For our second week of commemorating Black Changemakers of the Bronx River, we honor the work of Gloria Alston.
84-year-old Gloria Alston is a long-time resident of the Bronx and witnessed the fires of the 60s and 70s, the neglect of her home by the government over the subsequent decades, and the need for community programs and affordable housing. These experiences that affected her and her community were one of many reasons that she became an active member of the Bronx community board for 30 years. In her time on the board, she worked with members of her community to organize rebuilding efforts that still stand today, such as the famous Charlotte Gardens housing project. She attributes much of her success in these endeavors to her fellow members of the Bronx community board, Genevieve Brooks and Verilyn Hamilton, who have since passed on. Along with her housing projects, she was an advocate for the families in the Bronx. As a part of the MLK Children’s health center, Gloria helped organize the Children’s Circle daycare center that still stands at 1332 Fulton Ave. in the Bronx. The center provided childcare support to Bronx parents and grandparents who could not find affordable options locally. Children’s circle also ran programming for grandparents who became unexpected parents in the wake of the drug epidemic of the 80s, providing for both caregiver and child.
Gloria’s mission to help rebuild and support the families of the Bronx continues to inspire the Bronx River Alliance and many of our fellow community organizations who have been impacted by her altruism.