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From Burning to Blooming: Rave Reviews for South Bronx Tour

Alexie Torres-Fleming, winner of the Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism, led a South Bronx walking tour last Saturday (October 18) — titled From Burning to Blooming: Community-Driven Projects in the South Bronx — that none of the 30 participants will soon forget. Over the last 15 years, the organization she founded, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, has operated on the premise that the community residents can rebuild their neighborhood (the poorest Congressional District in the nation) and that youth can lead that movement. Alexie and staff members Dawn Henning and Stephen Olivera illustrated some of YMPJ’s work on environmental justice, watershed, and greening issues.

Below are comments from participants that evoke their experiences:

“… a fantastic tour!”

“Very interesting tour… it’s only by walking there that one can grasp the (hard!) realities of the neighborhood.”

“…. most impactful… it toured us through uncomfortable, ugly, smelly, neglected NYC spaces… we embodied the discomfort of the South Bronx’s residents, and in the course of hearing YMPJ’s struggle stories, we [re]lived them…”

“I sincerely hope to see more tours that invite New Yorkers into meeting more of our lesser-known neighbors, in the future!”

The MAS tour program will be back to see Concrete Plant Park in the spring and we have asked Alexie, Dawn and Stephen for an encore of their tour also.