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 […]


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 […]


Malden rallies for Black Lives Matter online and in the streets

The anger and calls for change that have swept the nation over the police killings of unarmed African-Americans recently came through Malden. An online vigil was held on Thursday, June 4 (full video embedded below) and a march followed by a rally was held on Friday, June 6. Neighborhood View citizen journalists Amanda Hurley and Sky Malerba covered these events to capture the statements and emotions of participants who peacefully registered their outrage and demands for change.  Here are their reports.  (Feature image – top of page: artwork by Shaina Lu, member of the Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition) “Change can’t wait, and we need your help” By Amanda Hurley  Erga Pierrette of Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity (MaldenCORE) opened the online “Vigil for Black Lives Taken by Police and Condemnation of Police Brutality” on Thursday, June 4, with a call for unity to denounce the normalizing of police brutality against black and brown bodies. The vigil was attended by 388 participants on Zoom and has over 3400 views on Facebook and YouTube. […]


Second rally calls for more racial equity in Malden public schools

By the staff of Neighborhood View/Photos by Elizabeth Scorsello On Aug. 26 MaldenCORE held its 2nd “Rally for Racial Equity in the Malden Public Schools” in a lively event on the steps of Malden High School, attended by about 50 participants, including students, graduates, teachers, local officials, candidates for office, a representative of the NAACP, the president of the teachers union, and school administrators. All stressed the need for more diversity in the school teaching staff, professional training in racial/cultural sensitivity, and an improved system for reporting and addressing issues of racial inequity in the Malden public schools. “In all my time I only had one black teacher and one Hispanic teacher. And that’s six years. Of about 50 teachers I’ve had, only two have been a minority,” said Sarah Schneider, a Malden High 10th grader, told participants of the rally which was held on the first Professional Development day, which all teachers were expected to attend. “When the teachers of Malden look into the faces of the students in their classrooms, they see a never ending spectrum […]


Rally calls for racial equity in Malden schools

By Minh Do Recent Malden High School graduate Birukti Tsige never had a teacher of color throughout her 10 plus years in the Malden public schools.  To draw attention to this disparity, Tsige helped organize a rally on July 9 in Malden to push the city to hire more teachers of color. About 40 people gathered outside the superintendent’s office at Malden High School, listened to speakers and then marched two blocks to the mayor’s office, where they also met with Mayor Gary Christenson in his office. Afterwards, the group rallied further down the street outside the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In total, according to rally organizers, nearly 100 protesters took part in the rally throughout the day. “I’ve been in the Malden school system since I was in second grade and I have three younger siblings that are coming in,” said Tsige. “I’ve never had a black teacher and I don’t want that for my siblings.” The rally, organized by Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity (MaldenCORE), called for comprehensive reform […]


Malden marks Juneteenth with meaningful celebration

Over 250 Malden community members packed the John and Christina Markey Senior Community Center on Wednesday, June 19, for the second annual Juneteenth celebration, The event was organized by MaldenCORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity) in collaboration with a host of other community groups: American Association for Arab Women, Chinese Culture Connection, Friends of Oak Grove, Inc., Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition, Malden LGBTQ+, Malden Public Library, Malden Reads, MATV (Malden’s Media Center), North Shore Hispanic Association, and YMCA Malden. Juneteenth recognizes the significant day of June 19, 1865, when the last of group of enslaved African Americans were emancipated in Galveston, Texas, following the surrender of the Confederate Army. The day has been celebrated in Texas since that time and, for past decades, in African-American communities throughout the South. It is now a partial or full state holiday or an official observance in at least 42 U.S. states and has become a more universal celebration of freedom among all people in this country. Juneteenth is a relative newcomer to the list of public […]


MaldenCORE creates platform to speak on racial inequality

By Diti Kohli Jennifer Hedrington, a Salemwood School math teacher who is Haitian American, wearily remembered missing out as a child on having a teacher who looked like her. Today she advocates alongside the Malden Community Organizing for Racial Equity to ensure the same won’t happen to any of her seventh grade students. Hedrington is a part of MaldenCORE, a community-based organization that aims to foster more diverse leadership representation in the city, especially in its schools.   Starting August 2018, the groups hosts “fourth Wednesday conversations” open to the public in the Markey Senior Center dining room. Members lead inclusive conversations on issues that disproportionately affect communities of color. “The beginning of solving all issues is a conversation,” said Hedrington. “Some of these topics are frustrating and painful, but we have to go through pain to make that change happen.” Past “conversations” addressed bias in the education system, the nature of racial discrimination, and the school-to-prison pipeline that drives disadvantaged students to criminal activity. Last Wednesday, three presenters detailed the origin and history of […]