Eastern Shore Network for Change honored
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.
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.