To honor the historic group of brave East Boston women that kick-started a tradition of community activism in the neighborhood, City Councilor Lydia Edwards founded an annual scholarship that will pay tribute to the Maverick Street Mothers.
The Maverick Street Mothers organized community protests in the late 1960s against Logan Airport expansion construction. The protest was widely publicized as women, mostly mothers, formed a blockade using baby carriages to stop construction and delivery trucks on Maverick Street.
The Edwards Empowerment Fund was established by the District 1 Councilor to uplift, amplify, and empower residents by providing equitable access to educational and skill-building opportunities. The annual scholarship will be awarded to parents wanting to further their education or are attending Boston-area colleges.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at Spinelli’s the Edwards Empowerment Fund will hold its inaugural Maverick Street Mothers Scholarship Gala.
Four parents who are active in the community and currently seeking a post-secondary education will be receiving a scholarship in honor of the Maverick Street mothers.
Councilor Edwards said the Edwards Empowerment Fund announced this week that the first recipients of the scholarship Maverick Street Mothers Scholarship will be Mary Luz Barrera, Dominique DiDomenicis, Lisa Melara, and Noemy Rodriguez.
“To honor the Maverick Street Mothers, we celebrate the legacy of leaders whose shoulders we stand on and helped shape the history of East Boston,” said Edwards. “These four parents are shining examples of what it means to be engaged members of the community. They are individuals who continue the important work of the original mothers by advocating for a better East Boston. Congratulations to Mary Luz, Dominique, Lisa, and Noemy, and I look forward to honoring their achievements and their future endeavors on Tuesday, November 12.”
The Maverick Street Mothers Scholarship Gala is open to anyone wishing to celebrate the legacy of the mothers and achievement of scholarship recipients.
The Maverick Street Mothers protest was in response to the construction trucks bringing fill for a Logan expansion project. The trucks drove very fast down the densely populated Maverick Street, creating an unsafe situation for children, the elderly and the mothers that took their children out for walks or to run errands.
On September 28, 1968, led by local legend the late Anna DeFronzo, a group of mothers in what was to become a historic protest against the Port Authority and airport expansion.
The group became known as the ‘Maverick Street Mothers’ and their protest became the true beginning of environmental justice in Eastie and marked the opening salvo and first victory in the neighborhood’s famed transportation justice struggles.
After a series of clandestine community meetings it was decided that only women and children would participate in the demonstration because many felt if men were involved it might lead to fights and violence. The group notified the media, put out a simple press release and the next day, September 28, the demonstration began.
As the dump trucks arrived the mothers, most pushing their children in baby carriages, blocked the street.
The State Police arrived to restore order to the street and when the Maverick Mothers refused to back down. The State Police began to drag and push the mothers to the sidewalk so the trucks could continue. However, former Mayor Kevin White, who was being kept abreast of the situation, sent in the Boston Police to counter the State Police’s use of force.
The Boston Police made the trucks stop and ordered the protest to continue.
That night the event was all over the evening news.
When Massport caught wind that he protests would not end, but continue the next day, Eastie’s elected officials pointed out that there were several other viable truck routes on Massport property that could be used.
After negotiations, Massport agreed to use the alternative truck routes and the Maverick Mothers scored a major victory during the era of Logan expansion.
Tickets to the event may be bought at the door via check or credit card. To find out more information about sponsorship opportunities, ticket prices, or to RSVP please call (617) 943-4745 or email [email protected].