The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing and strengthening one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston, has been selected by to receive its 2001 Leadership IS Award. The award, which will be presented at Independent Sector's annual conference in November and includes a $10,000 cash prize, recognizes organizations that value and invest in their staff, members, and board of directors.
More than 2,700 residents, businesses, nonprofits, and religious institutions in Boston's Roxbury/North Dorchester area work together through DSNI to improve the Dudley neighborhood, an area that was devastated by arson and neglect in the 1960s and 1970s. Since its formation in 1984, the organization has helped clean up some 600 vacant lots, build 600 new homes and housing units, establish parks and gardens, and encourage new businesses to set up shop. DSNI encourages strategic partnerships to help achieve goals for the neighborhood and trains its staff and area residents in organizing and facilitating such partnerships.
"The Dudley Street Initiative epitomizes the true spirit of leadership in the nonprofit sector," said Sara E. Mel�ndez, president and CEO of Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate givers working to strengthen philanthropy and citizen action. "It has created an environment that values and encourages people to get involved and make their community stronger."