Don't Spot the DOT!





On Saturday April 14, 2007. the sun shined as  Mayor Menino joined the Dorchester Youth Council, youth leaders from the Vietnamese American Civic Association, Fields Corner Main Street, and Boston Steps to kick off to the “Don’t Spot the Dot: Make Trash History in Dorchester” campaign.  For the past year, in efforts to increase walking along Dorchester Avenue, the Dorchester Youth Council has been critically assessing litter in Fields Corner.

Early Saturday morning, teams of teens and dedicated adult volunteers visited businesses along Dorchester Avenue distributing brooms and dustpans to local business.  Businesses received the broom and  dustpan for free when they made the commitment to sweep in front of their store as often as possible. Participating businesses will be displaying a sticker with the “Don’t Spot the Dot” campaign logo.  If you see the sticker, feel free to congratulate the store on their commitment to the community.


During the next step of this process, the Dorchester Youth Council will be visiting local schools to educate students about the importance of not littering and keeping the community clean.

In reflecting on the experience, one teen leader explained “this is great, we get to know more people in the neighborhood, and we get to actually make this community cleaner.  It feels good to be a part of that.”

Why dogs stick their noses out of the car door window

Ever wonder why your canine just can't stand to be contained in your car with the windows rolled up? Did you always assume they love the wind blowing in their face? Did you simply appreciate the free drool car wash?

While dogs have an undeniable sense of adventure, it is their formidable sense of smell that understands something more toxic in your car: the extremely poor Indoor Air Quality.

The outdoor air pollution of vehicles is well documented, and with the second highest asthma rate of anywhere in the city, Dorchester is well acquainted with this problem. But most people remain unaware that the air inside a car with the windows rolled up is significantly worse than the air outside. Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs) such as benzene, styrene, formaldehyde and others have levels several times higher in cars than outside. In fact, that new car smell some claim to love are really poisonous VOCs that off-gas into your lungs.
Next time you walk through a freezing Bostonian wind chill and someone refuses to let you cross the street, at least you can console yourself in the fact that the your air is several times cleaner than theirs.

School Buses no better...

The vast majority of school buses in the US use diesel fuel. The dismal indoor air quality of these diesel schools buses should come as a shock to parents and school authorities:

A 2001 study by two environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Coalition for Clean Air, produced especially worrisome findings. These groups tested levels of diesel exhaust (including "black carbon" and PM2.5) in California school buses. They found that diesel exhaust in the school buses reached levels up to four times higher than in cars traveling nearby. Levels were especially high in the back of the bus, when the windows were closed...based on observed exposure levels, children's lifetime risk of cancer was elevated twenty-three to forty-six times above the level the EPA considers "significant".

-Urban Sprawl and Public Health

So what can you do about it?

A few things:

  1. Ride your bike or walk whenever possible!
  2. Keep your car and bus windows open
  3. Advocate for greener buses

On the last point, cleaner alternatives for buses already exist today such as propane, natural gas and hybrid buses - see Chapter 3 of the NRDC report here: Cleaner buses could make Boston more livable, improve children's health and cut our impact on global warming... and with Mayor Menino committing to cut fuel usage from the city's fleet by 5% by 2012 perhaps the people of Dorchester can make cleaner school buses a priority.

Urban and Suburban Communities Unite

On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 members of the Dorchester Youth Council had the opportunity to travel to Plymouth Community Intermediate School for a day of diversity, dialogue, education, and fun.  Working with the school's HOWL (Helping Others While Learning) student team and representatives from Northeastern University's Project Teamwork Program, the Dorchester Youth Council worked to create Public Service Annoucements to address community issues of concern to them.  The youth leaders were able to share success stories and tips of community service learning and making a difference 
The day was a great success. 
Students present icebreakers to get to know one another
 Students brainstorm Public Service Announcements


I am writing to invite you to participate along with 20 other organizations (including the City of Boston, the Bird Street Youth Center, United Youth and Youth Workers of Boston, and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute) in making May Peace Month in Boston. It is our hope that throughout this month, participating agencies will sponsor a series of powerful youth and community events designed to reach teens and engage them in initiatives that help resolve conflicts and highlight the need both for quality and caring educational experiences and for jobs that can help prepare them for a successful futures.

To begin this initiative we are planning on holding a press briefing On Tuesday, May 1, at 9:00 a.m. to declare May, Peace Month. I hope that you will be able to join us at the briefing where we will distribute the Peace Month calendar of events and hear from young people and family members who have lost loved ones speaking about their experiences, as well as political leaders, representatives of the police department, and others involved in helping to make this initiative successful. We will be holding a meeting to prepare for the press briefing and other aspects of Peace Month on Thursday, April 26 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at our offices located at 48 Rutland Street.

Some of the highlights of Peace Month thus far include:

Bird Street Youth Summit (3rd annual): Saturday, May 5. The young people working with the Bird Street Center will hold a day-long summit at Suffolk University. Over 300 youth are expected to come together to develop an agenda for change. Contact:

Peace Institute's Mothers Day Walk for Peace (11th annual): Sunday, May 13, 8:30 a.m. Over 500 people will walk through Dorchester neighborhoods to raise money for the Peace Institute's work and demonstrate their commitment to creating a peaceful community. The 3.6 mile walk begins and ends at Townfield Park in Fields Corner. Contact:

Teen Empowerment Youth Peace Conference (15th annual): Saturday, May 19, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at Roxbury Community College. TE youth organizers are now in the process of holding a series of meetings to resolve tensions between youth from rival neighborhoods. For the Peace Conference, TE youth have created a dramatic presentation that includes skits, raps, spoken word, dance, and speeches that explore the issues of violence, education, and opportunity. The day will also include working dialogue sessions and a healing ceremony. Contact:

Citywide Jam: Friday, June 1. Peace Month Partners will sponsor a citywide teen party to celebrate the accomplishments of the month and set a peaceful and productive tone for the summer months ahead.

I hope that your organization will be able add your energies, ideas, and efforts in making May a month of unity and peace between all members of the Boston family that can help start a new more peaceful direction for all of us. To RSVP for the meeting and press briefing or if you want to add an event to the calendar, please reply to Natacha Samedi, 617-536-4266, ext.312,, by Tuesday April 24

City Spotlights

City Spotlights is a year-long initiative of the Citi Performing Arts Center SM Education Department that engages Boston communities in an exploration and celebration of their neighborhood through the performing arts. In the fall, work began with City Spotlights Interns conducting preliminary interviews and research in this year’s four featured City Spotlights neighborhoods: Chinatown, Dorchester, East Boston and Mattapan. With the support of Community Partners and Neighborhood Committees, outreach initiatives continued this spring through a new class of City Spotlights Interns, the formation of Neighborhood Ensembles, one-session Interactive Performance Workshops and the selection of Special Guest Artists from each neighborhood.

Culminating in May 11th’s cultural performance featuring those Neighborhood Ensembles and Special Guest Artists, City Spotlights strives to connect communities through the performing arts. City Spotlights Special Guest Artists: A Major Dance Company, Colombian Dance Company (Bajucol), Giles Li, Gund Kwok Women’s Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe, Mattahunt All Stars, Sofia Snow, Stajez Dance Company, XCuadron 574.

Complimentary tickets are now available:

  • Individuals - up to 4 tickets
  • Groups - up to 10 tickets

To reserve tickets, contact the Ticket Hotline at 617-532-1265.  Neighborhood ticket location information coming soon.

Free transportation is also available in:

  • Dorchester: DotWell, 450 Washington Street (Codman Square)
  • East Boston: Paris Street Community Center, 112 Paris Street
  • Mattapan: ABCD/Mattapan Family Service Center, 535 River Street

To reserve transportation, contact the Transportation Hotline at 617-532-1256.

Tickets and transportation is first come, first serve.

For more information about this event, please contact Vivian Smith Barnes at 617-532-1218 or 

Have seen places, met people , am very tired but ready to share.

They say to whom much is given much is expected. I have been given this tool and I have been m.i.a for a couple weeks.Don't worry my dear lads, I have been on a few excursions, have seen places, met people , am very tired but ready to share.

I’ve learnt lessons in anthropology, picked up a few foreign words and tasted things I can barely pronounce. But what does all of this have to do with you. Probably not much, except that I went to two countries in the last month, one first world and the other third. [still trying to figure out who designated them such] And the common thread between the two, seems to be America. Her consumer driven culture and her politics – plus or minus Beyonce, Brad Pitt and Tiger Woods not winning. I am not quick to side with the argument that America is the greatest world power...blah blah blah. But I will say this... America does have a social responsibility to the rest of the world to act right, since the world is watching and playing ‘Simon says’.

For starters, we…usually I’d say you… need to ensure that our communities are strong, citizens’ voices are heard and youth are nurtured to become good citizens. After all, isn’t that what we are selling to the rest of the world….? TAMMYANKA



April 2007



Time Event
Wednesday                *April 11th Depart 6:45 amPlymouth Community Intermediate School Plymouth, MAUrban Suburban Dialogues Diversity Workshops, TV interview

Saturday            $

April 14th

9:30 amDominoes Pizza Anti Litter Press Event with Mayor Menino
Thursday April 19th 6pm – 8pmFranklin Park Clubhouse National Youth Service DayCivic Engagement Forum
Saturday April 21st 10am- 1pmFranklin Park NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE DAY
Monday April 23rd 7pm Standish Village SCI Model Citizens Awards Event

BOLD= mandatory event for all youth council members  * = Parental/School Permission Required

$ = Paid Opportunity for selected council members, determined at                        weekly meeting


this posting is the first one

to help me find out where I am, blog-wise.

Teens Fight for Park Safety


Sherimon Harris,17, left, and Elienid Ramos, 16, stand on the future site of a long-fought-for park in Codman Square. The girls were part of a teenage group that secured a $1,600 grant to promote park safety. read more...

Youth Council Responds to Racism

By Youth Council Member/Intern

Grace Ejiwale

Upon reading The Souls of Black Folk, it hit me that the problems Dubois talks about are the same ones treading upon the heads of African/Black Americans today. Just recently, in the city of Boston, to be exact, in Dorchester, a young Caucasian woman was accidentally shot in the head when she was at a party. It has been called a tragedy and the state, even the mayor called it a national problem. Why has it become a problem when a non resident, Caucasian woman gets shot while attending a party? It just doesn’t make any sense. Former president, George bush’s father, called the crack epidemic a tragedy because a white cop was killed, even though before his death, there were many more countless black deaths. What do you see here? I see that there is an imbalance. Just as they believed the toe nail of a jew was worth more than a black persons life, it is as no different as them indirectly saying whites are better than blacks.

How much proof does America need? How much? Should I come to her door and cry? Hell no! There has been too much crying. There has been way too much unnecessary deaths and there has been no action. The answer to what we must do is that we must take control of our own lives. By starting with rebuilding the family and church; with building the family and church we can form a structure that will already have the body of discipline. Since discipline is what we lack, there can be no such thing as an operation because everyone will not be unison, one accord.

With this type of spiritual and family reconstruction, there will be a change in how we see ourselves, how others will perceive us to be and how we will treat our community. Since the outsiders, non minority leaders, perceive us to not care about ourselves, it is the way they will treat us. If I am not wrong, don’t they already treat us like that? They have more cops in downtown Boston than they have on Blue Hill Ave. Why is that? It is because the people of that area DEMAND protection, respect and life. There is no tolerance of things when a toe is stepped out of line. It is immediately placed back in line as if nothing had. Why can’t we do that in our own community? Why is it that when a tragedy happens in our neighborhoods, homes and schools that we shrug it off like it is a way of life? It will only be a way of life if we let it. I understand that it happens all the time but even I made myself adapt to it and grow, constantly, used to it.

The educators do not care for they know where we will be and they aren’t willing to pull us back for we are too deep in fear to love ourselves. They have the noose around our necks and we scream, “Tighter! Pull it tighter!” How can you kill someone who is already dead? Not dead physically but dead mentally and spiritually. Sometimes I feel as though nothing matters at all. But then the sun that shines on my skin reminds me that God still smiles in the midst of it all. It keeps me sane in all of this madness. It gives me hope that the blood of my brothers and sisters spilt will not go in vain but it shall go towards the tears of the martyrs who died for us. The blood will be the key to the door of a revelation that shall move the black community. That day will be great because we will have nothing. They know we will have nothing. Nothing of the material but all that will be left is spiritual progression. It will be the only thing to take because man can not make soul nor can he take it.

LOVE AND RESPECT. I just wrote this piece as a reflection. I just wish to share it with you. Accept it and understand it.

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