The Winston Family
"The people of Berkley Town
are a part of Ashland."
Ms. Terri Winston-Abri was originally born in Berkley Town on February 4, 1956.
As a child, she spent her youth growing up in a house that now belongs to her aunt,
Carrie Burton. As Ms. Winston-Abri was beginning her tenth grade year of high school,
she moved to Ashland Town Square (ATS) until she graduated high school. She attended
Virginia Union University for one year and then left "because the money was not
there". She attended a few junior colleges thereafter but leaned more towards working
and being an entrepreneur. There was even one point in her life when she was maintaining
"Everything, basically, is focused around what you think you know, what you think
you want and where you think you're going...whatever it is that you think you want
to do, that's not always necessarily where you're going to end up."
In 1978, Ms. Winston-Abri moved from ATS to Alexandria, Virginia where she then
soon married during September of that same year, the main reason she left being
that the opportunities in terms of employment were limited. Her son was born the
following year in November of 1979. Ms. Winston-Abri lived in Alexandria until 1990
when she decided to make the move back to Ashland, primarily because her son became
tired of traveling. Since the year 1990, Ms. Winston-Abri has been a faithful resident
of Berkley Town.
"This is home. It's home for them. It's
home for me. That's the reason I came back because of all the places I had
lived, this was home."
As a community activist and Berkley Town leader, Ms. Winston-Abri believes that
Berkley Town is much a part of Ashland. Her perception of Berkley Town and it's
residents is a positive one in which she feels as though as much as the residents
wish to be a part of Ashland, they are.
"I spearheaded Ashland being rezoned…they wanted to put
us in a different district…our voting rights would have been violated.”
As a result of her fondness of Berkley Town and its residents,
Ms. Winston-Abri is an involved member of her community. She is the coordinator
of the Neighborhood Watch program in her district. In addition to her commitment
to the community’s safety, she is also a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee
for Ashland. Also, she sings in her church’s choir. Most importantly, she attends
meetings of the Berkley Town Community Development group and relays important information
back to the community that she feels is relevant to the community as a whole.
"As you increase with wealth, your need for each other decreases. People have a
tendency to move away from what was the core."
In addition, Ms. Winston-Abri feels as though the general sense of community was
stronger when she was younger as opposed to now because people have different needs.
She felt as though her neighbors were in a sense "extended family." One reason that
Ms. Winston-Abri believes can be attributable to this change is the fact that opportunities
for minorities were limited at the time and there were not many chances to propel
yourself into an "upwardly mobile place." Many of the people of Ms. Winston-Abri's
generation left due
to the lack of opportunity and "there was a need for people to have their own lifestyles
and to be able to prosper and so they had to go outside of the community to do it."
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