Springfield social justice organization holds annual meeting

The mission is to protect and organize low income people and immigrants

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts members of the community activist group “Arise for Social Justice” gathered in Springfield today.

Arise for Social Justice is a grassroots low income rights organization.

Michaelann Bewsee, the Executive Director for Arise for Social Justice, told 22News, “We used to think it only applied to a very narrow range of topics but we now realize there’s not a single issue out there that doesn’t affect us.”

The group held its 32nd annual meeting Saturday at the Wesley United Methodist Church on State Street in Springfield to give presentations to the community about what they’ve been up to this past year, what their plans are, and they elect their Board of Directors.

Terette Lowe, the President of the Board, said, “We making more elections trying to get more ideas from other neighborhoods from different communities.”

The overall mission is to protect and organize low income people and immigrants. Economic, criminal and environmental justice are among the topics focused on.

The Arise organization has been a part of the Springfield community for over 30 years, fighting for social justice and taking interest in a variety of issues. Many members I spoke with today said now is more important than ever to stay the course.

With the election of the new President Donald Trump, some group members have expressed concern

Stickii Quest of Springfield said, “It matters more than ever because right now somebody is in office that wants to take away all of our rights, and who doesn’t care about poor people, that doesn’t care about black people, that doesn’t care about queer, refugees or immigrants.”

Some members say they’re taking a proactive approach to voicing their discontent.

Quest continued on saying, “As people in the city, as people that are greatly affected we are going to come together stronger than ever to combat all the things that are going to be put up against us.”

The group meets the fourth Monday of every month.