potts, an 18 year old South End resident and community organizer commented:

"I think it's crazy that depending on which street you live on, you see poverty or wealth. When people set up streets [that are so different], it creates a divide in the community and a lot of negative stereotypes and assumptions about different people. The panel motivated me to make sure that each street looks equal."

For generations, the South End community has been home to families of all backgrounds, a refuge for the city's artistic soul, and at the forefront of opening doors for residents and guests regardless of their background, sexual orientation, class or religion. I see tremendous opportunity in continuing to bring neighbors together to unite their diverse strengths in order to represent a collective voice that supports the advancement of all while honoring the stories and lives of many. I hope that you are all motivated to keep this dialogue moving forward and connect with your neighbors.

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