CAMBRIDGE – Streets in downtown Cambridge were brightened Friday by the sound of music and children’s laughter. The occasion was a special event organized by local activists and endorsed by city agencies, all to allow children to enjoy a day in the sun.
“When asked what they wanted, the children of our community said they wanted a safe place to play,” a statement from the Cambridge Police Department said. “So, the community came together for our first ‘Safe Play’ event. Everyone really enjoyed themselves.”
The Greenwood Avenue area rocked to a DJ and dancing, while basketball games, face painting and more took place. Hundreds of residents took part in the festivities.
“We have the ability to make whatever neighborhood we want. It’s about assessing, strategizing and executing,” Acting Mayor Lajan Cephas said. “We hope to continue to pass the authority of leadership to our youth. Thank you, Cambridge Police Department for having the community’s back today and for filling our bellies with such great food from the grill. Thank you, community for standing up for the rights of our children. The staff of New Beginnings kept today’s Safe Play interesting and engaging. The vision of our youth made this happen.”
Executive Director of New Beginning Youth & Family Services Inc. Theresa Stafford, one of the organizers, thanked the mayor for her work, writing, “Your forward thinking was vital to the success of this event. I love your action-oriented leadership. You make things happen and it doesn’t take a year.”
Davonta Smith was one of the many who gave his time to the event, and is ready to do it all again.
“Today was probably the proudest I’ve ever been to be from Cambridge,” he wrote in a post on social media. “This is just the beginning, and we’re coming right back at you with Part 2 next Friday (May 6), same location.”