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.

 

 

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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/Area 4 Pride Day!

i Sep 18th No Comments by

On Saturday September 6th, neighbors, friends, and family came together to celebrate Peace & Pride in the Port Community. People of all ages enjoyed the neighborhood cook-out, arts & crafts, music, and amusements available. We especially loved the talented face painters, and of course the pony rides are always a hit!DSCN2076

The day’s performers included 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 see where they go next! Also performing was the Fred Woodard Collective who were simply put, a group of amazing instrumentalists. Closing out the day was of course, our friends JG and the MeggaTones who played the hits of today and yesterday.

The basketball tournament was a highlight, despite the extreme late summer heat! Congratulations to this year’s winning teams!

Annie and Stephanie show their Port Pride!

Annie and Stephanie show their Port Pride!

We were so grateful to have Chandra Banks, Conflict Mediator of the Cambridge Public School District, on hand to address the crowd about peace and respect and caring for our neighbors. The Change for Peace Art Installation attracted new participants to express their peaceful ideas in an artistic way. Overall, it was a fun and peaceful day spent with friends and family.

The event was planned in partnership by the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, MIT, the City of Cambridge Police Department, City of Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs, Cambridge Public Health Department, the Port Action Group, the Area 4 Coalition, and Pentecostal Tabernacle.

Creative facepainting!

Creative facepainting!

A major thank you and shout out to all of our amazing volunteers who made this day happen! We hope everyone has a great autumn and we look forward to all of the fun events in our neighborhood to come.

Kensley Project Party Celebrates Neighborhood Strength

i Aug 26th No Comments by

This past Saturday, hundreds of people from Area 4 and across the city of Cambridge came to celebrate neighborhood strength at a block party in our backyard.

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Members of the Kensley Project enjoy a performance by Elon Flyfield

The half-day event featured musical performances and face painting, basketball playing and water dunking—all of it thanks to a new community group called the Kensley Project, and the many people who support it.

The Kensley Project formed earlier this summer to honor the memory of Kensley David, a 22-year-old father shot and killed on Windsor Street in July. In the aftermath of that tragedy, several of his friends committed to strengthening the quality of life for residents of Area 4/The Port—and they’ve been adding members to the group ever since.

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From left: Cambridge Police Lt. Dan Wagner; Kensley Project Co-Founder Santos Carrasquillo; and Cambridge Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan

We’ll bring you some of their voices in later posts, but for now, enjoy some photographs of the block party below. Thanks to all who organized it, supported it, attended it, and cleaned up after it—and see you next Saturday, Sept. 6, for Area 4 Pride Day!

To learn more about the Kensley Project, email kensleyproject@gmail.com.

End-of-Summer Cambridge Celebrations!

i Aug 13th No Comments by

There are lots of great events that the MFNH is proud to support! Come spend some time with the Margaret Fuller Family before summer ends!

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Friends of the Margaret Fuller House are welcome to join the staff and families of our Summer Explorations Program for an End-of-Summer Party! Just in time for our kids to get ready to go back to school, our friends from the Novartis CorporationDraper, and Amgen will be providing back-packs full of supplies! This party is a cookout and potluck, will feature a youth talent show, a slideshow of all the fun events and moments shared over the summer, and will offer the chance for parents to learn more about our after-school program.

This party will take place in the Margaret Fuller House parking lot on Wednesday, 8/27, from 5:30 – 7 pm.

8 /28: THE PORT CAFÉ

The Port Café is a new community meal right here in our neighborhood. This meal will offer delicious food and a space for fellowship and community-building with neighbors. Our friends who are organizing the Port Cafe need YOUR help, as neighbors, to give the Port Café flavor!

The first Port Café potluck dinner was on Monday July 28th the Margaret Fuller House, and it was a blast! The second Port Café will be a potluck dinner on Thursday, August 28th from 6:00-8:00 PM. Location is currently TBD but will be in the Port/Area 4 neighborhood!

Please take a moment to RSVP here. Feel free to invite a neighbor!

 

IMG_00259/6: PORT/AREA 4 PRIDE DAY: WHERE WE CREATE OUR PEACE & PRIDE 

The Port/Area 4 Pride Day is a free public event featuring activities and resources for all ages.

This year, Pride Day will feature an exhibition of the Community Art Center’s “Change for Peace,” an ongoing art-making and music series. Local community based organizations will be in attendance to offer information about critical resources and services ranging from health to housing to education. Popular events such as the basketball tournament and live music will be back this year. Children’s activities will include arts & crafts, face-painting, pony rides, and more!

Port/Area 4 Pride Day is Saturday, September 6, from noon to 5 at Clement G. Morgan Park (at the corner of Columbia and Washington Street) and surrounding streets, Cambridge, MA 02139. Rain Date is the following Saturday. 
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LIT Blog Corner!

i Jul 16th No Comments by

Back for a second week of blogging action, the LIT’s (Leaders in Training) interviewed the kids and staff!

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Downtime with games around the house!

LITS: What do you like about the house?

Isairee, age 8: Because the teachers interact with the kids.

LITS: What are you looking forward to?

Sayeeda, age 9: Going on more field trips!

LITs: What do you like about going to MFNH?

Darren, staff: Seeing the kids and having fun!

Check out this video interview with Thaila, age 7!

and this one with Charlotte from the staff!

 We hope you enjoyed this week’s LIT blog update!

Meet the MFNH Leaders in Training!

i Jul 9th No Comments by


This summer, we introduce a new feature: weekly blogging from the LITs (Leaders in Training)!

LIT's and Mark on the front steps!

LIT’s and Mark on the front steps!

We are the LIT program from MFNH!  

Our job is to help staff and the kids that go to the summer program.

It may be a job but it’s also going to help us in our lifestyle.

• To be able to work with kids better

• To improve working with others

• To try new things this summer

• To keep us off the streets

Stay tuned this summer for more updates from the LITs!!!

THANK YOU to all who came out last Thursday!

i Jun 26th No Comments by

We had a great time at the 9th Annual Sweet Soul Supper and we hope you did too. We hope all of you enjoyed the food, music, and fun and we hope to see everyone again next year! In the meantime, stop by the house, volunteer, or take a look at our new website to stay in touch with all of the happenings at our Neighborhood House.

This year’s Sweet Soul Supper was a grand success thanks to you and our many dedicated sponsors who help us provide critical services to the community. Through sponsorships, tickets, silent auction proceeds, and donations received at the event, we raised over $85,000-the most raised at a Sweet Soul Supper to date! We could not have done this without you and we look forward to many more years of partnership and mutual support.

We have a special request:  If someone in your group donated to our scholarship fund by credit card, please let us know right away.  Unfortunately, our credit card devices did not collect names and addresses of donors, and we want to thank these generous supporters as soon as possible!  Please have anyone who donated by credit card e-mail breilly@margaretfullerhouse.org and we will make sure to thank them promptly!

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Stay tuned for a full album of event photos!!