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and neighborhood revitalization since 1972
Movena Ross is the Wynona Lipman Gardens Tenant’s Association President, a housing project in the Lower Broadway neighborhood of Newark. She has a long history of community organizing, while raising her children and working for a living.
Ms. Ross moved to the northeast from South Carolina in 1963, like so many others just like her who sought better work opportunities and a better future for their children. Now retired, Ms. Ross worked her entire life in light industry work, and for twenty years with Amerace Corporation before its move to Canada. In the 1980s Ms. Ross moved to the subsidized Stella Wright housing project due to a change in household income. There she became engaged in helping feed the homeless in the neighborhood and other outreach with the tenant association there.
Ms. Ross was one of the first people to be re-located to Wynona Lippman Gardens when Stella Wright and other high rise housing were torn down in the early 2000s. She became heavily involved in the Wynona Lipman HOPE VI housing project and served as the point person to relocate families who had dispersed during the closing of the prior public housing. She got to know many people and learn of their struggles, and ensured that a tenant was represented in the entire HOPE VI transition process. Part of her responsibility was connecting former Stella Wright residents with construction jobs with the Newark Housing Authority. She soon became part of the new Wynona Lipman Gardens Tenant’s Association.
Today, as Tenant Association President, Ms. Ross’ vision is for all children to be uplifted with a high self-esteem and to ensure the children and seniors of Wynona Lipman Gardens have access to programs that really work. She hopes to see seniors enhance their health by exercise while receiving the health services they need, and to make sure they feel a part of the community so they are not separated or shut in. Ms. Ross is actively engaged in the Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association, facilitated by La Casa, which consists of a cross section of leaders of all corners of the community. Through that involvement she is reminded that her concerns and needs are the same as everyone’s. The community as a whole has common goals, and when dedicated people come together, a common vision can indeed become a reality.
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