Education

The TrailblazHers host a 5K in Malden dedicated to Louise Stokes.

The Boston-based women’s running group chose the Malden River Loop to host their weekly run dedicated to trailblazing women. (Photo by Frances Ramirez) By Saliha Bayrak, Amanda Hurley and Catherine Riordan A group of trailblazing women, clad in running gear and masks, were out for a run at the Malden River Loop on Sunday morning, March 7. The group, TrailblazHers Run Co, dedicated their weekly 5k run to Malden track & field star Louise Stokes, one of the first African-American women to qualify for an Olympic team.  TrailblazHers is a Boston-based women’s running group that was founded in October of 2020. The group’s members are fervently dedicated to unifying and uplifting each other while being powered by its mission to celebrate and empower women of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds.  The group originally emerged from an event known as the “Bra Run,” a tradition that continued for three years before the co-founders Elizabeth Rock, Abeo Powder, and Frances Ramirez, realized that there were many other women who were also looking for a community of runners.  Rock describes the organization as “A […]

Education

Uncomfortable Conversations: Staff and board at UMA take on race and social justice through internal dialogue

By Saliha Bayrak As the nation rose to voice their indignation and call for an end to racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd, Urban Media Arts (UMA), joined thousands of organizations across the country and made a statement of solidarity to champion the Black Lives Matter movement. The staff at UMA (formerly MATV) did not want this statement to be a momentary and hollow expression of support without any actions to succeed it. In the months that followed, staff members began to have periodic meetings and discussions to address issues of race, injustice, and inclusivity, guided by the belief that every course of action begins with a conversation. Terlonzo Amos, the Director of Operations at UMA, believes there is an urgency to have these conversations now due to the recent blatantly unjust events that occurred throughout the nation. “These problems have always been in the Black and brown community…since 1619,” said Amos. “For those that may not have believed that these things were happening…a light was shown on it.” Amos often leads these […]

Education

Confronting Slavery: Local NAACP highlights the push for reparations

By Elizabeth Scorsello Growing up, Schiffon Wong listened to her grandmother talk about reparations for the country’s Black citizens. The family had been sharecroppers and her grandfather’s parents were enslaved, and they could barely make a living. “She used to say we never got our reparations and it always stuck with me,” Wong said.  Today, Wong heads the newly formed Reparations Committee of the Mystic Valley Branch of the NAACP, which seeks to provide the larger community with a better understanding of the issue of reparations.  The committee has launched a drive to send copies of the  book From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, by William A. Darity, Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen to every member of the U.S. Congress to keep the subject of reparations in the public discourse. “It is our hope by sending this really important book to our congress it would give us the opportunity to educate them and engage them,” Wong said. “We want all of us to have a shared understanding anchored in […]

the Mayor and the councilman hold Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crime, in front of City Hall.
Arts

Malden Reads Launches New Season with Procession to City Hall

“It made the most sense at a time when we needed the humor and a need for us to learn about each other’s history.” Erga Pierrette By Annie Bennett Malden Reads hosted a COVID-conscious launch on Tuesday, January 26, with a car procession starting from the Malden Public Library on Salem Street, past UMA – Urban Media Arts (formerly MATV) on Pleasant Street, and ending at Malden’s new City Hall.  The procession symbolically linked the two anchor institutions (the library and UMA) that help coordinate the volunteer-run “One City, One Book” program, which first launched in 2011. According to the group’s website, the mission of Malden Reads is “to promote literacy and a love of reading, and to build community in the city of Malden.” It is known in the community for its unifying effect. This season, participants will be reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, a response to the fervent cries for racial justice across the world over the past year. Noah is a Black comedian and a South African native, most well-known […]

Education

Teaching through the lens of love: A conversation with Jennifer Hedrington, MA Teacher of the Year

By Antonia Sheel As an educator and mother to young children,  I had the opportunity to chat with the newly appointed Massachusetts Teacher of the Year (2021), Jennifer Hedrington a seventh-grade math teacher at Ferryway School in Malden, and her former student, Taylor Neal, a sophomore at Point University. The experience  was both refreshing and inspiring.  Our Zoom conversation touched on everything from what brought Hedrington  into the field of education to how Hedrington’s teaching impacted Taylor, who has kept in touch with her years after she first sat in her 7th grade math class.   This interview has been edited for space and clarity. Antonia: I want to say first and foremost congratulations! How do you feel? Jen: I’m overwhelmed and humbled. I’m very private. You know I went from having 100 people on my Facebook to 300 or 400.  I’m like, oh my gosh this is crazy. I have to remind myself that this is not about me. This is about them. God has blessed me for one year to be a voice to speak up for the kids. […]

Education

Get Ready to Mark Your Ballot: Voting options for Election 2020 in Malden

By Will Sullivan  During the past few months, service cuts at the U.S. Postal Service have raised concerns about the potential for delays in the mail-in voting process. But as the second Massachusetts election during the COVID-19 pandemic approaches, Malden City Clerk Greg Lucey wants voters to know that voting by mail is still a good option while the virus remains a public health issue. “It’s a very safe way to vote,” said Lucey. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Massachusetts, mail-in voting “is probably the way to go,” he said.  For those concerned about their ballot reaching City Hall via mail in time to be counted, the city has two drop-off boxes for mail-in ballots. As long as voters drop off their ballots by 8 p.m. on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3), their votes will be counted. Both boxes can be accessed at any time. One is in front of Malden City Hall, at 215 Pleasant St. The second, which will be installed this week, is in front of the Malden Police Station, at 800 Eastern […]

Education

MaldenCORE conversation series

MaldenCORE will hold a series of 4th Wednesday Conversations beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 6:45 pm with a presentation by Daniel StrongWalker Thomas, Traditional Chief of the Delaware Nation (Anadarko Okla.), Lenape People, and a descendant of the Oneida People (of Green Bay,Wisc).  The topic for discussion will be Indigenous social justice issues. Due to the pandemic, the conversation series is online. Thomas serves as the President of the Board of Directors and Chief Servant Leader of Global Initiative for Indigenous Advancement, Inc. (GIIA).  As Keeper of Fire for GIAA, he believes that the concentration on the four pillars of social, health, education, and economic status will help generate the overall wellbeing of Indigenous People worldwide.  When he attended Salem State University he was awarded the Charlotte Forten Distinguished Scholar Award and was a member of the honors society. MaldenCORE, Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity, hosts 4th Wednesday Conversations, community gatherings for community members, to learn about and confront systemic racism. Speakers introduce topics and then participants break into fall groups to share personal […]

Education

Malden Census Committee strives for a Complete Count!

By MaryLouise Torres  A volunteer census committee in Malden is rushing to beat the Sept. 30 deadline to ensure every resident is counted for the 2020 U.S. Census.  The Malden Census Complete Count Committee, composed of city officials, city employees, community leaders, and residents, has been taking actions ranging from holding meetings to distributing flyers to hanging banners. The committee, chaired by Kathleen Manning Hall, Administrative Officer with the Mayor’s Office, and Alex Pratt, Community Development Director at the Malden Redevelopment Authority, was stymied by restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the committee reconvened on Aug. 11 and is back to work.  “This is probably one of the craziest years I can remember in my entire life,” Manning Hall said. “Malden has done OK up to this point, but we need to do better.” In July, only about 59.7 percent of Malden residents had responded to the census – that rate was 5.2 points behind the 2010 rate.  But by Aug. 18, committee members excitedly reported that the response rate had jumped significantly in just the last […]

Education

Malden River Loop Dedication: The Story of Louise Stokes

By Amanda Hurley Joggers and bikers huffing and puffing on the new 3.2 mile Malden River Loop may draw inspiration from a Malden athlete who faced both Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler as she pursued her passion for running.   Louise Stokes, a Malden native, is considered the first African-American woman to qualify for an Olympic team. Earlier this summer, the bike loop – which runs along the Malden River and spans three cities, Malden, Everett and Medford— was dedicated to Stokes and former clerk magistrate of Malden District Court, Joseph Croken. Malden City Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow conceived of the Malden River Loop project and enlisted the help of graphic artist Elena Martinez of Artfort Design Studio in August of 2019. Martinez recalled that she and Winslow “met at the Joy of Biking Sculpture near Anthony’s” and chatted as they walked the trail. Winslow was “inspired by the chance interactions – just a friendly hi or wave of the hand – that might happen during your time on the trail and the ever-changing landscape of buildings […]

Arts

Keep Drawing, Keep (Th)inking: the Keith Knight Story

By Sky Malerba Born and raised in Malden, MA, cartoonist, rapper, teacher and activist Keith Knight delighted in drawing since early childhood. This week, Keith Knight is the subject for Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures associated with Malden.  “I always used to draw on walls, and draw in class, and I’d never get in trouble for it, in fact, I kept on getting higher grades,” he said of his school experiences.  He drew cartoons based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm and used portraits of his  classmates and teachers as an analogue to a character in the story. “You should be doing a syndicated cartoon,” his teacher  told  him. That was the beginning  of Keith Knight’s career as a highly regarded American cartoonist 20 years ago. Knight graduated from Malden High in 1984 and after a brief stint as a professional Michael Jackson impersonator in the 1980s,  he created perhaps his most memorable in the 1990s. The K Chronicles was a weekly autobiographical comic strip, published  in The San Francisco Examiner and then […]