We aim to combat structural racism and unjustified surveillance of minorities and activist movements by bringing together leaders of intersecting social justice movements, facilitating the sharing of tactics and information about ongoing campaigns, and supporting emerging intersectional efforts to protect the safety and dignity of our communities.
The Muslim Justice League (MJL) was founded in Boston in 2014 by four Muslim women to advocate for human and civil rights that are threatened under national security pretexts. MJL engages in community education and organizing and targeted legal and policy advocacy, facilitates cross-movement solidarity, and cultivates an environment in which pride in Muslim identity flourishes. MJL believes discrimination towards any group endangers the rights of all, and that advocacy to end the treatment of Muslims as “suspect communities” benefits society as a whole. MJL works primarily o the local level, providing Know Your Rights trainings in Massachusetts, community workshops and discussions about relevant federal law enforcement policies and campaigns, free representation to individuals approached for questioning by the FBI, and capacity-building trainings for the legal field. MJL also coordinates with a national network of organizations whose work relates to the defense of rights against “war on terror” encroachment, and advocates for avoidance or end of harmful policies — such as NSEERS (the “Muslim registry”), and stigmatizing “countering violent extremism” (CVE) programs — at the local, state and federal level.
The American Friends Service Committee was founded in 1917 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The AFSC won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for its humanitarian work with refugees and internally displaced persons from World War II. Its international work promotes peaceful conflict resolution in five continents. Currently the AFSC works on immigration rights, criminal justice, economic justice, and racial justice throughout the United States. Project Voice Cambridge coordinates ASFC’s national work on immigration, and promotes humane immigration policies at the local, state, and federal levels. In addition, it works with local community organizations on grassroots organizing and leadership development, provides accessible policy analysis, and has initiated a pilot program to address Islamophobia.
Defending Rights & Dissent protects the right of political expression to strengthen participatory democracy, and to fulfill the promise of the Bill of Rights for everyone. The work of Rights & Dissent is premised on the belief that freedom to dissent is essential to a functioning democracy, and every person under United States jurisdiction or control is entitled to Bill of Rights protections. Rights & Dissent works to ensure government accountability and transparency, end profiling based on personal characteristics by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and protect private information and activities from unwarranted government spying. To achieve this end, Rights & Dissent builds connections across identities and ideologies, supports grassroots coalitions, connects grassroots activism to national policy debates, and gathers evidence of unconstitutional, illegal, unethical, and undemocratic government tactics.
Boston Workmen’s Circle Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice is a community and spiritual home for secular Jewish life, a voice for progressive Jewish values and social change and an arts and education center celebrating Yiddish, Jewish, and progressive culture. We grew out of the labor movement at the turn of the century when poor Jewish immigrants went to work in the sweatshops of the lower east side of Manhattan. They were organizing for their own protection and rights while holding onto their culture and language from home. Today, BWC carries on the traditions of our ancestors through cultural, educational and social justice programming serving people of all ages. In 2015, BWC served 1000 individuals from Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville and greater Boston through 155 programs. Our programs include: a secular cultural Sunday School, Teens Acting for Social Change, Young Adult education, ritual and organizing, Yiddish and cultural programs, adult education and social justice education and organizing through the work of our three social justice committees: The Middle East Working Group, Acting for Racial and Economic Justice, and Jewish Muslim Relations.
Intelligent Mischief (IM)
IM is a creative action design lab using culture, narrative and design to hack social change. IM’s mission is to boost invention and imagination, realign action logic and experiment with new forms of civil society to create atmospheres of change. IM offers consulting to organizations, groups, and social ventures looking to use creativity to develop their campaigns, programs, and strategic initiative. IM also experiments with new ways of doing social change by creating their own media projects. As Afro-Caribbean immigrants, veteran organizers, and creative/cultural organizers, IM designers bring a unique perspective and range of skills to the broader social justice community and social justice values and vision to the creative sphere. IM has a national reach, with networks throughout the country, as well as deep Boston roots. IM’s work specifically focuses on supporting Black and Brown communities to offer solutions that are often fenced off from them due to expense or lack of cultural awareness of existing design and creative firms.