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Grants Management Associates records

 Collection
Identifier: M178

Scope and Content Note

The collections documents Grants Management Associates' involvement with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) in conjunction with The Riley Foundation, DSNI's major funder. Materials include Riley Foundation grant proposals and award letters from DSNI and other Dudley-area organizations; minutes from The Riley Foundation and DSNI board, committee, and membership meetings; reports on the Dudley area and the activities of DSNI; newspaper and magazine articles about DSNI; and DSNI membership lists. Also included are materials relating to the documentary “Holding Ground” and the book Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood, which documented the first decade of DSNI's work. The collection also contains photographs, video cassettes, and memorabilia such as buttons, bumper stickers, and shirts. Topics documented include affordable housing and housing rehabilitation, community development and organization, non-profit organizations, social services, urban beautification and planning, and the Dudley neighborhood of Boston.

Dates

  • 1974-1999 (bulk 1984-1999)

Creator

Language of Materials

The materials are mainly in English; some materials are also in Spanish and Cape Verdean Creole.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Historical Note

Grants Management Associates was founded in 1982 by Newell Flather, Mary Phillips, and Ala Reid. It was renamed GMA Foundations in 2009 and provides consulting, administrative, and organizational support services to grant-making organizations in the Boston area. Among their clients is The Riley Foundation, which was established through a bequest from Mabel Louise Riley.

In April 1984, Newell Flather of GMA and two of The Riley Foundation's trustees, Robert W. Holmes, Jr. and Andrew C. Bailey, made a site visit to La Alianza Hispana, a social service agency serving the Hispanic population. After viewing La Alianza's offices to evaluate their request for capital improvement funding, Flather and the trustees toured the surrounding neighborhood, guided by La Alianza Hispana's executive director, Nelson Merced. They saw abandoned buildings, stripped cars, and evidence of arson and trash dumping; in response, Holmes and Bailey committed The Riley Foundation to the revitalization of the Dudley neighborhood, through the creation and funding of a coalition called the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI).

The area targeted by The Riley Foundation ran along Dudley Street from Dudley Station to Upham's Corner, extending outward in both directions from the main artery. During the early discussions among agencies, neighborhood boundaries were of significant concern because cultural and ethnic groups' inclusion and relative influence would be determined by the geographic scope of the coalition. The Riley Foundation facilitated the establishment of a coalition among local agencies such as La Alianza Hispana, the Cape Verdean Community House, the Roxbury Multi-Service Center, and the Dorchester Bay Economic Corporation. With the involvement of Riley trustees and the Community Training and Assistance Center, the agencies created a coalition charter and organizational structure.

The agencies and The Riley Foundation scheduled two public meetings at Saint Patrick's Church to explain the coalition's structure to Dudley residents and then elect a governing board. The first meeting was heavily publicized in English, Spanish, and Cape Verdean Creole, and simultaneous translation was made available during the meeting. Approximately 200 residents attended, and they rejected the agency-oriented plan, demanding direct representation on the governing board, so the Riley Foundation and the agencies worked with residents to create a new governing structure. The governing board featured equal representation for African Americans, Hispanics, Cape Verdeans, and whites, and added seats for representatives of religious groups and small businesses; agencies continued to be represented but their influence was decreased.

The Dudley neighborhood faced not only a legacy of disinvestment, but also the possibility of future gentrification. The rerouting of the Orange Line and the Boston Redevelopment Authority's redevelopment proposal for Dudley Square brought speculators to Dudley. To combat the potential of gentrification, residents made affordable housing a central issue in DSNI's revitalization efforts. Residents also worked for planned open spaces such as parks and tot lots.

DSNI conducted several campaigns related to pressing issues in the neighborhood. The first such campaign, Don't Dump On Us, sought a cleaner neighborhood and improved City services. In response to residents' demands, the City closed three illegal trash transfer stations, towed abandoned cars, cleaned up and fenced in vacant lots, and set up a hotline for residents to report dumping. The City also put up new street signs, bus stop signs, and one-way signs; some two-way streets were converted to one-way and a stoplight was installed at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Dudley Street, which had been one of the most dangerous intersections in the city. Streets lined only with vacant lots were closed off to reduce dumping. Residents also secured improvements to bus service and a new commuter rail station at Upham's Corner.

DSNI's Take a Stand, Own the Land campaign centered on community ownership of property in the neighborhood. Working with DAC International, a minority-owned consulting firm, DSNI developed a comprehensive plan for a subsection of the neighborhood known as the Dudley Triangle; the Boston Redevelopment Authority designated the Dudley Triangle a special study district and adopted DSNI's master plan as the official zoning and redevelopment plan for the area. Central to the DSNI/DAC International plan was the creation of an urban village, a community-oriented mixed-use space. DSNI's plan focused on the Triangle because of its high concentration of vacant land. About half the empty lots in the Triangle were owned by the City, and much of the privately owned land was subject to tax-related foreclosure. In 1988, DSNI became the first community organization in the United States to be granted eminent domain authority, for the purpose of acquiring privately-held vacant land in the Triangle. To develop the Triangle, DSNI created a land trust, Dudley Neighbors, Inc. (DNI) to allow the community to permanently control the land.

We Build Houses And People Too! involved residents in planning outside the Triangle, including multiple programs to construct new housing as well as renovation of the Orchard Park Development. DSNI helped start the Community Investment Coalition, which worked for bank reinvestment in services, mortgages, and small business lending.

In 1994, South End Press published Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood, a history of DSNI written by Peter Medoff, DSNI's first executive director, and Holly Sklar. Work on the book began in 1989 as an evaluation of DSNI for The Riley Foundation.

Made over the course of five years, “Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street,” by local documentary makers Leah Mahan and Mark Lipton, chronicled the first decade of DSNI's work. It premiered in 1996 at the Strand Theater and was broadcast on public television stations during 1997.

Chronology

  • April, 1984 Newell Flather of Grants Management Associates and two trustees of The Riley Foundation, Robert W. Holmes, Jr. and Andrew C. Bailey, make a site visit to La Alianza Hispana and tour the Dudley neighborhood.
  • 1984 The Riley Foundation and neighborhood agencies convene a public meeting to present the proposed governance structure for the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Residents demand majority control of the board, and the plan is reworked to reduce agencies' influence.
  • 1985-1987 Don't Dump On Us campaign forces closure of three illegal trash transfer stations and cleanup of empty lots used for trash dumping. Residents also receive improvements to street signs and transit services. DSNI organizes neighborhood associations and brings residents together to develop a revitalization plan.
  • 1985 Peter Medoff becomes executive director of DSNI.
  • 1987-1988 Take A Stand, Own The Land campaign wins community control over vacant land in the Dudley neighborhood and eminent domain authority within the Dudley Triangle area for DSNI. DSNI organizes the Neighborhood Business Alliance.
  • 1989 Gus Newport, former mayor of Berkley, CA, becomes DSNI's executive director.
  • 1989-1991 We Build Houses And People Too! campaign organizes community planning meetings, neighborhood clean-ups, and National Night Out Against Crime activities. DSNI helps to launch the Community Investment Coalition and secure bank reinvestment.
  • 1992 Rogelio Whittington becomes executive director.
  • 1994 South End Press publishes Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood, a history of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative coauthored by former executive director Peter Medoff and writer Holly Sklar.
  • 1995 Gregory Watson becomes DSNI's executive director.
  • 1996 Documentary makers Leah Mahan and Mark Lipton release “Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street.”
  • 1997 The Buck$ Stop Here campaign encourages residents to support local businesses.
  • 2009 Grants Management Associates renamed GMA Foundation.
April, 1984
Newell Flather of Grants Management Associates and two trustees of The Riley Foundation, Robert W. Holmes, Jr. and Andrew C. Bailey, make a site visit to La Alianza Hispana and tour the Dudley neighborhood.
1984
The Riley Foundation and neighborhood agencies convene a public meeting to present the proposed governance structure for the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Residents demand majority control of the board, and the plan is reworked to reduce agencies' influence.
1985-1987
Don't Dump On Us campaign forces closure of three illegal trash transfer stations and cleanup of empty lots used for trash dumping. Residents also receive improvements to street signs and transit services. DSNI organizes neighborhood associations and brings residents together to develop a revitalization plan.
1985
Peter Medoff becomes executive director of DSNI.
1987-1988
Take A Stand, Own The Land campaign wins community control over vacant land in the Dudley neighborhood and eminent domain authority within the Dudley Triangle area for DSNI. DSNI organizes the Neighborhood Business Alliance.
1989
Gus Newport, former mayor of Berkley, CA, becomes DSNI's executive director.
1989-1991
We Build Houses And People Too! campaign organizes community planning meetings, neighborhood clean-ups, and National Night Out Against Crime activities. DSNI helps to launch the Community Investment Coalition and secure bank reinvestment.
1992
Rogelio Whittington becomes executive director.
1994
South End Press publishes Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood, a history of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative coauthored by former executive director Peter Medoff and writer Holly Sklar.
1995
Gregory Watson becomes DSNI's executive director.
1996
Documentary makers Leah Mahan and Mark Lipton release “Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street.”
1997
The Buck$ Stop Here campaign encourages residents to support local businesses.
2009
Grants Management Associates renamed GMA Foundation.

Extent

6.00 cubic feet (8 containers)

Overview

Grants Management Associates was founded in 1982 by Newell Flather, Mary Phillips, and Ala Reid. It was renamed GMA Foundations in 2009 and provides consulting, administrative, and organizational support services to grant-making organizations in the Boston area. Among its clients is The Riley Foundation, which was established through a bequest from Mabel Louise Riley.

In April 1984, Newell Flather of GMA and two of The Riley Foundation's trustees, Robert W. Holmes, Jr. and Andrew C. Bailey, made a site visit to La Alianza Hispana, a social service agency serving the Hispanic population. After viewing La Alianza's offices to evaluate their request for capital improvement funding, Flather and the trustees toured the surrounding neighborhood, guided by La Alianza Hispana's executive director, Nelson Merced. They saw abandoned buildings, stripped cars, and evidence of arson and trash dumping; in response, Holmes and Bailey committed The Riley Foundation to the revitalization of the Dudley neighborhood, through the creation and funding of a coalition called the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI).

The initial plan for governing DSNI, which had been created by local agencies, was rejected by the community for over-representing agencies at the expense of the community. Further negotiations resulted in a plan with equal representation for Dudley's four major racial and ethnic groups (Hispanics, Cape Verdeans, blacks, and whites), with a majority of seats on the board held by community residents.

DSNI carried out a series of campaigns to achieve its goals of cleaning up trash and toxic waste, creating affordable housing, and giving the community control over vacant land. As a result of its work toward community control of vacant land, DSNI became the first community organization in the United States to receive eminent domain authority. The City of Boston extended this power to DSNI within a subsection of the Dudley area to facilitate DSNI's acquisition of privately owned vacant lots. DSNI combined these parcels with City-owned property in a single land trust, overseeing development to ensure a community-controlled, permanently affordable “critical mass” of new construction.

Overview

The collection documents Grants Management Associates' and The Riley Foundation's involvement in the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) through records such as meeting minutes and agendas from The Riley Foundation and DSNI boards and committees, proposals made to The Riley Foundation by DSNI and other Dudley-area organizations, newspaper and magazine articles, reports on the Dudley neighborhood and DSNI, photographs, maps, and memorabilia such as buttons.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into three series: Series 1. Grants Management Associates; Series 2. The Riley Foundation; 3. Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

Physical Location

55/1-2

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Received from Phillip Hall of Grants Management Associates in 2007.

Bibliography

  • Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative files, Articles, Box 4.
  • GMA Foundations. “Annual Report.” Accessed June 22, 2011. http://grantsmanagement08.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/gma-annual-report08final.pdf.
  • Lauress Wilkins files, Press Clippings, Box 2.
  • Medoff, Peter and Holly Sklar. Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood. Boston: South End Press, 1994.
Title
Finding aid for the Grants Management Associates Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Dominique Medal
Date
August 2011
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US