The Network for Social Justice is a non-profit organization based in the suburban town of Winchester, Massachusetts, 7 miles from Boston. The Network focuses on advancing equity and inclusion in the town of Winchester.
The Network began as a small group of inspired individuals committed to becoming catalysts for social change in Winchester after witnessing an upturn in racist and anti-semitic incidents in the 1980s. Community member Sandy Thompson was inspired to create the Network after attending a five-day workshop with diversity and multicultural training organization VISIONS, Inc. VISIONS seven principles continue to serve as the Network’s foundation. Since its founding as the Winchester Multicultural Network in 1991, the organization has filled the role of human rights commission for the town, a role that the new Network for Social Justice is proud to continue.
Our educational and community programming consciously amplifies those voices that often go unheard in our society, including women, those less abled, ethnic minorities, the very young or old, African-Americans, LGBTQI individuals, those of low income, and recent immigrants. Following an intensive planning and restructuring process this past year, we have reoriented towards social justice activism through a three-pronged strategy of education, engagement, and advocacy carried out through 5 action arms (immigrant justice, indigenous people’s rights, community education, response and advocacy, schools and youth).
Through our work the Network has gained a trusted reputation among Winchester residents and neighboring human rights organizations and we are regularly asked to serve as a consultant on town-level initiatives. Recent accomplishments and activities include our partnership with the Winchester Master Plan Initiative to ensure an inclusive planning process for all residents, and spearheading a successful local Yes on 3 advocacy campaign.
The Network is run predominantly by a passionate group of volunteers representing many facets of life in Winchester. We are immigrants, long-time residents, educators, professionals, retirees, and parents. The Network is comprised of a 9-member Board of Directors, Executive Director, Steering Committee, two part-time staff members, and a committed volunteer cadre who run our five committee action arms.