Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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Ruth Clarke
Community activist for revitalization of urban spaces

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What Else She Said

"Our motto is 'Fighting Crime With Flowers.' This makes us a kind of crime watch group. How does one fight crime? I don't know, but many things affect crime. And one of those things is the appearance of a neighborhood. We chose to focus on fighting crime with the beauty and cleanliness in what we developed. In doing this, we would try to appeal to the spiritual sense. This is a neighborhood that is, in many ways, devoid of anything that is spiritually satisfying. I mean, you go into a neighborhood and all you see is trash around and you never see a tree. I mean, what is there that is spiritually satisfying in that? It is uplifting to experience nature and beauty around you. We can have this is any community. I am very conscious of nature and beauty as being spiritually uplifting. I see nature as God's finest work; this is the magnificence of this world. Without this there is very little to satisfy a person. In Dorchester, if I want to walk, there is little that is spiritually satisfying. I think we can have these things in the community at least in some small way. And so we have tried to focus on that which appeals to the spiritual, because no other group has ever tried to focus on it. Every other organization has said, 'You can't have that until we get the crime rate down.' I'm saying, maybe you'll never get the crime rate down if you don't have this. And we can have this in spite of the crime rate."

"I was taught, and I believe, there is a spark of divinity in all of us. There is a little bit of God in all of us. There is something within all of us that aspires for the best-that can be touched and can be moved. And we have tried as best we could in what we are doing, and particularly with our approach to aesthetics and beauty, to reach this. And to appeal to the better side of people than the grubby, greedy side of people. There are some who said, 'Why do you need art?' Art is intrinsic to quality of life!"

How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Ruth Clarke on REWARDS." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Ruth Clarke on REWARDS," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.