Pictured from left to right: Chris McCarthy (Meetinghouse Campaign Committee), John Jones (Mimi Jones' husband), Mary Margaret Earl (UUUM Executive Director), Vivian Jones (friend of Mimi Jones), and Karla Baehr (UUUM Board Chair)
Celebrating the life and work of Mimi Jones
The UU Urban Ministry (UUUM) held a ribbon cutting event on its newly restored greenspace on Friday, June 25, 2021 for a permanent memorial honoring civil rights activist and former UUUM board member, Mimi Jones.
Mimi Jones was celebrated at the event by her husband, John, UUUM executive director, Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, and friends and colleagues. Mrs. Jones will be memorialized with a bench on the UUUM campus, where she served for years as a volunteer and member of the board of directors. She died at her home in Roxbury on July 26, 2020.
Mimi Jones was a long time Roxbury resident and community activist, who was on the front line as a “foot soldier” in the Civil Rights Movement as a youth in her native Albany, Georgia. As a teenager during the height of the Movement in the 1960’s, she pursued and engaged in direct action to confront and challenge racism, including the St. Augustine swim-in (1964).
“We would not have had the decisive victory that we had in the ’64 Civil Rights Act if we had not been in St. Augustine,” activist, politician and diplomat Andrew Young said in an interview for the 2015 documentary “Passage at St. Augustine.”
The UUUM greenspace in John Eliot Square was recently restored, including rebuilding the historic brick piers and recreating an historic circular drive. The funders who made the work possible were Boston Community Preservation Act funding, Harold Whitworth Pierce Trust, the George B. Henderson Foundation, and the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund. The goal of the extensive project was affirming the historic integrity of the greenspace and making it more accessible to the community.
The board of directors of the UU Urban Ministry unanimously decided to honor Mimi Jones in the space because of her commitment to community, and her love of visiting the greenspace to hear the Makanda Project jazz band play there each summer. The Makanda Project also performed for the ribbon cutting in honor of Mimi.
Rev. Earl spoke of the impact Mimi Jones had on the UU Urban Ministry community. “She was an inspiration to all who encountered her, bringing a passion for community, a kindness to all, and a steadfast commitment to justice in all her work. She was beloved to everyone who crossed paths with her.”