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Celebrating Black Life History Culture
"Black history is made every day, and we all should remember that year-round." - NAACP
Here are some articles to learn more:
Check out the full list put out by the Department of Health here. Second section has many Black History Month articles.
We have not been waiting for change--we have been working for it.
Upcoming Protests and Events
Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests
- The Walpole Peace and Justice Group continues to support racial and social justice efforts. Scheduled events are posted on the Facebook page for Walpole Peace and Justice Group.
- Check out the events posted by Massachusetts Standing Up for Racial Justice and see how you can participate today!
- 1st at 2pm
- The Hunt Institute is putting on another free webinar on Combatting the Model Minority Myth in Education. Webinar is free and will be hosted by The Honorable Sharon Tomiko Santos, Kat Ling, Leangelo Acuna, and Takeru "TK" Nagayoshi.
- 6th at 2pm
- Join hosts Dr. Tracye Strichik, Lori Masseur, Dr. Rachel Demma, and Terri Clark for a free webinar on Equity in Early Childhood Systems.
- 13th at 2pm
- Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell, and Dr. Michael Rice welcome you to join them for a free webinar on Educator Prep during Covid-19!
Take Action! It's time, this is our moment!
- Write to your U.S. legislators in support of three juvenile justice bills aimed at keeping youth out of the system! No time to write a letter? USE OURS! Just add your name and legislator to the template here (find your legislators here). Don't forget to sign the change.org petition on your way out.
- Take just 1 minute to send a pre-written letter to legislators in your area urging them to support fair pay legislation. Human service providers are underpaid and undervalued, ask your legislator to support two bills that will begin to change that!
- Urgent! The FY22 budgets have been released with budget cuts to HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis C treatments. Ask your senator to support restoring these items in the final budget with only 1 minute of your time!
COVID-19 and Vaccination Information
Learn about the COVID-19 vaccine from a conversation with Dr. Fauci & Mayor Marty Walsh, led by Rev. Liz Walker and Rev. Gloria-White Hammond. Here's the link!
Check out the official Mass.gov web page for information on the vaccine and when it will be available!
Here is the list of benefits of the vaccine as laid out by the CDC!
Read how black doctors are trying to raise awareness for the importance of vaccinations. Link Here
Check out the Massachusetts Home Visiting Initiative weekly digest for a comprehensive list of resources for parents, providers, agencies, and everyone in between. Click here to download the pdf.
Legislation Supported by JRI
You can find contact info for your state legislator here: And then call or email to ask that they support legislation.
General Social Justice
- Check out some legislative priorities addressing equity, inclusion, learning gaps, and much more in Connecticut! Read it in "The Day" here.
- An Act Relative to Accountability For Vulnerable Children and Families (H.239, Khan) and (S.32, Lovely) This bill would require DCF to include data on sexual orientation and gender identity in their demographics to provide better support for LGBTQ+ youth. Learn more information here, provided by Citizens for Juvenile Justice and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
- Lift Kids Out of Deep Poverty, (H.199, Decker) and (S.96, DiDomenico). These bills will raise cash assistance grants in Massachusetts by 10% per year until they reach 50% of the federal poverty level. Current grant levels are woefully inadequate - for example, the maximum for a family of 3 is only $593 per month. This leaves families struggling to meet their children's most basic needs, like housing, food and diapers.
- Check out the list of legislative priorities put out by the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health here!
- Ask your legislators to support increased lead agency funding. This ask would set the budget line item back to the previous amount before the recession hit in 2008. Check out more about the ask here!
- An Act Improving Juvenile Justice Data Collection (H.1795, Miranda) and (S.1558, Creem)
- An Act Relative to Judicial Supervision to Promote Child Well-Being (H.1569, Oakley) and (S.984, Creem)
- An Act Clarifying Consent Laws for Adolescents (H.1726, Lewis & Fernandes) and (S.1126, Rausch)
- An Act Relative to Safer Schools (H.648, Khan) and (S.286, Chandler)
- An Act to Prioritize Violence Prevention and Social Emotional Health in School Support Staff Hiring (S.290, Chang-Diaz)
- An Act Relative to the Location of School Resource Officers (H.694, Sabadosa)
- An Act to Promote the Education Success of Court Involved Children (H.664, Meschino) and (S.344, Jehlen)
- An Act to Promote Public Safety and Better Outcomes for Young Adults (H.1826, O'Day & Khan) and (S.920, Boncore)
- An Act Relative to Expungement of Juvenile and Young Adult Records (H.1531, Decker & Khan) and (S.980, Creem)
- An Act Relative to Juveniles Accused of Sex Offenses (S.933, Brownsberger)
- An Act to Prevent the Imposition of mandatory Minimum Sentences Based on Juvenile Adjudications (H.1794, Miranda) and (S.1022, Eldridge)
- Raise the Age of Youthful Offender and Adult Prosecution from 14 to 16
- "Second Look" for Youth Sentenced for Offenses Committed Before Age 18
- Limit Maximum Length of Pre-Trial Detention for Youth Held Under A Dangerousness Hearing
- An Act Protecting Youth During Custodial Interrogations (S.90, Creem)
- An Act Providing Easier and Greater Access to Record Sealing (S.1037, Friedman)
- An Act Providing for Certificates of Rehabilitation, Second Chances, Increased Success, and Community Prosperity (S.932, Brownsberger)
Human Services Providers
- An Act Establishing a Loan Repayment Program for Direct Care Human Service Workers (S.120, Lesser) and (H.266, Roy) - Take Action Above!
- An Act Relative to Fair Pay for Comparable Work (S.105, Friedman) and (H.237, Khan) - Take Action Above!
Individuals with Disabilities
- An Act Relative to Strengthening Background Checks (S.393)
- An Act Relative to Assure Opportunities for All Students with Disabilities (H.611)
- An Act Relative to Licensing Group Care Facilities Serving Students with Special Needs (H.647)
- An Act to Create a Facilities Loan Program for Private Special education Schools (S.345)
Ten point plan to combat systemic racism Elected officials of color developed a 10 point plan to combat systemic racism in policing and police brutality.
You can find contact info for your Rhode Island state legislator here: And then call or email to ask that they support legislation.
- Judge McConnell orders Rhode Island to improve provider pay starting in FY2022. See the order here!
- Check out the May news brief outlined by the Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families here!
- Want updates about advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities? Check them out here
You can find contact info for your Connecticut state legislator here: And then call or email to ask that they support legislation.
- Check out the constant contact page for the Alliance, a public policy committee that keeps you up to date on all of the legislative updates in Connecticut!
- JRI fully supports the proposed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. Download the fact sheet to learn more about the proposed changes.
- Protecting kids at the point of arrest/entrance into the systemH.R. 2834, by Congressman Tony Cardenas.
- Establishing a minimum juvenile and adult court age, H.R. 2908, by Congresswoman Karen Bass.
- Reforming sentencing standards for children convicted as adults, H.R. 2858, by Congressman Bruce Westerman.
School Resource Officer Research:
All available evidence does not support the argument that police in schools make them safer; their presence is instead tied to increased arrest, disproportionately targeting students of color, for low-level offenses. The presence of and interactions with police in schools have a negative impact on students' academic achievement and mental health, and creates an environment of fear and distrust; School police are NOT counselors: students do not have any confidentiality protections in dealings with school police as they do with counselors and mental health professionals.
Check out the new media kit around School Resource Officers (SRO's) and the research that shows their ineffectiveness in school settings. The report was created by Citizens for Juvenile Justice and Strategies for Youth to highlight the disparities when it comes to treatment of white students and students of color as well as other downfalls of policing in schools.
Racial Justice Resources
Citizens for Juvenile Justice: Check out a new report and plan for reducing police responses to non-criminal community incidents.
Letters for Black Lives: an open letter project on anti-blackness (a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities)
Harvard Business Review: Woke-Washing Your Company Won't Cut It
Huffington Post: Disconnect Between How White People and People of Color View Allyship in the Workplace
The Atlantic: Anti-Racism Books Are a Means Not an End
MetroWest Health Foundation releases report, "Racism and Public Health: A Connection Rooted in Structural Inequities". Clear data and straightforward conclusions from a community organization working with Metro West communities to address racial disparities in healthcare.
This op-ed was written by Dr. Jeannette Callahan from JRI’s DYS division. She uses her perspective as a pediatrician to advocate for changing the laws around qualified immunity for the police. Check it out here!
Check out the Federal Juvenile Justice Networks updates for the month of January 2021 here!
Waltham Residents Urge City to Remove Columbus Memorial. JRI supports Indigenous People's Day! Check out this article in The Patch.
Information About the New "Public Charge" Rule
The new “public charge” rule is now in effect in all states except New York, Vermont and Connecticut. For more information about the public charge rule please visit the Protecting Immigrant Families website. Links to additional resources are provided below.
Here are some important things to know:
1. Many immigrant groups are not subject to the “public charge” test including: Lawful Permanent Residents, asylum seekers, refugees, TPS, DACA renewals, U or T Visas, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.
2. Some benefits are not considered in determining whether someone is likely to become a “public charge” including: Medicaid for children under 21 years old, pregnant women, and new mothers.
For specific information about how the new “public charge” rule may affect you, consult an immigration attorney.
Know Your Rights: What to do if you’re stopped by police, immigration agents, or the FBI Know your rights (English)
Conozca sus derechos: parado/a por la policia, agentes de inmigracios o el FBI Know your rights (Spanish)
Immigrant Raid Resources:
CLASP Immigration Raid Resources
National Immigration Law Center How to Be Prepared for an Immigration Raid
National Immigrant Justice Center Community Resources
United We Dream Know Your Power, Know Your Rights
Cosecha: Advocacy group requesting fund to continue the fight for DACA students. Support the Fight Financially.
United We Dream Network
DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving
Student Immigrant Movement - local Boston organization for undocumented students
Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)
LGBTQ+ Information and Resources
LGBTQ Organizations Call for Swift Response to Address Devastating Prison Conditions. Read the full letter in response to the U.S. Department of Justice report on living conditions for incarcerated individuals.
Mental Health Information, Resources for Persons with Disabilities, and other Social Justice Issues
The New York Times: People with Disabilities Make Up 20 Percent of the Population Yet They're Still Invisible
Equity Matters: Mental Health - Switching the Focus from Access to Re-thinking the Delivery System - a blog post from MetroWest Health Foundation
The Lily: Mom Bias is Real and No Industry is Immune to It
JRI and William James College
JRI and William James College have partnered to expand and develop the ‘pipeline’ of candidates that reflect the diversity and lived experience of the communities we serve. With William James, and with other colleges and universities, we have found partners that share our social justice mission, our commitment to racial equity, and our dedication to culturally competent services. A very important part of this effort is to substantially reduce the cost of education. By helping student/employees to avoid crippling college debt, many of these new partnerships alongside JRI are making careers in nonprofit work more attractive to a broader and more diverse base of individuals.” - Andy Pond, CEO of JRI
Photos from Protests and Events