ACE Blog

Updates and appreciations

September 24, 2015

New faces this fall
We're excited to be working with some new folks this year: Nina, a Youth Organizer elected by REEP in August and Giselle, a Life Together Fellow working on membership and organizing. We also have two law student interns: Leslie, who will be working with returning intern Evan on environmental justice policy and legislation, regulatory reform, and affordable housing issues. We look forward to sharing their work with you.

Congratulations, Haley House! A decade of delectable excellence
Congratulations to Haley House Bakery Café on their 10-year anniversary in Dudley Square! We remember when the café was just an idea, and your organizers talked to people and organizations in the area to see if there was a need for a space to gather and break bread. (We said yes!)

Now, after a decade of providing job and skills training to community members, Haley House is expanding and opening a new worker co-op, Dudley Dough, on October 5. Much love to our friends at Haley House for their dedication to delicious food and community, commitment to social and economic justice, and many years of partnership and solidarity.

Have you renewed?
It's that time of the year - renew your membership with ACE with a donation of $5 or more. Not a member yet? Sign up today!

Congrats newly elected Youth Organizers! Looking to get involved?
Join us at our volunteer nights this fall, which happen every other Wednesday. The next volunteer night is on Wednesday, September 30, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. when we'll be calling to invite members to our Annual Meeting.

Also, help build support for transit justice: Our T Riders Union is looking for volunteers to collect signatures for our transit justice platform. Contact us to learn more.

Don't miss out
We're looking forward to seeing you on Thursday, October 29, for our Annual Meeting. Join us for dinner, elect new Board members and learn about our plan and goals for the next year.

Thursday, October 29, 2015
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
First Church of Roxbury (White Church)
10 Putnam Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Note: To be eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting, members must have volunteered for at least 15 hours this year. This includes time spent attending actions and events like monthly member meetings, youth pass marches and Jammin' for Justice.

We're hiring!

September 24, 2015

We're hiring! Join us in working for environmental justice!

We are accepting applications for a full-time Development Director.

The Development Director will manage all aspects of ACE's fundraising efforts, including membership, annual giving, major gifts, special projects and events, planned giving, government and foundation grants.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Women and people of color strongly encouraged to apply.

View the full job description on our website and apply by sending a resume and cover letter to

Climate quilt shows community solutions

September 24, 2015

Youth Organizer Asia with our quilt patch Last month, we participated in a climate justice quilt project organized by the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), of which ACE is a member. As part of CJA's Our Power campaign, allied organizations across the country designed a patch to reflect community solutions to the devastating impacts of climate change.

Our quilt square is inspired by the message that it takes roots to weather the storm. The tree anchors the image as well as our work - in our strategy sessions, members map campaigns on drawings of trees, listing root issues, possible solutions and the effects of change.

The tree's branches represent our three programs, and the leaves, our campaigns that grow a movement of people for environmental and social justice. Together, we are breaking through entrenched and concrete systems to build a greener, more sustainable future. Our work together is rooted in love and community - based in Dudley Square, we're also in the heart of Boston's black community, and the geographic center of the city.

The completed quilt arrived in New Orleans on August 29 to mark the 10-year commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. As we remembered this tragedy, the quilt symbolized the ongoing work to build resilient communities in the face of the devastating impacts of climate change.

About Our Power: Comprised of community groups across the U.S., the Our Power campaign works to end the era of extreme energy, create millions of green jobs and implement a just transition to local, sustainable economies. We envision communities with quality public transportation, affordable and durable housing, clean energy, regional food systems, healthy ecosystems, and zero waste.

Improving MBTA service

September 24, 2015

Discussing how to improve MBTA service In August, our T Riders Union (TRU) and Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition (YAC) met with MBTA officials to discuss improvements as the agency looks to update its Service Planning Policy. The policy guides the rules and priorities for the T's decision-making when it comes to service and we wanted to make sure the new version includes concerns from transit-dependent riders.

Members shared experiences as MBTA riders, including our most difficult trips and how they could be improved. We discussed what it means to make public transportation accessible for everyone and ways to establish more reliable, on-time and frequent service.

Thank you members for coming and sharing your stories and ideas! Stay tuned for a draft version of the new policy later this year and more opportunities to provide input.

Strengthening EJ policy in Massachusetts

September 24, 2015

In August, ACE members and supporters gathered to provide input to Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) on their draft Environmental Justice Policy. We raised significant concerns with the draft and shared ideas to strengthen it in the next round of revisions.

Sharing comments with the EEA Developing an EJ policy is one of the requirements of the Executive Order on Environmental Justice - a landmark order we secured last November - to protect the health, safety and environment of the most vulnerable residents of the Commonwealth. The EEA is the first state agency to draft an EJ policy and we look forward to working with MassDOT, Housing and Economic Development, and others to create inclusive and effective policies.

The EEA will accept comments at a final listening session in Brockton. Comments may also be submitted by mail or online by October 9.

Thank you to everyone who came to share your ideas! We were thrilled to see long-time members and new supporters working together to shape the direction of EJ policy in Massachusetts. Stay tuned for future opportunities to get involved.

We have the #Right2Remain

September 24, 2015

As a part of Right to the City (RTC) - Boston, we are organizing a citywide assembly on Saturday, October 3 on our #Right2Remain. RTC member groups have been working to keep housing affordable, create a just cause eviction policy and prevent displacement. Now, it's time for Boston's communities of color and working class neighborhoods to come together to build power and take collective action!

Join us for the #Right2Remain Boston Assembly

The event includes a morning plenary to discuss housing, zoning, jobs, land, and transit policies, and an opportunity to share your thoughts on the citywide displacement crisis with city council candidates. The assembly will culminate with a massive direct action.

Please register if you plan on attending. Childcare will be provided.

Saturday, October 3, 2015
9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Vietnamese American Community Center (VACC)
42 Charles Street
Dorchester, MA 02122

Join us to remain, reclaim and rebuild our communities!

Hundreds attend 19th annual Youth Summit

August 19, 2015

Sharing at a workshop during the afternoon session In July, hundreds of youth in the Boston area came together at our 19th annual Youth Summit to build power for youth and environmental justice. The theme of this year's summit was creating a Safe Zone where young people could escape from violence and other threats we face in our neighborhoods.

"People liked and understood the theme," said REEP Youth Organizer Asia Fleming. "Energy was high and it was a good way for youth to meet other youth."

We held workshops on gentrification and displacement, capitalism, body image, the prison industrial complex, police brutality, sexism in video games and more. Youth celebrated talents in our open mic by singing, reading poetry and dancing.

Thank you for coming out to learn, share, perform, make art and brainstorm changes we can create in our communities. Special thanks to our partners at Bikes Not Bombs, Chinese Youth Initiative, The City School and Youth Against Mass Incarceration for leading outstanding workshops. We look forward to continuing to work with you!

Discussing neighborhood changes in Roxbury

August 19, 2015 Discussing neighborhood changes at Hyjack dah Hood

In June, members and residents joined us at Hyjack dah Hood to talk about gentrification and displacement in our neighborhood over food, games, art projects and workshops. We discussed the impacts of structural racism on land control, food justice, and public transportation, and addressed changes we want to see in Roxbury.

We also talked about parts of our community we want to bring back - including some long-time residents' memories of growing apples and pears in Roxbury - and parts of our neighborhood and culture we want to preserve as widespread development brings rapid changes.

Thank you to Bikes Not Bombs, Right to the City - Boston, and Youth Against Mass Incarceration for partnering with us!

REEP organized this multigenerational gathering as part of our campaign to turn the tide against gentrification and displacement in our neighborhood. Stay tuned for ways to get involved!

Fighting gentrification and displacement

August 19, 2015 Ferdinand building, 2012-2015

As Roxbury experiences increasing development and rising housing costs, we are pushing back on a major issue facing EJ communities here and across the country: gentrification and displacement.

Over the past year, we have been speaking with residents to identify trends and concerns in the neighborhood, and doorknocked in Dudley to survey the impacts of gentrification.

In April, we partnered in Roxbury Stand Against Gentrification, a community forum where residents shared stories and organizing strategies. In June, we held Hyjack dah Hood in Dudley Square to explore residents' vision for a just future. With Right to the City's #Right2Remain campaign, we are working for a Just Cause Eviction Policy that will offer basic protection to renters, who make up the majority of Boston residents.

Major development projects are transforming Dudley Square. With the Ferdinand building redeveloped for the school department, the expansion of the Tropical Foods grocery store, the demolition of Bartlett Yard in preparation for mixed-income housing and a proposed 25-story tower with market-rate units, among others, hundreds more people will be living and working here.

Save the date: ACE's Annual Meeting

August 19, 2015 Enjoying our 2014 Annual Meeting

Be a part of shaping ACE's work! Join us at our Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 29. We'll elect new Board members, share our plan and goals for the next year, and celebrate our recent victories.

Interested in being on the Board (or know people who would be)? Nominations are due August 21! Contact us to learn more and receive a nomination form.

Dinner will be served. Translation and childcare available with advance request.

Thursday, October 29, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist First Church of Roxbury (White Church)
10 Putnam Street
Roxbury, MA 02119