Participants in our Youth Employment Program have been working on creating wall-size collage maps of the 23 Boston neighborhoods. To date, 4 different maps have been created including of the South Boston, Fenway, Roxbury, and South End communities. The primary goal of the Safety Map Project is to engage community members in open and honest dialogues around safety by inviting them to tag the locations where they feel safe and where they do not. During the summer of 2011, more than 2,000 community members participated in this project.
Part of our mission is to ensure that young people feel connected to and civically-engaged in their community. Our Safety Map Project is a great example of how we do this. By bringing the maps into the neighborhoods, our young people are challenged to think about their role in the community, the gifts they bring, and what safety and inclusion mean to them. Likewise, it forces community members to see our young people in a different light and engage in transformative conversations with them.