Military Recruitment Report in Western Massachusetts
As one of the few remaining organizations that addresses the military recruitment of young people, we regularly issue Military Recruitment In Western Massachusetts Public High Schools, a report which details the presence and influence of military recruiters and the culture of militarism in the 53 public high schools in the region. In our next release of this report, we hope to have the capacity for a committee to regularly visit and outreach to students at local high schools as to ensure that students know their rights, are not sold a bill of goods about military service, and keep schools honest about recruiters.
Youth Internship Program
We believe in the obligation to provide resources, support, and training to the next generation of activists, which is why youthwork is such a big part of our work. That’s why one of the most intensive and long-standing pieces of our work is our Youth Internship Program, which recruits youth from local colleges and community organizations. Interns are paid or given academic credit to learn and accomplish programmatic (not just clerical) work. Interns learn not only how to organize and do research, but reflecting on a curriculum of social justice history is part of their paid time in the office.
When my peers were washing dishes to be able to afford college, I was able to learn activism skills … I was taught to do these things, and I was treated as a potential future source of energy and power and importance, and it was an incredibly affirming thing. I don’t see anyone else in the local community doing what The Resistance Center does with young people to create a system where they can be supported, and be paid, to be an activist.
- Former Smith College intern
We have always worked on disarmament and the danger of nuclear technology (weapons and power), but the new campaign, NuclearBan.US: Treaty Compliance Campaign – is our most ambitious yet. Inspired by the recent adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations, as well as the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), we are working with individuals, students, faith institutions, organizations and more to abolish nuclear weapons in the United States. Using the Don’t Bank On the Bomb report, which draws the connections in society between the economy and nuclear weapons, we conduct popular education combined with a divestment organizing model to make every organization, city, state, and (eventually) the federal government “treaty compliant.” We even have a toolkit for individuals to help identify and eliminate any personal connections to the nuclear weapons industry you may have (and how to get rid of them!) Just as a time came when the world finally rejected ANY country possessing biological or chemical weapons, soon the world will look upon nuclear weapons as just as evil, and will abolish them. For more information, to to the NuclearBan.US homepage.
Safe Communities Act/Sanctuary Cities
We have been working on policies to protect immigrants since a decade ago, including helping to pass what are now deemed “sanctuary” policies. We have worked independently and in coalition with other organizations to preserve the civil rights of everyone in our community, from the #BlackLivesMatter movement to racial profiling to the increased surveillance and data collection by our state and federal government.
Nonviolent Direct Action Training
For decades, we have been training thousands of folks in the practice of nonviolent direct action training, including the 6 principles of Kingian nonviolence. We continue to offer trainings, from eviction blockade trainings, to environmental direct action, and more.