Education

Malden students walk out amid faculty changes, cite communication problems

By Taylor Lee Earlier this month, hundreds of Malden High School students walked out of classes midday to protest layoffs in the Malden public schools. The next day they held a vigil in downtown Malden attended by Malden residents and faculty. Protestors were concerned that 105 education faculty members did not have their contracts renewed.  “I will continue to march and protest in honor of this,” said Juliana Davidson, a senior at Malden High School. “I will not be silenced until resolutions are solved.” “We have 105 flameless candles, representative of the 105 educational relationships extinguished by the office of the superintendent,” said Malden Education Association President Deborah Gesualdo at the vigil. “We’re leaving them here to continue to represent every single one of those people. Every single one of those educators. As an acknowledgment of what will be lost in our district.” Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy released a statement on May 13 saying 63 “non-renewal letters” were sent out. She listed a variety of reasons, including performance-based cuts, low enrollment in classes and some faculty being temporary hires […]

Education

Local Tibetans mark New Year with celebration and a protest march

By Keren He Tibetans in the Boston area celebrated Losar, the Tibetan new year, with cultural food, dance, and conversation. Celebrations were later followed by a protest on March 10, as Tibetan community members rallied in Boston outside the Massachusetts State House against the brutal treatment of Tibetans under Chinese rule. March 3, 2022, marked the first day of the new year on the Tibetan lunisolar calendar, called “Losar,” which means “new year” in Tibetan. Tibetans living in the greater Boston area preserved this tradition by holding an annual ceremony for the most important holiday in their culture. Roughly 150 Tibetans gathered in a community center at Chelsea for morning prayers and later held an evening celebration in Watertown. Although no official census data exists, members of the Tibetan community say that there are approximately 800 – 1000 Tibetans living in the greater Boston area with the highest concentration in Malden and Medford. The Tibetan new year has been celebrated since the enthronement of the first emperor of Tibet, Nyatri Tsenpo, in 127 BC. This […]

Education

Why do Haitians eat squash soup on New Year’s Day?

By Jack Drees The New Year is celebrated by a series of traditions in the United States and around the world. For some, it’s a lively party on New Year’s Eve. For others, it’s the Times Square Ball Drop. For Massachusetts, it’s fireworks over the Boston Harbor. Haitians celebrate the New Year by enjoying a special soup. It is one of the first dishes they eat in the calendar year, and a tradition that reminds them of the liberation they have achieved. Haitians gained independence on January 1, 1804 after a 13-year revolution against France. Their independence arrived after the only successful slave revolt in history. Haiti became the second independent nation in the Americas and the first in Latin America. Yearly, in honor of the country’s freedom, the nation’s people and those with Haitian roots enjoy Soup Joumou, or squash soup. During France’s colonization of Haiti, Soup Joumou was often eaten by colonial masters and plantation owners. In many cases, this dish was prepared for these higher-class individuals by the slaves. While the masters […]

Arts

Malden Reads never stopped reading: 12th year kickoff will happen on Dec. 4

By Martha Bezzat Malden Reads, a community organization with the mission of literature for all, will launch its 2022 season with a kick-off event at the Winter Festival on Dec. 4 that showcases this year’s selection: An American Sunrise: Poems by Joy Harjo, the first Indigenous Poet Laureate of the United States. Malden Reads members are excited about the opportunity to showcase a book by an Indigenous author. “This is going to be a very unique reading experience,” said Meredith, a self-described “recent recruit” to Malden Reads. Meredith is an alum from NYC’s New School with a background in the poetry performance arts scene, which includes poetry readings and slams. “It’s a very different experience than reading a core curriculum by mostly white people. It will highlight the differences between Indigenous and colonial writing. It’s a great shift in perspective,” she continued. Felicia Ryan, another first-year steering committee member, said, “It’s a brave choice because poetry can be off-putting for people but this book of poems is extremely accessible for people.” Highlighting Malden Reads’ role […]

Education

BIPOC Alumni Detail Difficult Racial Experiences in Malden Public Schools

Six BIPOC graduates tell stories of racial microaggressions from teachers and administration during their years attending Malden Public Schools and offer ideas for improvement. By Fern Remedi-Brown and Kyla Denisevich Students in the Malden Public Schools – a district with one of the state’s largest percentage of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) enrollments –  say they have experienced forms of racism that range from incidents of micro-aggression to unsupportive environments to acts of outright prejudice. The reporters who initiated this Neighborhood View article interviewed six BIPOC alumni of Malden Public Schools. In this article, the alumni recount their experiences and offer ideas for an improved environment. The student body in Malden is diverse: 20% African American, 23% Asian, 28% Hispanic, and 24% white. The teachers in the Malden Public Schools are predominately white. There have been as few as six Black educators in the school system at the same time. Representation of the demographics of the students in the staff is important, said the former students. They say that the lack of diversity in the […]

Education

Ligia Noriega-Murphy begins her first school year as superintendent of Malden Public Schools

By Saliha Bayrak Equipped with 26 years of experience working in urban schools and a life-long pursuit of immersing herself in different cultures, Ligia Noriega-Murphy is starting her first year as the superintendent of Malden Public Schools.  Malden is a new environment for Ligia Noriega-Murphy. Malden has a much smaller student population than Boston, where she previously worked in public education. Originally from Guatemala, Noriega-Murphy also graduated high school from Boston public schools. Yet, Malden is “so diverse with small communities that are so rich in different languages, different cultures,” she said.  “There’s a lot of people that are so invested in making this district powerful and so unique and different. And that’s my job now, to make sure that we are going to be the best district in the nation,” Noriega-Murphy said. “I am already embracing how people just love the city.” Throughout her job interview process, Noriega-Murphy had a few opportunities to interact with the community that she would soon become a part of. A few of the things that struck Noriega-Murphy during […]

Education

Malden River clean-up raises awareness of local environmental issues

By Kamila Rodrigues As global citizens push back against climate change and North America experiences its hottest June ever, members of the Malden community are finding ways to clean up and care for the Malden River. During the school vacation week in April, Urban Media Arts (UMA) partnered with Friends of the Malden River, a citizens group committed to drawing the Malden River back to vibrant, civic life, and Malden Catholic High School students for a river clean-up at River’s Edge in Medford.  This hybrid (in-person and virtual) program, which will continue in a similar way for one later the summer, was run by UMA’s Amanda Hurley and Masio in collaboration with Karen Buck of the Friends of the Malden River, who is also a Malden River Works representative. The participants included Malden Catholic 3rd year students Sharieff Andrews, Amy Nguyen, and Frederika Noel. The students met with Masio and Amanda on April 20 for an orientation. They discussed the virtual component of the student media program, which would include virtually editing a public service announcement together. They also discussed the in-person component […]

Malden CORE member Ted Louis Jacques raising the Juneteenth Flag at City Hall Plaza
Arts

Juneteenth marked in Malden with joy and reflection

By Christina Appignani  The 4th annual Juneteenth Celebration, hosted June 19 by Malden CORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity), was extra special this year. African Americans have marked Juneteenth annually since the late 19th Century, but this year Juneteenth became a federal holiday after President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth commemorates when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver the news of emancipation to the last remaining African American slaves on June 19, 1865. The day began with the in-person 3rd annual Juneteenth Flag Raising at the new City Hall Plaza. Later in the evening, Malden CORE held a virtual celebration on Zoom.  Erga Pierrette, a co-convener for Malden CORE, noted that Malden CORE made history this year by raising a Juneteenth flag at every school in the Malden district. The Juneteenth flag has also been raised at the Malden Police station and Fire Department.  Karen Colón Hayes, a Malden CORE member, opened up the flag-raising event with a land acknowledgement. “In Malden, we acknowledge that the […]

Education

Researching Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden

By Amanda DeRosa  On the Brooks Estate in Medford, once a part of Malden, there is a brick wall about three feet high, built by an enslaved man named Pomp. Pomp’s Wall serves as a reminder that there were enslavers in New England, just as there were enslavers in the South. “It is important that people understand that Northern slavery was significant and involved tens of thousands of enslaved people,” said Dora St. Martin, director of Malden Public Library, who is leading a long-term research project, titled “Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden.”   “This project hopes to provide a view into the lives (of) free and enslaved Blacks in Malden from 1760 to 1800.  The project will allow us to understand the centrality and importance of African Americans in the history of the founding era of Malden,” St. Martin said. St. Martin recently hosted a public Zoom lecture event, detailing updates on the research team’s findings. The lecture was funded in part by Revisiting the Founding Era, a four-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented […]