On April 27th, 2019, over 50 people from three BUILD member institutions—Knox Presbyterian Church, ReBUILD Metro, and the Oliver Action Team—gathered at the Dawson Family Memorial Garden in Oliver to clean key spaces in the neighborhood and share future hopes for local green spaces.
The garden, located at Preston St and Eden St at the south end of Oliver, honors the seven members of the Dawson family who were tragically killed when their home was firebombed in 2002. One Oliver resident and BUILD leader, Celena Owens, kicked off the action with a few words about her relationship with her neighborhood and her memory of the Dawson murders: “I knew that this happened somewhere in East Baltimore, but I didn’t know it was the neighborhood that I would later move to.”
After their moment of somber reflection and remembrance, the cleanup crew sprang into action, beautifying select spots around the garden, on Biddle Street, and along the Gay Street Corridor. The day was full of hard work and connection (and fun) among the residents of Oliver—a display of the community building and neighborhood dedication that BUILD is facilitating all over Baltimore.