Our Blog

Welcoming a New Executive Director

i Dec 31st No Comments by

December 2015

Dear Margaret Fuller House Friends,

As we head into 2016, we have some terrific news: the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House has a new Executive Director! Christina Alexis comes to us with more than a decade of experience in the non-profit world, and with a deep appreciation for the history of the House and its role in The Port.

Christina steps into the position following the retirement of Barbara Kibler, whose leadership brought the MFNH from troubled times to the flourishing organization it is today. The Board of Directors is indebted to Barbara for her years of hard work and dedication, and looks forward to building on her legacy, and strengthening the House even further, through Christina’s leadership.

In selecting Christina, the Board completed a rigorous three-month process involving a seven-person board committee, as well as input from staff and community members. With experience in both the non-profit world as well as the private sector, Christina stood out for her vision, her leadership skills, her creativity, and her commitment to making our historic settlement house the very best partner to The Port it can be.

Christina’s experience in both management and fundraising make her well suited to lead the MFNH. At Northeastern University, where she began her career, Christina opened a new Alumni Center, and built the foundation for a successful alumni program. Over the next decade, she served in increasingly senior level roles, contributing her expertise to community service and health and human service organizations, including City Year, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Year Up. At the Dimock Center, where she served as Director of Development, External Relations, and Government Relations, Christina launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign.

The Board looks forward to formally introducing Christina to you, our community, in an event sometime this winter. In the meantime, please stop by and say hello. Christina’s first day as Executive Director is January 4. And with that, a new era at the historic Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House begins.

With all of our best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year – and many thanks, as always, for your support.

Mauricio Gomez

President of the Board

Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House

The 13th Annual PORT Community Pride Day

i Sep 16th No Comments by

On Saturday September 12, neighbors, friends and family came together to celebrate the culture and diversity of the Port Community, as well as learn about various resources and services. People of all ages and backgrounds enjoyed the neighborhood cookout, music, arts & crafts, and amusements available. We especially loved the talented face painters and of course, the moon bounces and pony rides are always a hit!

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Children enjoying the Moon Bounces

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Pony Rides!


Opening up the performances of the day, were the talented young people from the Community Art Center who graced us with their skills in dance. Our friends JG and the Meggatones played our favorite soul and R&B hits. Also performing was the Fred Woodward Collective, a group of truly amazing instrumentalists. Linda McClean from Pentecostal Tabernacle got the kids involved in the fun by pulling them all up on stage for a dance! Closing out the day was the Hip Hop Transformation Project, a group of Cambridge teens learning about the history and production of hip hop. They were a great group of energetic talent and we look forward to seeing where they go next!

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Kids take the stage to DANCE!

Community Art Center Girls Dance

Community Art Center Youth Perform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basketball tournament was, as always, a major highlight. Congratulations to this year’s winning teams!

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The event was planned in partnership with Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, MIT, the City of Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Public Health Department, the City of Cambridge Department of Human Services, Port Action Group, Area 4 Coalition, the Community Art Center, and Pentecostal Tabernacle.

We want to give a shout-out to Jaclyn Rose of the Cambridge Police Department, who was crucial in coordinating with the Department, and to Matt Nelson of CPD, who served as grill-master in the hot sun all day long! A special thanks to the Cambridge Fire Department, as well as to Ducky Downs of Cambridge Public Works, who worked tirelessly in cleaning up the event. To all of our amazing volunteers from Cambridge Running Club, Lesley University and the community at large, a huge thank you for making this day happen!

We hope everyone has a great autumn and we look forward to all the fun events in our neighborhood to come!

Check out more photos from the event on our Facebook page and in the Photo Albums!

LIT’s Make Banner in Response to Neighborhood Violence

i Sep 9th No Comments by

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In response to the recent killing of Rasaun Nichols, the Leaders in Training decided to send a message of peace and love to their neighborhood. They worked together to design and paint a banner to let the Port community know that they- and the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House as a whole- stand united with the community, not only in sadness and anger but also in love and hope.

 

 

lits group photo

 

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End of Summer Party

i Sep 9th No Comments by

On Friday, August 28th, the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House celebrated the end of a wonderful Summer Explorations Program with the annual End Of Summer Party. It was a beautiful day filled with good food and fun. Families gathered to watch the kids show off their skills through a talent show, dance performances and displays of their artwork. The Leaders in Training Program for the summer came to a close as well and the LITs helped out and reflected on their experiences throughout the summer.

 

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Salsa in the Park

i Sep 3rd No Comments by

On August 7th at the Clement Morgan Park, MetaMovements, in collaboration with the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, hosted “Salsa in the Park”.

MetaMovements is “an entrepreneurial artist collective dedicated to using the arts as a tool for positive transformation of self and community, creating bonds, fostering meaningful relationships and creating lasting social change.” Click here to learn more.

A free and popular outdoor summer series for all ages, backgrounds and abilities, Salsa In The Park is an innovative community engagement project that transforms public space for public benefit through music, dance and education. A public health initiative, featuring movement as a key to wellness, it draws over 500 people from all walks of life every Monday evening from 6pm to 9pm for salsa instruction (dance and percussion), high quality performances showcasing a variety of cultures and genres, social dancing and health and wellness promotion. MetaMovement’s weekly Salsa In The Park is held at South End’s Blackstone Community Center courtyard every summer.

The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House has been fortunate enough to collaborate with MetaMovements, who taught dance lessons to Margaret Fuller House youth throughout the summer and helped us in hosting our very own Salsa in the Park! It was fantastic evening with a turnout of hundreds of folks of all ages. We want to thank MetaMovements and look forward to further collaboration with this wonderful organization.

Stayed tuned for updates on future events!

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Job Announcement: Executive Director

i Sep 2nd No Comments by
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Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House
Job Announcement
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 
 
The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House is an historic and vibrant community-based organization in Cambridge that provides resources and support to more than 4,000 people annually.  Our mission is to strengthen and empower youth, families and community residents, and to address the economic, social and political inequities that shape the lives and futures of Port/Area IV residents. 
 
A fixture in the community since 1902, the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (MFNH) is now looking for a new Executive Director to strengthen our foundation and lead us into the future. She/he will be a strategic thinker, a collaborative leader, an exceptional communicator, and a strong advocate for and alongside the Port/Area IV community.  
 
The new Executive Director will work closely with a strong Board of Directors to implement MFNH’s mission and strategic goals. She/he will manage daily operations and provide oversight for a range of programs: a busy food pantry, enrichment programs for youth and seniors, a drop-in technology center, community outreach and organizing, and a variety of community partnerships.  Key responsibilities include financial management, fundraising and sustainability, program development, community engagement, strengthening of partnerships, and advocacy for low-income Port/Area IV residents in particular. 
 
The ideal candidate possesses: 
 
  • A strong background in community leadership, with an emphasis in working with an ethnically diverse urban population
  • A proven track record for relationship building among different stakeholders
  • Expertise in fundraising in an evolving non-profit  landscape
  • Experience in nonprofit management, including strong collaboration with Board of Directors
  • Familiarity with the needs and institutions of Cambridge or non-profit work experience in a similar environment  
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt an organization to the evolving needs of its constituency
  • Capacity to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment while collaborating and keeping the organization’s mission and goals in view
 
Diverse candidates from the Port/Area IV Community and Cambridge are encouraged to apply.  
 
Job description details are available at: https://goo.gl/bsNnUE  
  
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and interviews will begin in early October. To apply, send a resume, cover letter and questions or inquiries to:  EDsearch@margaretfullerhouse.org
 
The MFNH is an Affirmative Action, equal opportunity employer.  We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religious belief, or sexual orientation.

LIT’s Reflect on their Summer

i Aug 26th No Comments by

As the summer draws to an end, the Leaders in Training took some time out to write reflections about their experiences in the program.

 Some of the LITs mentioned what they learned working with the kids and how they grew:

“I learned that at the end of the day, respect is better than being the kids’ favorite.”

“Through the LIT experience I’ve learned that patience and self-control were the most important aspects for me. Patience helped me work better with the kids and self-control helped me seem more mature towards them. These two aspects as an LIT helped me grow as a person.”

Keke Dorsainvil

vicky

 “I think I did grow this summer. I developed relationships with kids of all ages and learned how they see everything, which was pretty fun because their perspectives are way different than ours.”

Vicky Angeles

 

 

 

sahhi

“Something that was great about this summer was spending time with the kids. I say this because I love those kids. They’re fun and energetic. Even though sometimes they don’t listen they are still good kids. I love going to work knowing that I get to play with the kids. That is what made my summer great.”

Sahhi Puckerin

 

 

Heizy

“This summer I grew to be more patient because for two weeks I worked with the 9-12 age group and they were a lot to handle. They were a lot to handle because that age group is close to our age and we have to be a little bit more mature and have boundaries with the children. That was a good way to help me be more patient because you always have to know when to play and when to be serious.”

Heizy Mejia

marzuq

“One of the things I learned this summer was controlling my anger. From working here, I think I got more open-minded.”

“The best part of this camp is meeting new kids and understanding their character traits. My favorite experience was playing sports with the kids.”

Marzuq Puckerin

 

They reflected on their field trips with the kids:

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“My favorite experience this summer was going to the Aquarium with the kids and seeing how fascinated and engaged they were looking at the fish and different sea animal life.”

Kiana Laws

 

 

They also reflected on their own field trips: (SkyZone, Laser Tag, Movies-Jurassic World, Watercountry)

Nellisa

“We use the money we raised from the LIT Bashments to help us go on these trips, and not only did we raise the money through our hard work (and those who contributed), but we had fun doing it also!”

Nellisha Leonce

 

 

“Some field trips were the first time I went/did something. It was really fun doing the field trips with the kids and to be able to experience new things.”

Vicky Angeles

And how the summer went overall:

haley“I really liked the aspect of teamwork in the LIT program- working together and doing everything as a team.”

Haley Favreau

 

 

 

 

“Overall I think that this summer was filled with new experiences and successes and I’m glad I was a part of it.”

Kiana Laws

 

The L.I.T. Summer Bashment

i Aug 4th No Comments by

Over the course of 2 weeks, a group of aspiring leaders know as the Leaders in Training Crew over at the Margaret Fuller House planned, organized and hosted Margaret Fuller’s first ever teen party on July 23rd, 2015. With the help of Niah Carvalho, the assistant supervisor of the LITs, and Jenny Levine, the main supervisor of these leaders, they were able to raise nearly $800 at the famous “L.I.T Summer Bashment”. The LITs sold almost 100 tickets and had over 150 teens from all over Eastern Massachusetts paying to get in at the door to dance to the amazing mixes by Maxwell Elgart, also known as DJ Mad Max. They were also assisted by a few other counselors of the MFNH Summer Program staff with chaperoning. The bashment brought the teens of the community together in fun and turned out to be a booming success.

The reactions of the teenagers after the party were maybe the best part of it all. 15 year-old, Peterlee Dorlelan, said on the Facebook page for the event, “The party was a blast!”  Karenah Harewood called it, “a LITuation” and said the “L.I.T crew did a great job.” Quincy West said, “this party was lit and it was a great turn up. You will be seeing me at the next one.”

So, why did the LITs throw this party anyways? Well, the young leaders were aspiring to go on many field trips to reward themselves for all the hard work they do around the MFNH such as working with the children in the summer program, cleaning the program and also assisting with all the major events of the organization. They wanted to be able to make money and have fun. Now that they’ve raised this money, they’re able to go on amazing trips and do amazing activities at places such as Laser Quest, Canobie Lake and maybe even Six Flags.

Written by Niah Carvalho

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Margaret Fuller’s Birthday Cookout !

i Jun 2nd No Comments by

On Saturday May 23, 2015 the MFNH community gathered for a cookout to celebrate Margaret Fuller’s birthday. The event brought together over a hundred people including children, families, seniors, teens and folks from the local homeless shelters. Also in attendance was DJ Derek Evans who provided the sound and lively atmosphere for the event

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DJ Derek Evans

as well as Sarah Boyer, author of the incredible book “We are the Port”. Sarah was kind enough to raffle off two free signed copies of her book as well as provide copies to purchase.

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Toni Bee and Sarah Boyer

Cambridge City Councillor Marc McGovern shared some kind words about the house and about Barbara Kibler, the Executive Director who will soon be retiring. Longtime neighbor and Emeritus Board member, Stephanie Morris also blessed us with her presence.

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Barbara Kibler and Stephanie Morris

Marc and some MFNH kids

Marc McGovern and some MFNH kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The theme of the cookout was community and folks were invited to write on a poster one word describing what community means to them. People were also invited to think about and share their fondest memories of the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House.

 

“Community” Poster

 

Overall the event was a great success and we look forward to having more community gatherings this summer and especially to our upcoming Sweet Soul Supper on June 18th! Here are some more photos from the event!

 

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Port Street Worker Position Available

i Apr 21st No Comments by

MFNH logoDear Colleagues and Neighbors,

 

The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in collaboration with the Port Action Group and with the support of the City of Cambridge seeks an experienced Street Worker for the Port/Area 4 neighborhood of Cambridge. The Port Street Worker will be a crucial link to young adults (17-32) not associated or connected to services and to opportunities present in the community.

 

We are seeking a person with strong interpersonal skills, an ability to work independently and someone who has extensive knowledge of the Port/Area 4 and of available Cambridge and other resources. This is a full time position and requires flexible work hours evenings, weekends and days.

 

A committee including members of the Port Action Group, staff of the Margaret Fuller House, Port community members, and Workforce staff of the City of Cambridge will be interviewing candidates. Resumes will be accepted up until a candidate is chosen. We hope to hire someone within the next six-eight weeks.

 

Attached below is the job description for the Street Worker position. Interested candidates are invited to submit resumes as soon as possible to Barbara Kibler:  bkibler@margaretfullerhouse.org or to the MFNH, 71 Cherry St. Cambridge, 02139.

 

streetworker Job Description 2015