BostonTalks: Inside Jamaica Plain

THU, OCT 24, 2019 (1:45)

Here is a look at one of Boston’s most beloved, community-based, unique and action-driven neighborhoods, Jamaica Plain. We explore Jamaica Plain through the eyes of the people who help define it.


+ BIO: Dr. Karilyn Crockett

Dr. Karilyn Crockett focuses her research on large-scale land use changes in twentieth century American cities and examines the social and geographic implications of structural poverty. Karilyn’s new book “People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making” (UMASS Press 2018) investigates a 1960s era grassroots movement to halt urban extension of the U.S. interstate highway system and the geographic and political changes in Boston that resulted. Karilyn was the co-founder of Multicultural Youth Tour of What’s Now (MYTOWN), an award winning, Boston-based, educational non-profit organization. MYTOWN hired public high school students to research their local and family histories to produce youth-led walking tours for sale to public audiences. During its nearly 15 years of operation, MYTOWN created jobs for more than 300 low and moderate-income teenagers, who in turn led public walking tours for more than 14,000 visitors and residents. In a White House ceremony, the National Endowment for the Humanities cited MYTOWN as “One of ten best Youth Humanities Programs in America.” Karilyn holds a PhD from the American Studies program at Yale University, a Master of Science in Geography from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School. She currently serves as the Director of Economic Policy & Research and Director of Small Business Development for the City of Boston and is a research affiliate in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at MIT. Karilyn’s career mission is to work at the nexus of education, economic development and urban revitalization.

+ BIO: Carol Downs

Carol Downs has been a small business owner, community volunteer and resident of Boston for twenty-nine years. Carol is founding Co-Owner and current General Manager of Bella Luna & The Milky Way, an award-winning dining and entertainment landmark in Jamaica Plain opened in 1993. She currently serves as Board Member and Treasurer of the Boston Planning and Development Agency and as a member of Boston’s Community Preservation Committee. She served as a Trustee of the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester from 2002-2017. She served as an elected Board Member of the Jamaica Plain Firehouse Multicultural Arts Center from 1992-1996. Carol has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Virginia (1988) and lives in Roslindale with her husband and two children.

+ BIO: Paloma Valenzuela

Paloma Valenzuela is a Dominican-American writer, director and actress originally from the city of Boston. She is the creative director of the production operation La Gringa Loca Productions based in Boston and the Dominican Republic. Paloma has worked on several Dominican productions as a script editor and also on set working as Second Assistant Director for various Dominican feature films. She plays Lolita in the 2018 Dominican Feature Film “Un 4to De Josue”. Paloma won Best Supporting Actress at the Premios Iris Dominicana Movie Awards 2019 for her role in the film.

In 2019 she was featured in Boston Magazine’s “Boston’s New Creative Guard” and selected as one of the WBUR The Artery 25, a series highlighting millennials of color making an impact in the Boston arts scene. She is the writer/director and producer of the Boston-based comedic web series “The Pineapple Diaries” which currently has two seasons. The show was featured in the Latina Magazine’s “5 Web Series Every Latinx Needs to Watch Right Now”. The show has also been selected in film festivals including the New Orleans Film Festival 2018. Paloma is currently collaborating with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and is currently working on production for the third season of “The Pineapple Diaries” set to be launched by the end of 2019. She also works as a teaching artist at GrubStreet in Boston teaching classes in Dramatic Writing and Screenwriting.

+ BIO: Edgar B. Herwick, III

Edgar Herwick is the guy behind WGBH’s Curiosity Desk, where the quest is to dig a little deeper into (and sometimes look a little askew at) topics in the news, and search for answers to questions posed by the world around us. His features can be seen on WGBH’s Greater Boston and heard on 89.7 WGBH’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He also appears regularly with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio. Follow him on Twitter @ebherwick3.

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