We are proud to announce the inauguration of the STPEC Activist Brown Bag Lunch Series.
In 1985, Michaelann Bewsee and a group of other women on welfare organized Arise for Social Justice to support the rights of low-income people in Springfield, MA. Twenty-seven years later, Bewsee and Arise continue to work overtime both to provide direct services to people in need and to organize Springfield residents—especially poor, homeless, at-risk, unemployed, and otherwise marginalized people—to tackle the deep-rooted causes of poverty in their city. Arise has won many important victories, from the safeguarding voting rights and increasing political representation, to the creation of Sanctuary City (a tent city established in response to shortages of beds in the homeless shelters), to the defeat of a proposed new biomass plant that would have raised already high levels of asthma in Springfield. Arise is currently focusing on three areas, all of which would benefit from the assistance of committed student interns: environmental health and climate justice; homelessness; and reforming the criminal justice system. Bewsee sees these three areas to be closely inter-related and is helping Arise create a vision of what a just, sustainable Springfield would look like.
Light refreshments will be served, but you are encouraged to bring a lunch.
An optional 1-credit course (STPEC 291R) is available for students who attend all four brown bags and two separate discussion meetings. Sign up directly on Spire.