East­ern Shore Net­work for Change hon­ored

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — The East­ern Shore Net­work for Change con­tin­ues to build off its mo­men­tum gained from the July 2017 “Re­flec­tions on Pine” events, and the work of the or­ga­ni­za­tion has gained at­ten­tion from An­napo­lis.

This July, Win­ston Wilkin­son, chief of staff for the Gover­nor’s Of­fice of Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tives, pre­sented ESNC founders Dion Banks and Kisha Pet­ti­co­las with a Gover­nor’s Ci­ta­tion for the work the or­ga­ni­za­tion does for the com­mu­nity.

“The East­ern Shore Net­work for Change does a great job of rais­ing aware­ness for com­mu­nity re­lated is­sues af­fect­ing Dorch­ester County and its res­i­dents through cre­ative works aimed at in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­cat­ing while em­pow­er­ing both so­cial and eco­nomic change,” Wilkin­son said.

Dur­ing a four-day “Re­flec­tions on Pine: Cam­bridge com­mem­o­rates civil rights, com­mu­nity and change” event in July

2017, ESNC hon­ored Har­riet Tub­man, Glo­ria Richard­son Dan­dridge, Fred Jack­son and Mayor Victoria Jack­son-Stan­ley for chal­leng­ing the sta­tus quo in Cam­bridge, to­day and in gen­er­a­tions past.

The 2017 event also fea­tured a pre­sen­ta­tion by “Civil War on Race Street” au­thor Dr. Peter Levy who showed the July 1967 fire, which dev­as­tated the African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity in Cam­bridge, was not caused by a riot, but was due to the fire de­part­ment not com­ing to put the fire out.

“It is an honor for the gover­nor’s of­fice to honor our work,” Banks said. “We are telling Mary­land’s story, and re­claim­ing Mary­land’s nar­ra­tive. We are po­si­tion­ing peo­ple to show how Mary­land played a role in na­tional pol­i­tics.”

ESNC also pro­vides schol­ar­ships, com­mu­nity sup­port and ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties.

In Fe­bru­ary, Maple Ele­men­tary School stu­dent Josiah Harris re­ceived a schol­ar­ship from ESNC and the Cam­bridge Elks to at­tend a week-long STEM ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram at the Univer­sity of Mary­land. Later the same month, Pet­ti­co­las, Banks and Jack­son-Stan­ley vis­ited Ethiopia to speak about civil rights in Dorch­ester County.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion sup­ported the in­au­gu­ral Groove City Cul­ture Fest in Au­gust on Pine Street. With sup­port from the Dorch­ester County Health De­part­ment, ESNC cre­ated The Pine Street Walk­ing Tour A Story of Com­mu­nity, Faith, Hope and Change.

The tour in­cludes 14 stops on High, Pine, Cedar, Race and Poplar streets to high­light African-Amer­i­can her­itage in Cam­bridge.

“It is in­cred­i­ble hum­bling Gov. Larry Ho­gan would rec­og­nize our work over this last year here in Cam­bridge,” Pet­ti­co­las said. “We hope that this at­ten­tion to our projects brings at­ten­tion to the Pine Street com­mu­nity, and helps to fos­ter the change we are work­ing so hard to cre­ate.”

East­ern Shore Net­work for Change’s new­est ini­tia­tive is the first-ever book club, “The Year of Read­ing.”

There will be four books in the first year of the book club. The first book to be dis­cussed will be Levy’s “Civil War on Race Street.” The au­thor will come to Cam­bridge on Thurs­day, Sept. 20, and that dis­cus­sion will be broad­cast live on Face­book.

“We are ex­cited to be able to bring au­thors to our com­mu­nity to dis­cuss their works,” Banks said. “We are hop­ing that th­ese dis­cus­sions will be unique op­por­tu­ni­ties for our com­mu­nity to come to­gether and ex­change ideas.”

Lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions have signed on to help with this en­deavor, in­clud­ing Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools and the Dorch­ester County Li­brary.

ESNC’s mis­sion is to raise aware­ness of is­sues in Dorch­ester County and to work cre­atively with the com­mu­nity to in­form, educate and fos­ter change that leads to so­cial and eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.es­nc­cam­bridgemd.com.

For more in­for­ma­tion about The Pine Street Walk­ing Tour, visit www. vis­it­dorch­ester.org/wp­con­tent/up­loads/PineStWalk­ingTour.pdf.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Gover­nor’s Of­fice of Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tives Chief of Staff Win­ston Wilkin­son presents the East­ern Shore Net­work for Change Dion Banks and Kisha Pet­ti­co­las with a Gover­nor’s Ci­ta­tion.

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