BWA 2011 Year in Review

2011 marked a year of protests, where everyday Americans stood up against corporate greed and called for justice and fairness for the 99%. In Boston, the BWA helped bring our members together to fight for decent jobs and equal opportunities for our most affected communities. While unemployment grips the national economy, the crisis of joblessness has been ongoing in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan. The need for an organization fighting to end urban joblessness has never been so clear.

Since 2005, the BWA has grown into a powerful force for social and economic justice. As a small grassroots organization, we THANK YOU, our broad community of supporters who have helped us come this far!

As we approach year’s end, please consider supporting the BWA today through a tax-deductible donation today! Your support helps pay for food at our weekly member meetings, counseling for our job seekers and supplies to keep our office running. Whether its $5 or $500, your contribution has a direct impact on the livelihood of our members and our ability to fight for social change!

BWA’s 2011 Highlights

1. CORI Reform: After working to pass nationally recognized CORI reforms, Massachusetts officially “Banned the Box,” making ours one of two states to eliminate the CORI question from all job application forms. Full CORI reforms take effect in May of 2012.

2. Home Weatherization: With the Green Justice Coalition, BWA helped create green jobs by winning new city investments in home weatherization services. BWA members signed up over 400 households for free Renew Boston energy audits and helped place over 15 people in green trainings and jobs.

3. Boston Staffing Alliance (BSA): BWA’s innovative staffing agency helped place over 75 people in temporary and temp-to-permanent positions in 2011. BSA is a non-profit temp agency that values its workers and provides pathways to permanent employment for our members.

4. Right to the City: BWA joined the national Right to the City Alliance and marched with 40 organizations and 3,000 people onto the financial district. 24 people were arrested after shutting down Bank of America for their greedy tax and foreclosure practices. The action gained international media attention.

5. MassUniting: BWA became a steering committee member of MassUniting, bringing thousands into the streets to demand jobs and corporate accountability. BWA participated in “Take Back the Capitol” week of action in Washington DC, shutting down K-Street lobbyists and Senator Scott Brown’s Office for voting against jobs.

6. Employment and CORI Support: BWA’s Worker Center, open Mon-Thurs 10-2pm helped over 700 people with employment and CORI services. Hundreds got help with their resumes and job searches and hundreds more received help in requesting and sealing their CORI records.

7. Voter Engagement: 20+ BWA members led a non-partisan voter outreach campaign, knocking on 3,500 doors in Grove Hall and increasing voter turnout by over 40%. At-large candidates Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo took the top votes in BWA’s wards and precincts.

8. Green Living: BWA’s Urban Garden project trained new families in gardening skills and produced free organic vegetables for members. Roxbury Green Power, BWA’s first worker-owned cooperative business continued to collect waste veggie-oil to recycle and sell as a green bio-fuel.

9. Growing Staff: BWA hired two members to fill part-time Worker Center Coordinator and Office Manager positions, growing our staff capacity and employing those who have been dedicated to BWA over the years.

10. Media Attention: BWA received media attention in local and national publications, including a front page story in the Boston Globe about our direct services and an article in YES! Magazine on “Ban the Box.”

11. Community Building: BWA held quarterly community gatherings bringing over 250 members together. BWA held its annual Holiday Party and gave over 100 gifts to children of our members. BWA grew as a organization and increased our political power to fight for good jobs for our community.

As a grassroots organization, we thank the hundreds of BWA members and allies who have volunteered their time, money and energy to build our movement. We ask for your increased support as we approach a pivotal year of economic justice organizing. With our many partners across the city and state, we look forward to growing a more powerful movement for social and economic justice in 2012!

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