On Tuesday, November 10 at 6 p.m., City Councilor Lydia Edwards and the Edwards Empowerment Fund will host a virtual East Boston Trivia and Comedy Night to honor this year’s recipients of the Maverick Street Mothers Scholarship.
The winners of the scholarship have not been selected as of yet and qualified candidates wishing to submit an application can email [email protected]
The recipients will be announced ahead of the virtual event.
“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 Councilor Edwards. “Scholarship recipients will be shining examples of what it means to be involved and engaged members of the community. They are individuals who continue the important work of the original mothers by advocating for a better East Boston.”
The Maverick Street Mothers organized community protests in the late 1960’s 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.
In honor of this movement, the Edwards Empowerment Fund, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, 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.
Last year the Edwards Empowerment Fund dispersed over $10,000 worth of scholarship money to five deserving parents in East Boston at a gala that was attended by 100 community members at Spinelli’s Banquet Hall.
Recipients of the inaugural Maverick Street Mothers Scholarship last year were Mary Luz Barrera, Dominique DiDomenicis, Lisa Melara, and Noemy Rodriguez.
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 who 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 blocked the street.
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 the protests would not end, but continued 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.
For more information on how to purchase tickets or sponsor the event, please email [email protected] or call (617) 943-4745.