JRI/COVID-19 Navigator

Do you have a question about how JRI services, related to COVID-19 or otherwise?

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

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Upcoming Protests and Events

COVID-19 and Vaccination Info

Legislation Supported by JRI

Racial Justice Resources

Immigration Resources

LGBTQ+ Information and Resources

JRI and William James College

Photos from Protests and Other Events



A message from Andy Pond, President & CEO:

Four years ago, in the wake of a divisive election, we encouraged everyone to work to elect officials that reflect their values.  I also encouraged our colleagues to recognize that the work we do every day advances those goals. And sure enough, JRI's internal focus and external advocacy on diversity and inclusion have both advanced greatly since then: There are multiple initiatives at JRI based on our most recent strategic plan that are focused on diversity and inclusion.

This election has left me much more hopeful. Voting turnout was high. A brighter light has been shone a spotlight on critical issues of racism, police violence, immigration, homophobia, and the disproportionate impact of COVID on people of color. And as with every election, depending on your individual perspective, there is both good news, and areas that are still concerning. In their acceptance speeches, both the President-Elect and the Vice President-Elect called out systemic racism as one of the great barriers remaining to a “more perfect union”.  We can also expect a comprehensive Federal response to the virus.

And let us also celebrate—regardless of party—the fact that Kamala Harris has smashed multiple barriers. A daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and from India, she is the first woman, the first South Asian, and first Black Vice President. That is a truly amazing indicator that progress is real.

Kamala Harris and Former Vice Presidents

No place of employment, no community, no large group of any kind is political monoculture. Not all of us will be happy with the results of this election. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground. Difficult (and courageous!) conversations can still be civil and productive.

Both Biden and Harris have said—explicitly--that the winning side this time (in addition to taking strong action) will be magnanimous in victory, and strive to serve all Americans, not just those who voted for them. We hope this message of bipartisan inclusion and tolerance will resonate widely.

For those of us who are happy with the outcome, we have an obligation to hold our elected officials to their promises. The work is not yet done.

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 will continue to launch stand-out vigils through 2020 supporting racial and social justice efforts.  Scheduled events are posted on the Facebook page for Walpole Peace and Justice Group.
  • Framingham Group Plans Weekly Black Lives Matter Demonstrations.  The demonstrators plan to stand at a busy downtown Framingham intersection on a weekly basis.  Learn more.


  • 17th at 4pm
    • Join Boston Children's Chorus for their free MLK concert live stream. Register here!
  • 18th from 11am - 3pm
    • Come to the Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast for FREE this year! Register here! Workshops are available during the event and closed captioning will be available.
  • 27th from 12pm - 12:45pm
    • Join Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, for a free webinar! Register here!



  • 18th - 21st 
    • ​​​​​​​Take part in the 2021 Virtual Pyschotherapy Networker Symposium. Join just the 21st, or take part in all four days! Over 60 CE workshops are available. A major focus this year is on how to heal racial trauma. Learn more about the many speakers and workshops here!

Take Action!

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: https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator  And then call or email to ask that they support: 


  • An Act Relative to Accountability For Vulnerable Children and Families (H.4852This 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.102, Decker) and (S.36, 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.

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.

Reform, Shift + Build Act, released by the Senate.  This race equity and policing bill expands the eligibility for expungement.  Here's more information on the expungement law.

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.

Police presence in schools is detrimental for students, new study finds

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

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

Learn more about the candidates for US Senate and how they responded to questions about Justice System Reform.

As Massachusetts Reopens, Data Shows People of Color Face Greater Risk From COVID-19.

Guest Commentary in Lexington: All Black Lives Matter by Together We Rise Group

Essay from Rep. John Lewis written before his death to be released on the day of his funeral.

Listen to JRI's podcast episode about our response to COVID-19 and racial injustices.

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.

Framingham, the ball’s in your court’: 9-year fight for justice continues for Eurie Stamps, Sr., 68-year-old grandfather killed by policeman in 2011

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 October here!

Waltham Residents Urge City to Remove Columbus Memorial. JRI supports Indigenous People's Day! Check out this article in The Patch.

Immigration Resources

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.

Additional Resources:

Immigrant Eligibility for Public Programs During COVID-19

Elegibilidad de Inmigrantes Para Programas Públicos

Protecting Immigrant Families Resources

Protecting Immigrant Families Digital Media Toolkit

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
Define American
Student Immigrant Movement - local Boston organization for undocumented students 
Centro Presente 
Chelsea Collaborative
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

Learn more about our partnership with William James College.

Photos from Protests and Events

Women's MarchProtest