Danielle Sommer

Danielle Sommer

“Communities are an ecosystem, with biodiversity and balance crucial to maintaining them.”

Danielle grew up in Egleston Square, where she remains a community activist dedicated to social justice. But this is only part of her story. She is also at the forefront of a movement in Jamaica Plain that is transforming her community from one that burned with unrest in the 70’s, later finding it’s residents displaced by gentrification, to one with a contemporary and inclusive conscience. Danielle channels much of that effort through her work as the program coordinator at the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center, which educates youth and adults for academic success, and community engagement.

In 2015, the Hawthorne Center experienced an incredible loss when their director Samantha “Sam” Sadd passed away. Danielle felt the most positive way to honor her memory and efforts in the community was by ensuring the ‘Grow it. Cook It. Share It.’ at Sam’s House’ program became a reality, keeping kids involved in Hawthorne’s Summer program while providing intergenerational meals to the local community. Always facing limited resources, and knowing she must be very efficient with what they do, she still managed to grow the program into a year-round effort in just two short years, teaching kids urban farming and producing food through the four seasons.

Hawthorne and the Boston Food Forest share similar visions, supporting sustainable agricul-ture and utilizing community spaces to foster that connection. Bridging a space between long term community residents and those that are relatively new, Danielle works to help create green spaces and host community dinners using gardens and food to unite and support the City of Boston and it’s communities of color, while promoting socioeconomic diversity.

Danielle holds a BA in Sociology from Bowdoin College and continuing eductation at the Massachusetts College of Art. She is an editor and videographer, as well as a community activist working for affordable housing in the Egleston section of Jamaica Plain in Boston.

Contact Danielle