Civic Leadership Award

Juwan Skeens

Juwan Skeens was born and raised in Dorchester where his family has owned property for over 50 years. He is a Boston Public School graduate from The Joseph Lee School, Timilty Middle School, and Excel High School. While at Excel he was a Junior Varsity Debate Champion of the Boston Debate League and Senior Class President. Juwan has managed the Norfolk Street Bridge Facebook page since September 2020 to document and advocate for improvements for overall public safety. He is the Director of our community-led Life Skills Training and Wellness Center, supporting neighborhood associations and councils to educate and build generational wealth and wellness and a member of the Redefining Our Community (ROC) Civic Association. ROC was founded in 2009 following the murder of thirteen-year-old Steven P. Odom, the youngest son of Ron and Kim Odom, in 2007. While attending Boston Public Schools there were not resources to help recover from this traumatic event, so neighbors came together and started to hold monthly meetings, neighborhood crime watches, and annual block parties to change the perception of the community.

As a former Neighborhood Liaison to District 4, Juwan worked alongside former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell from 2016-2018 and served the communities of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan by attending zoning board meetings and nearly 20 civic association meetings monthly to connect neighbors and businesses to city, state, and federal resources to resolve concerns. As a D4 Neighborhood Liaison, he founded and co-hosted the Boston Youth Expo in 2017, connecting Boston youth and families to jobs and after-school programs alongside the offices of then At-Large City Councilors Ayanna Pressley, Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George. In 2016, Juwan helped start Grove Hall In Color along with Project Right, Ekua Holmes, and Nicole Flynt, that he supports annually. From 2018-2020, Juwan served as a BCYF/JMCC Youth Worker, managing both a teen program and their entrepreneurial business venture, Boston Body Butter, where they were presented with citations by the Boston City Council.

In 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, Juwan engaged in fundraising, marketing, and community organizing for ROC, lead two petitions, and delivered food for businesses to families around Massachusetts, all while a full-time college student. He was also a Covid Community Educator under The Boston Project Ministries, where he developed fliers and presentations on ways to educate our communities to further navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and keep families safe.

Juwan strongly believes he has both a right and a duty to always make sure his community and he is represented and that we have a seat at the table.