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Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Children stoning refugees spark community response

I had to share a posting from Sarah Judd tonight on her FPF neighborhood forum in Burlington’s Old North End…

Please join us for the opening of the ONE Woman photography show this Friday, January 30th, at the Burlington College Community Gallery, 95 North Ave. in Burlington.  The Gallery will be open from 3-9 p.m., with a reception from 6-8 p.m.  If you can’t make the opening, you can see the show at the dates and times below, or by calling Burlington College at 862-9616 to make an appointment:

Friday, January 30, 3-9 p.m.
Saturday, January 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, February 1, 10 a.m. -4 p.m.
Monday, February 2, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, February 3, 8:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
Friday, February 6, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

The ONE Woman photography project is a display of 200 photographs taken by 170 women living, working and learning in the Old North End.  Project participants included women who have lived in the ONE for two months and women who have lived here all of their lives.  Our youngest participant was 10, and the oldest was 85. The project, I hope, is a document of women’s lives in the ONE, illustrating who our unique neighbors are and how we live, and shows connecting links between the diverse groups of women from many backgrounds living in the same community.

This project was inspired, in part, by a Front Porch Forum post by Bridget Burns, who witnessed a group of children throwing rocks at a Somali family last April [emphasis added]. I thought if I could show who we are living in the ONE, the things we all care about like our families, places we love, pets, streets, etc., this commonality and familiarity with each other would hopefully prevent things like the rock throwing incident from happening again.  We live in a great place, filled with great people, and I hope the show reflects this.  So thanks, for your post, Bridget.

I also got several participants for the project through a post on the FPF, so thanks FPF ONECentral and the ONE women who participated!

This makes my day (week, month!).  The posting that inspired this artist has haunted me for months.  This is the power of a tool like Front Porch Forum.  The problem was shared on FPF and much discussion ensued.  Out of that (and other sources of inspiration) came this art project.  The artist used FPF to pull her project together and bring in collaborators.  And, now, she’s using FPF to share word of it with hundreds of nearby neighbors.

UPDATE: Mike Ives filed a good piece about this show for Seven Days.  In part…

Judd’s inspiration came last April, when she read a post on the local listserv Front Porch Forum titled “Neighborhood Bigotry.” The post’s author, a twentysomething Old North End woman, reported seeing a group of boys throwing rocks at a family of Somali refugees. Judd, 42, a Connecticut native who grew up in a multiracial family, wondered if the incident would have occurred if the boys had known more about the immigrants they chose to terrorize.

Posted in: Burlington, Case Foundation, Citizen Journalism, Clay Shirky, Community Building, Democracy, Front Porch Forum, Knight Foundation, Local Online, MacArthur Fellows, Media, Neighborhood, Neighborhood Watch, social capital, Social Networking, Stories, Vermont


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