“Dawnn’s superpower was helping everyone around her to realize their full potential.”
– Bie Aweh, West End House Alumna
Along with many other members of the West End House family, Bie Aweh posted a video reflecting on the life of Dawn Jaffier, the woman who inspired our annual Biggest Fun Ever! Celebration. Before becoming an innocent victim of gun violence, Dawnn was a mentor and role model for hundreds of young people.
In her honor, West End House traditionally holds a vibrant outdoor celebration in Ringer Park, with kids’ activities, a basketball tournament, double dutch competition, face painting, food, music and dancing. This year’s celebration had to make some adjustments to keep everyone safe, but the celebration of community was undeterred.
First thing in the morning, community members stopped by West End House to pick up a bouquet of orange roses, each carrying a message about Dawnn’s life and work. The roses were then given out:
…at The Hennigan Elementary school where Dawnn spent a year of City Year service
…to strangers on up and down Blue Hills Ave
… in Ringer Park where Dawnn loved to play kickball
… to neighbors in the Allston/Brighton neighborhood
… to Dawnn’s mother
… to EMTs
… at local restaurants
… at the houses of Dawnn’s friends
Throughout the day, people shared videos and photos celebrating the occasion and reflecting on ways to carry on her work for social justice and youth empowerment. Tagged with #dawnnforpeace and #BFE2020, these posts formed a chorus of joy and remembrance, and many of them are included below. At 6pm, the community was able to gather online with a virtual dance party hosted on Instagram by DJ Real P.
As Bie recommended a little later in her video, the community danced to Soca music and celebrated a shared commitment to investing in one another.