Last week, in our first installment of “A Summer To IGNITE Change” we introduced Huixian Li and our winning IGNITE Change Project. During the summer and fall of 2013, the Boston GLOW Girl Leaders and their Organized Women mentors will be brainstorming, organizing and implementing Huixian’s idea for community change. Check out her project and be sure to follow our weekly updates!
“Fenway Park!”“ Copley!” “The Zakim Bridge!” “The golden dome of the State House!” “Penguins at the Aquarium!” There was a palpable excitement in the room as the Girls Leadership Team and their Organized Women mentors started brainstorming what to include in a mural to be placed in Chinatown to support Chinese women and girls in learning more about their vibrant life outside of their comfort zones. This group of young female leaders joined together during a summer Saturday afternoon to support 17 year-old Huixian Li, the 2013 IGNITE Change Winner in implementing her own plan for community change to empower women and girls in her community. Huixian’s project involves painting an eye-catching mural in Chinatown depicting a map of Boston as an effort to connect the women of Chinatown with the rest of the city. The mural will also remind visitors and tourists to the Chinatown community of the important role Chinatown plays in the city of Boston. Huixian aims to complete this project as part of an ongoing effort to support women in Chinatown to follow her lead, and actively engage in their own community.
When Huixian submitted her essay back in January of 2013, she never expected that she would soon be facilitating a project management meeting during her summer before attending college. However, it wasn’t long after working with her Organized Women mentors, that she developed a meeting agenda and was forming teams of her peers, as well as Organized Women community leaders, to support her in making her plan for change a reality.
Huixian’s meeting included brainstorming volunteer needs, unveiling her mural draft, and most importantly, a trip to Chinatown to explore the community. After all, part of Huixian’s idea was to show the power and life of Chinatown so, of course, GLOW leaders must explore the neighborhood. Off we went to research businesses and check out some potential mural spaces.
For many of the IGNITE Change project team, it was one of our first opportunity to see Chinatown beyond the delicious dumplings and a pathway to Tufts Medical Center. Thanks to Huixian’s leadership and ideas, we are thrilled that we have a mural to paint and a neighborhood to explore!
For more information about the 2013 IGNITE Change Leadership Project, how you can get involved or to learn about the 2014 contest, contact AC Gaughen, Director of Girls’ Leadership at Boston GLOW at firstname.lastname@example.org.