Payette and our long-time collaborators at Beyond Walls joined with The Trustees and Social Impact Collective to support a community-led initiative in Roxbury: The Black Panther Commemoration project uses public art to highlight the local history of social-justice activism. Project artists Killion Mokwete (SIC, Northeastern) and Parke MacDowell (Payette) worked with students and neighborhood residents to develop and execute the project.
Alonzo Colon, Payette Intern, Summer 2023
Being part of a meaningful fabrication project for the Black Panther Winthrop Street Community Garden was an experience I will cherish forever. As an advocate for social justice in Roxbury, it was a privilege to contribute to this project by crafting plaques that would speak about the community’s rich history, and the significance and necessity of social justice. These plaques will be displayed in the garden, conveying messages of resilience and empowerment.
It was a fulfilling opportunity to participate in the installation process of the front gate for the garden, an entrance to a space where positive change and growth take root. The process was not just about building a gate; it represented breaking down barriers and creating a welcoming atmosphere for everyone.
A few weeks later, the construction work was complete, and an opening ceremony was held. The event was nothing short of inspiring, where the community engagement team of the Boston Celtics shared their commitment to community outreach and social impact. Local speakers emphasized the importance of locally grown food and how the garden will positively affect the neighborhood. The air was filled with hope and excitement as we celebrated the fruition of months of hard work and dedication.
Participating in this project was not only about making plaques or installing a gate; it was about being part of a movement that aimed to promote social justice and empower a community. Witnessing the impact of the garden and its potential to transform lives was truly rewarding. The opening ceremony set the standard for future events, reminding me of the power of collective efforts to bring about positive change. The Winthrop Street Community Garden will forever hold a special place in my heart, as it taught me that small acts of compassion and dedication can lead to significant transformations in society.