LISC National

Word on the Street: A LISC Story Slam

Storyteller Shantel Alix tells the story of how public art, murals, affordable homes, and community engagement brought separate communities in Salem together and cultivated a new sense of neighborhood pride among residents in El Punto.
Local small business owner and LISC Kiva Borrower Lyndigo Spice catered the reception.
Local band MastAdonis Project providing music for the reception.
Cathy Mercado of the Merrimack Valley on stage sharing her story of buying an affordable home.
Storyteller Jerome Daye describing the origins of Breakfast IV Brothers.
Intermission featured coffee and dessert by Sweet Teez - sponsored by Winn Companies.

Boston, MA - On Wednesday, November 13, nine volunteer storytellers took to the stage at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology for Word on the Street: A LISC Story Slam, a community development-themed fundraiser in the style of The Moth. The event showcased personal stories from residents, community members, and non-profit partners in the field as well as food, dessert, and music from local entrepreneurs. LISC Executive Director and program emcee Karen Kelleher invited audience members to participate in the show. The event was the first of what will be an annual story slam-style fundraiser for LISC.

The stories reflected the challenges and the joy LISC and our partners in community development experience everyday. The storytellers highlighted their unique leaps of faith, how they overcame particularly difficult hardships, learned lessons, pursued newly discovered personal interests and new career paths, their journey to receiving support a critical time.

Story Slam ProgramNicole Burke described her struggle, many tries, and ultimate success buying a home through Southwest Boston CDC. The affordable home allowed her return to her hometown of Boston and reunite with her daughter.

Teresa Maynard described her leap of faith starting Sweet Teez Bakery with the help of CommonWealth Kitchen.

Jerome Daye, founder of Breakfast IV Brothers, explained the inspiration behind his monthly breakfasts which bring men of color and other community members together for fellowship, mentorship, and support.

Overall, the 9 stories were about finding and buying an affordable home, finding a new career path, starting a small business, bringing people together around a shared cause or working in community development.

Featured Storytellers and Non-Profit Partner Organizations

Before leaving for the evening, members of the audience voted and provided each storyteller with a superlative.

Each story and storyteller brought to life the work as well as the programmatic and financial investments we at LISC make each and every day to forge better communities.

Stay tuned for video, additional photos, and more on the stories from the evening.

Catering for evening was provided by Lyndigo Spice (a LISC Kiva Borrower & Commonwealth Kitchen member), dessert by Teresa Maynard Sweet Teez Bakery (also a LISC Kiva Borrower & Commonwealth Kitchen member), and music was by local artists the MastAdonis Project. Photos above were provided by LISC staff and volunteers.

Thank you to our audience, everyone who attended and especially those who shared their stories. Thank you Elana Brochin, Program Director of Health Equity of MACDC and champion storyteller, for coaching our storytellers. Thank you to our generous sponsors who helped make this event and our ongoing work possible.

We would like to especially thank our Visionary Sponsors:
The Boston Foundation & Winn Companies.







Boston Private
Edward M. Doherty
Klein Hornig, LLP

Boston Capital
Howard Cohen
Kevin P. Martin & Associates
Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
People's United Bank
Preservation Of Affordable Housing
TD Bank

And a Special Thanks to our Affiliates: