Building a vibrant community in one of Boston’s most diverse neighborhoods
Nuestra Comunidad is replacing vacant lots with healthy homes in Roxbury
Meet the finalists for The Atlantic’s Renewal Awards, underwritten by Allstate. These individuals are the forces behind the 25 nonprofits competing for $100,000 in grant money. Five winners will be announced March 30 at The Renewal Summit in Washington, on TheAtlantic.com, and here, on The Renewal Project.
Nuestra Comunidad is a community development corporation in one of Boston’s most diverse neighborhoods. Executive Director David Price leads a team “devoted to building the wealth and enhancing the physical, economic, and social well-being” of the residents of Roxbury in southwest Boston.
The nonprofit is working to develop high quality affordable housing and encouraging homeownership. Nuestra Comunidad, Spanish for “our community,” also engages with community members to find solutions for preventing crime and growing small businesses.
This questionnaire has been edited for length and clarity.
Describe your community:
Roxbury is a diverse community at the heart of Boston.
When did you start your community work?
I was a volunteer organizer with a local Community Development Corporation (CDC) in my neighborhood at the time. I worked on the mayoral campaigns of community activist and State Rep Mel King in 1979 and 1983. I started working in the CDC field in 1995 as executive director of Tent City Corporation in 1995.
What inspired you to do this work?
I was inspired by my work with the local CDC because they were the only organization doing anything about vacant lots in the neighborhood. After studying real estate law, I spent a brief time at a real estate law firm before getting into the CDC world professionally.
What ways are you helping to make your community thrive?
We’re replacing vacant lots with healthy homes and vibrant communities along Boston’s Blue Hill Avenue and in Dudley Square. We’re also engaging with people to foster new neighborhood leaders.
What do you love about your community?
My family lives here and it’s a great place to live, work, and play. The neighborhood has great history, parks, cultural institutions, and diversity of people.
What’s one thing you want outsiders to know about your community?
Roxbury is the most welcoming, friendly neighborhood I’ve ever seen.
What leader or leaders inspired you?
Long-time community activist, former State Rep, and two time mayoral candidate Mel King has been a big inspiration. Mel made affordable housing a priority for Boston. His legacy continues with the Mel King Institute, which provides training and technical assistance to CDCs and resident leaders.