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Moments in Black History at USES: Mel King

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

To honor and celebrate Black History Month, we will be highlighting Moments in Black History at United South End Settlements throughout February. A version of the following appeared in the February 13, 2020 issue of The Bay State Banner:

The Transformative Power of Community Service

Community icons, Mel & Joyce King, with USES President & CEO, Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle, at the celebration of USES's 125th anniversary

In the mid 1950s, a young teacher left the classroom and made the streets of his community and city his new classroom. That teacher, Mel King, taught us that the true power of community building lies in our commitment and dedication to community service.

As former Youth Director at United South End Settlements, Mel continued to build a strong foundation for the future of the community, instilling in our young people that they were better than their circumstances, and providing them with the tools for self improvement and self-empowerment. Many went on to follow Mel’s lead becoming contributing members of society. And Mel will forever be a community hero, role model, and inspiration.

His selfless community- and people-building teaches us all a valuable lesson that will stand the test of time as we face the complex challenges ahead.

The staff and board of USES remain grateful and humbled to count Mel and Joyce King among the many community icons upon whose shoulders we stand on as we continue our mission to harness the power of a diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families.

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