Last October, at a gathering of 1,487 Greater Boston Interfaith Organization leaders, Somali mothers told stories of their children playing on an unfenced cliff at a local playground. In response to their organizing, City Councilor Kim Janey answered their call to become the “champion of Jeep Jones Park.” Janey organized a walk-through of the park with Boston’s Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, Christopher Cook, and negotiated with the Mayor’s Office to put $100,000 for improvements to Jeep Jones Park into the city’s upcoming capital budget.
From 2009 to 2014, GBIO leaders, including then-GBIO President Rev. Hurmon Hamilton of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, fought and won a battle to replace the deteriorating Dearborn Middle School with a $73 million, state-of-the-art grade 6-12 STEM academy for students in its under-served Roxbury neighborhood.
In 2018, Rev. Hamilton returned to Boston to attend Mayor Walsh’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, but the celebration became a demand for action as key staff positions remained unfunded. Nearly 225 GBIO leaders were present to demand full funding. In response, some positions were filled and GBIO and Roxbury Presbyterian Church continue to monitor progress.