United Neighbors Of Lower Roxbury History & Vision

Gretchen L. Flippin Jackson

United Neighbors Of Lower Roxbury History & Vision

United Neighbors of Lower Roxbury [UNLR] is resolved and determined to keep, maintain, and develop the land, it currently owns, in perpetuity, for the benefit of its friends and neighbors, who have remained committed to the purpose of providing a community haven for the diversity that is the Lower Roxbury community.  UNLR, from its inception nearly 50 years ago, is an organization of neighbors and community members working together to protect and benefit their neighborhood and homes, first by stopping a highway expansion that would decimate Lower Roxbury in 1971 and now, to maintain and keep intact a neighborhood community under attack through the gentrification process.

Lower Roxbury

Lower Roxbury is rich in history and people.  The Lower Roxbury Black History Project has archived many of the stories, photographs and writings of many of the residents, activists, political figures celebrities and workers in Lower Roxbury housed in Northeastern University’s digital archives.

Past President of UNLR  Gretchen L. Flippin Jackson was wise enough to negotiate the purchase of 90 Windsor Street from the BRA, now the BPDA in 1981.   UNLR marked it’s progress with our first Annual Town Hall Community Gathering celebrating 110 years of community photographers in May, 2017.

History in the Garden” May, 2017 Bessie Barnes Memorial Garden, Lower Roxbury

UNLR’s development should holistically, capture and celebrate this history while providing the very best in sustainable, green technology that abates and heals some of the environmental factors that continue to challenge its residents, i.e. Melnea Cass Boulevard is a heat island and may be ameliorated with green roofs, solar panels and reflective, cool materials on buildings, walkways and roads.  Adequate housing for all, green, open space, commerce and training opportunities and place to gather for residents, and visitors both young and old.  We envision a destination place with affordable and market rate housing, entrepreneurship, communal space set in a beautiful green, open space that is sustainable both financially and environmentally and is welcoming to all, but especially the long-term residents, youth and seniors.

UNLR 90 Windsor St Lower Roxbury MA

UNLR is actively engaged in a development process that benefits UNLR and guarantees ownership, control, growth and development of 90 Windsor Street, in perpetuity.  UNLR has always desired a community center, that includes an artist space, green, open space and a self-sustaining buildings, for the use and benefit of the membership of UNLR and residents of Lower Roxbury.   By self-sustaining UNLR mean housing, that is truly affordable fueled by market rate housing, rich and poor together: retail rental or lease space; youth-oriented agri-business, donor supported programming; and any other revenue streams available to a 501c3s to make UNLR viable and self-sufficient.


1 Melnea Cass was an American community and civil rights activist. She was deeply involved in many community projects and volunteer groups in the South End and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston and helped found the Boston local of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Cass also assisted women with voter registration after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. She was affectionately known as the “First Lady of Roxbury.” -Wikipedia.org

Interview: Jackson, Gretchen Lucinda Flippin and Sarah-Ann Shaw: Audio (4 .wma). Lower Roxbury Black History Project records, . Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections.
1 Comment
  • RoxburyLove
    Posted at 04:55h, 25 August Reply

    How nice to see Ms. Jackson’s face again after all these years. Great work!

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