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John Barros, Executive Director, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

John Barros, a lifelong resident of the Dudley neighborhood, became Executive Director after a national search in 2000. He has been involved since he was a teenager, serving as organizer, leader, and innovator in many ways. He was cofounder of DSNI’s Nubian Roots Youth Committee and helped start important DSNI youth programs such as college mentoring and job advocacy. John is the designer of the prominent 1993 “Unity through Diversity” mural. At age 17 he was the first youth elected to the DSNI Board of Directors. During 1997-98 John was elected Vice President of the DSNI Board. He also served aterm as Vice-President of Dudley Neighbors, Inc. (DNI), the community land trust created to ensure land use control and permanent housing affordability.


John is a member of the 2005 Fellows class in the South African-United States Center for Leadership and Public Values and is a 2007 Barr Foundation Fellow. He serves on the Community Advisory Board for Northeastern University’s Race and Justice Institute and the Board of the New Democracy Coalition. He was elected Co-Chairperson of the Center for Community Builders, a national practitioner network. He was a member of the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Community Change.


John has received numerous awards including: the inaugural Community Service Award from the Boston Day & Evening Academy in 2008; the Robert Leo Ruffin Award from the Archdiocese of Boston in 2004; the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Roxbury Community Award in 2000.


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