~ Contributed by Taevy Malone
Meet Mark Bailey. He’s been living in Bedford since 2003 with his wife and two daughters. You may have seen him around the Bedford Common – nearly every Friday night and on other days – holding up signs for important recent social issues, hosting vigils, and being an active member of the community.
Mark is one of the founders of the group Side with Black Lives Bedford, which came into existence about two years ago, following the death of George Floyd. His other roles include being a member of the C4RJ (Communities for Restorative Justice), where he is a facilitator and sits on the development committee. He is a youth group advisor at First Parish church, sits on the Faith Development Committee, and is a member of the Parish board. For the town of Bedford, he is Chair of the Bicycle Advisory Committee.
As some might know, Mark Bailey has been hosting different events on Bedford Common since 2020. His main goal is to sustain and keep perspective about what is going on in the world. He uses these events to spread awareness of the important social issues of this time, such as racial justice, climate change, voting rights, the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, and gun violence. In the future, he would also like to greatly expand the celebration of Juneteenth, to appreciate the history and have more awareness of this “new” holiday.
“The goal is to bring this town together and find common ground, and to hear and understand others,” says Mark.
Many of his events help people come together as a community, so the next generation can learn more about these sorts of issues. It’s a safe place where people of all races and ages come together to share common ground.
“The youth of this town are our best hope,” he says. “I take pride in the fact that the group Side with Black Lives Bedford wasn’t started by old white guys like me, but it authentically began with young people in this town.”
One big aspect of Mark’s goals is to turn “Activity into Action.” He aspires to do more than just host these events, but also to raise money for different charities and services, like the Brigid Alliance, a service that provides all kinds of support for people seeking abortions. He has been working hard to reach his goals of turning activity into action, and plans to continue working to make a change.
You can learn more about the organizations Mark supports below:
Brigid Alliance (goal of $1,000): https://www.facebook.com/donate/3327579307523986/
(Mothers Out Front) Join Climate Justice Action Call: https://www.mothersoutfront.org/events/climate-justice-action-call/
Join and Support Mothers Out Front: https://www.mothersoutfront.org/team/massachusetts/bedford/
Voting Rights- Join Indivisible Mass Action: https://indivisible-ma.org/get-involved/
~ Editor’s Note: Taevy Malone is a rising 7th-grader at the John Glenn Middle School