Thank you all for helping in TURNING THE WHEEL and the launch of

Hand in Hand



Thursday, June 25th, 2013, 5:30 PM– Nixon Peabody LLP;   Includes cocktails,  a brief program,AWARDS AND THE LAUNCHING OF


Hand in Hand is a new model of inclusion using cultural action to help people move from resistance to reconciliation by creating a public artwork together. This ambitious project invites police officers and citizens to come together in a creative all day workshop.  The work explores and challenges of our capacity to humanize the “the other” in our lives. The result is both a witnessing and a testimony of our commonalities. Our current focus is bringing police officers and community members together in a workshop, where they cast each other’s hands placing one in the other, share a meal and have portraits of their faces taken. This all day workshop that invites a shared awareness of one another and a testimony to our strengths and vulnerabilities.


Medicine Men and Women

evansWilliam B. Evans Police Commissioner  City of Boston Police Department

Police Commissioner William B. Evans is the 41st Police Commissioner of the City of Boston.   A member of the Boston Police Department for 33 years, Commissioner Evans rose through the ranks culminating in his promotion to Civil Service Captain, the highest civil service position in the department.  He commanded District D-14 (Allston / Brighton) and District D-4 (South End, Back Bay, Fenway & Lower Roxbury) during which he forged strong police-community relationships with residents, local businesses and academic institutions.  From 2009 until his appointment as Police Commissioner, he served as the Superintendent in charge of the Bureau of Field Services, a position responsible for supervising department’s patrol force of 1,800.

Commissioner Evans has had major roles in some of Boston’s most notable situations, such as the peaceful decampment of the 70-day occupation of Dewey Square by Occupy Boston, the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tasarnaev, as well as oversight of the planning and security of all major events including parades and sporting events.

Throughout his career, he has received numerous professional commendations.  Commissioner Evans holds a Bachelor of Science in Government from Suffolk University and Masters of Public Administration in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College.  He is also a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, the Senior Management Institute for Police, National Post-Graduate School & U.S. Department of Homeland Security Executive Leaders Program and has completed executive education programs at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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Ayanna Pressley Councillor At large City of Boston

Councillor Pressley’s career has been marked by history-making campaigns and a relentless determination to advance a political agenda focused on women and girls and breaking cycles of poverty and violence.

Pressley was first elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009, becoming the first woman of color ever elected to the Council. In her subsequent 2011 and 2013 reelection campaigns, Pressley made history as the first person of color and the first woman in 30 years to top the ticket.

During her time in office, Pressley created and chairs the City Council’s Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities. The Committee is devoted to the causes that she has always been most devoted to: stabilizing families and communities, reducing and preventing violence and trauma, combating poverty, and addressing issues that disproportionately impact women and girls.

Pressley is committed to working in partnership with community, building broad and diverse coalitions to advance policy reforms. She has earned local and national attention for her efforts to provide pathways to graduation for pregnant and parenting teens, ensure Boston high school students receive comprehensive sexual health education, diversify economic and wealth building opportunities for women and people of color, and strengthen support services for families of homicide victims and sexual assault survivors. In 2013, she formed the Elevate Boston coalition to ensure issues uniquely impacting women and girls and the LGBTQ community were part of the 2013 Boston mayoral race debate.

Understanding that neighborhood restaurants are community anchors, job creators, and engines of economic development, Pressley spent two years successfully advocating for reform to the State’s outdated liquor license laws. In 2014, Pressley advanced a version of her home rule petition through the State Legislature, returning control of the Licensing Board to the City for the first time in more than 100 years and providing 75 new licenses to the City over three years, with 80% of those licenses restricted to the neighborhoods most in need.

In 2015, Pressley earned the EMIILY’s List Rising Star Award and was named one of Boston Magazine’s Power Players. In 2014, Pressley was named to Boston Magazine’s Power of Ideas list, was a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Ten Outstanding Young Leaders honoree, and earned the Victim Rights Law Center’s Leadership Award.

Pressley is an Aspen-Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership (Class of 2012) and was selected as a Truman National Security Project Partner in 2012.

Pressley’s political career spans more than 18 years, in various behind-the-scene capacities at the federal level of government. She previously worked as a Senior Aide for Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and Senator John Kerry.

Ayanna lives in the Ashmont/Adams neighborhood of Dorchester with her husband Conan Harris and her 6 year old stepdaughter Cora.



greg copyGregory Variste- My names is Gregory Variste I am a 23 year old native of Boston.  I am a singer by birth chef by trade and poet by choice.  I am the founder of a non profit called ” Project Not Alone ” . Our mission is to bring creativity  back to the community, through creative mentoring.  I am a free lance photographer and spoken word artist . A lot of my Inspiration comes from my spiritual connection with the world and others.  I come from a low middle class first generation Haitian family. I also am  a professional bachata salsa , and kizumba dancer…

Project Not Alone started as just a documentary film, until me and a group of ten fellow freedom fighters, decided to do the unfinished work of Civil rights honoring the work of both Martin Luther King Jr. And Malcom X.  Our hope is to bring people together, challenging their indoctrinated thinking; to help set them and keep them free.

aninnaAnnina Abrihim-   Hi, my name is Annina Ibrahim! I am 17 years old and my birthday is August 5th. I am Italian and Lebanese and I am from Quincy, MA but I have been living in Boston most of my life. I now live in Roxbury with my father, 3 sisters and 1 brother. My mother is Italian and Irish and my father is straight from Lebanon. I am a strong, outgoing, creative and very friendly person. I struggle with my anger but I have been working hard on it. I just graduated high school and I am currentlyworking at medicine wheel productions.



Phil Sheats  founder of New Southie, deceased Feb 7th 2013 ”People who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who do.”
Boston globe:  Sheats became the hub of a large social network in Boston’s gay community after founding The New Southie in 2008. “Southie” is a well-known term in Boston referring to a resident of the working-class, predominantly Irish Catholic neighborhood of South Boston, which in the past hasn’t been known as being friendly to the LGBT community. Sheats told the Globe he initially created The New Southie as a Facebook group to help him meet other gays in South Boston at the time he moved there. He said he later decided to bring the group “off the Internet and into the real world” by organizing events at neighborhood bars, the Globe reported. McDuffie said the group quickly mushroomed into a popular venue that brought hundreds of people to South Boston bars and restaurants on nights where business was normally slow. He said Sheats charged an admission fee for some of the events, and used the proceeds to make donations to charitable groups such as the Trevor Project, an LGBT group that works to prevent suicide among LGBT youth. “The membership eventually grew to over 1,000,” McDuffie said of The New Southie. Sheats has been credited with playing a key role in breaking down barriers between gays and straights in South Boston through his event organizing. – See more at:
BRIAN copy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brian Mahoney  “Southie isn’t as conservative as some would like to think,” . “I like to think of it as one of the most diverse places in the city.” My South end March 7th 2007.
Brian Mahoney has been a Boston Police officer and a United States Capitol Police officer in Washington D.C. He’s worked on a garbage truck, in construction, as a waiter, bouncer, bartender and wine steward. He’s patrolled the DMZ between North and South Korea as part of the 2nd Infantry Division assigned to a Ranger.  Development and community building are two of the areas where Brian is most passionate .  He is a lifelong resident of South Boston.  In 1986 he married Kellie Fitzgerald and their Son Brian was born in 1993.  In 2007 He ran for City ‘Council . For many years he was a beloved coach in Youth Soccer, Tee Ball, Little league and Pop Warner Football.  In 2005 he was elected Honorary Mayor of South Boston.   In 2014 Brian was Chief Marshall of the Evacuation St Patrick’s Day Parade.  He reached out to local gays residents looking for a solution to the long standing ban on Gays Marching in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.  He was particularly interested in working with Phil Sheats Group, the New Southie.   Before they could meet Phil passed away.  Brian was able to broker two groups with openly gay members marching in the 2014 parade which led to the Parade being  even more inclusive with his election as Commander Allied War Veterans’ Council.


find out more about our host committee by clicking on a name


read more here 

  • Mark McGonagle, Chair
  • Dennis Pellecchia, Treasurer
  • Rick Winterson, Clerk
  • Maureen Dahill
  • Susan Nalband
  • Roy Rider
  • Michael Dowling
  • Amit Dixit
  • Michael Indresano
  • Ruth Raphael
  • Roberto Valdez
  • Barbara Loftus
  • Jane Bowers


Click on logo to find out more about our sponsors 


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      Dan Hurley & Michael Dowling

      Jack and Anne Doyle

      Liz Laio

      In Memory of Phil Sheats

      Brooks and Linda Zug

      Regan Associates

      Karen Young

      Pam Goodman

      Connie Cervone and Janet Deegan

      Linda Ruby Machiz

      John Lydon






King Terminal

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 click here for tickets



Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

 When the soul lies down in that grass,
 the world is too full to talk about. 
 Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.      rumi

Dear Friend

Your support has allowed the work of Medicine Wheel to be a place where people can meet. It has invited thousands to gain awareness of who they can be for themselves and for each other.   Deep and meaningful social cooperation is at the heart of all of Medicine Wheel’s public art projects.  We have had the privilege of creating art that is a gathering space where the body can catch up to the soul.  We do this work together and I am forever grateful for your support.  We are excited to be on a journey with so many in moving from our individual stories to our collective stories to being part of THE STORY!

This year we will mount the 24th incarnation the Medicine Wheel Vigil to honor of a Day Without Art/World AIDS.  We will also complete “Our Common Path” at No Man’s Land in South Boston, an accessible path paved with the hopes and dreams of people who live work or go to school in South Boston.  We will continue to employ and engage countless young people from across the city in our acclaimed youth program,  S.P.U.N. Silent People Until Now.

Your continued support has allowed us to launch our most ambitious project to date;  “Hand In Hand”.  This project pairs police officers with young people.  It is a meditative and creative invitation to humanize each other.  Our first workshop pairing nine police officers with nine young people exceeded any expectations we could have imagined.  To watch 18 people meditate, create, and celebrate together was astounding.

      “I have been working with kids across the city for years and no lie this might have been one of my favorite things I have ever experienced. Thank you for opening my eyes to something new and something that I know has only just begun. You have allowed the BPD to grow and teaching officers and myself another level of what building relationships means. “               Deputy Superintendent Nora Baston BPD

The project will culminate in cast hands of all the participants; one hand placed in the other and a series of photo portraits of the individuals and the pairings.   Today like every day there is a call to do great things.  There is a strong desire from the young people, police officers and advocates in the private and public sectors to expand this humble project of changing the world.

I hope you will support us by becoming a sponsor or buying a ticket to Turning The Wheel.



Michael Dowling

Artistic Director and Founder

Medicine Wheel Productions