By Harrison Zeiberg, SCI AmeriCorps Fellow serving with NFSJ
On Monday, January 16th, the Network for Social Justice and our community partners were honored to welcome hundreds of residents from Winchester and the surrounding area to the 4th annual MLK Day of Community Service at Winchester High School! Attendees of all ages were able to actively engage with over 25 student and community groups working on equity and inclusion in the Winchester community, while social justice book reading and crafts for young children were also available. Attendees heard the inspiring words of keynote speaker Manuel J. Fernandez, Chief Equity Officer of Cambridge Public Schools, learned about the recipient of our all-community service project, and heard a musical performance by Winchester High School student, and former NFSJ intern, Ayesha Ghosh. To round off our mainstage, Reverend Heather Janules of the Winchester Unitarian Society led the community in a collective Black Lives Matter flag rededication ceremony.
Working across Winchester, the Network and community partners organized a month-long collection drive to support the Malden Warming Center, a local non-profit that serves people who are experiencing homelessness during the winter months. Thanks to the generosity of the Winchester community, we completely filled a truck – generously donated by local Winchester business, Bespoke – with more than 40 boxes, worth well over $8,000. According to Malden Warming Center Board President Emily Granoff, the magnitude of this generosity will have a clear and direct benefit to many folks.
We are extremely grateful to all of our local sponsors, including event sponsors Rotary Club of Winchester and Winchester Unitarian Society Youth Group (WUSYG), mainstage sponsors Barrett Sotheby and the Winchester Cooperative Bank, in-kind sponsors Bespoke of Winchester and FAN of Winchester, and special thanks to the Winchester High School faculty and administration and Winchester Unitarian Society.
Any event that the Network organizes would be impossible without the support of our volunteers, and this is especially true for our MLK Day of Service. It is only by the Winchester communities’ generosity of time, energy, and money, that events like this can take place. You can support future community programs here.