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Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative is a nonprofit community-based planning and organizing entity birthed in 1984 out of the passion, ingenuity and determination of Dudley residents seeking to reclaim a neighborhood that had been ravaged by disinvestment, arson fires and dumping. DSNI's mission is to empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners.
When many had given up, DSNI dared to gather neighbors to create a comprehensive plan and a shared vision for a new, vibrant urban village.
To fulfill the community mandate for development without displacement, DSNI gained eminent domain authority, purchased vacant land, and protected affordability and family stability through a community land trust. The once garbage-strewn vacant lots have been rebuilt with quality affordable houses, parks and playgrounds, gardens, community facilities, and new businesses.
Through our Board structure, residents lead an effort that includes all neighborhood stakeholders in a democratically-elected, community accountable process. Together, we have created greater civic participation, economic opportunity, community connections, and opportunities for youth. We have built community across our diversity –of language, race & ethnicity, age. We have invested in our young people and the youth in turn have invested in the community.