"Our Bowdoin/Geneva" Campaign
Early Monday evenings, when people are rushing home after a long day of work, school, and life responsibilities Bowdoin Street Health Center hosts a community group whose focus in on the change they want to see in their neighborhood.
This community group, diverse in race, color, age, and ethnicity, come together for the same reason: the care and concern of the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester.
Many of the residents have been actively involved in Bowdoin’s Violence Intervention & Prevention (VIP) Initiative. Will, an 18 year old youth who recently graduated high school, despite a history of trauma that includes losing a family member to violence a few years ago is participating. Meg, a patient of the health center, is engaged, because she just wants to see more in the community she has been in for so long, but which she doesn’t always feel apart of.
The Our Bowdoin/Geneva Campaign is a project of the National Forum’s Youth Violence Prevention Enhancement Grant. An initiative of the Obama administration, the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (National Forum) provides select cities with resources for planning and capacity building, an opportunity to inform and lead nationally, and the potential to leverage additional support of federal government and private funders. Boston was privileged to have been chosen as one of the six charter National Forum cities in 2010. Recently, Boston received a Department of Justice Enhancement Grant. A portion of that funding will provide the Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood an opportunity to create a community led “Our Bowdoin Geneva” social marketing campaign similar to the Our Mattapan campaign in 2013.
Residents, community leaders, and local service agencies (the Design Team) have been meeting since March to receive training, engage in planning and developing a campaign message, and testing, finalizing and disseminating this message in the Bowdoin/Geneva area. So far the group has come up with a main theme of “Celebrating Our Cultures”. With sub themes including: trauma & healing, celebrate cultural diversity, and unity & building bridges. These ideas are targeted to families, millennials and local youth. This project is being co-led by VIP Coordinator Matt Parker, former resident of the Bowdoin Geneva area, and the Boston Public Health Commission. The project is slated to launch in the summer of 2016.