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Stony Brook Initiative

Sawyer Avenue, circa 1939, where Boston’s Lenox Street development now stands. Photos courtesy of Boston Housing Authority archives. Collage by Lolita Parker, Jr.

A new approach to urban partnership and growth

The Stony Brook Initiative redefines urban engagement and facilitates a network of sustainable partnerships among neighboring communities and organizations.

During his March 2007 inaugural address, Northeastern president Joseph E. Aoun stated,
"Based on conversations with community leaders, we envision a new Northeastern-neighborhood alliance of students, faculty and staff volunteers, who will engage with the schools, homeless shelters, religious organizations, and community centers. In the decades ahead, our graduates will be successful not only because of what they have learned at Northeastern, but also because of what they have learned here in Roxbury and Mission Hill, in the Fenway and the South End, and throughout Boston."

The Stony Brook community began to form organically in 2008 through a series of dialogues. Community members, representatives of nonprofits, and university colleagues identified challenging urban issues. Then, together, in a spirit of mutual understanding, they began to harness the collective talents and resources needed to tackle them—youth and community development in particular—with renewed purpose and collaboration.

At the first meetings, said Richard O’Bryant, director of Northeastern’s John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute, “community members felt like they were getting an opportunity to share their concerns with Northeastern.” The biggest thing,” O’Bryant added, “is to look at how these discussions can be put into some real action.”

This Web site showcases just a few of the ongoing Stony Brook activities.

For more information, call 617.373.5836

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