top of page
XYIxOsNhMzNxWLi-1600x900-noPad_edited.jpg

Organizing for social and economic justice in Pawtucket and across Rhode Island.

Group photo of new GWC Board and supporters, Pawtucket Public Library stairs, June 8, 2019p. Photo credit: Susan O'Connell

Screen Shot 2024-07-18 at 2.12.30 PM.png

Know Your Utility Rights!

Learn about the policies and programs we teach at our meetings for help with your utilities

UPCOMING EVENTS
& MEETINGS

Know Your Utility Rights Meetings

Learn how you can make a difference and make utilities affordable for everyone in RI!

Are you facing termination of your gas or electric service? Join us at this informational clinic to learn your rights and ways to stop utility shut-offs in Rhode Island.

Every Wednesday, 6:30 PM
32 East Ave
Pawtucket RI 02860
georgewileycenterri@gmail.com
401-728-5555

Community Organizing Workshop Series

We are excited to present our Summer 2024 Community Organizing Workshop Series! Check out the announcement below for more details.
GWC Statewide Meetings

We hold regular workshops. Contact us for upcoming scheduled dates, or to host a workshop at your organization, school, or community group.
ANNOUNCEMENTS

Are you interested in learning more about community organizing?

 

Join us for four organizing sessions to engage in learning about community organizing, current critical issues and how to connect with community members to build our ability to make change together.


Show solidarity around the impacts of climate change, energy insecurity, economic and environmental injustice.

1.png

Are you experiencing the current heat wave without access to A/C?

 

The George Wiley Center will be open as a cooling center from 1-4pm on select days with high temperatures. Drop in to cool off and become involved! We aim for this to also serve as an opportunity to share your story.

Stay on the lookout on our Instagram and become a member to receive text updates so you know when we our next cooling center day will be!

Cooling Center Graphic (Instagram Version)- general.png

Victory!

 

Victory for tenants! RI General Law mandates landlords to provide a written 60-day notice for rent increases and 120-day notices for tenants over 62 before raising the rent.
Thank you for your leadership Rep Jennifer Stewart For State Representative District 59

1.png

Victory!

 

For years the GWC had petitioned to PUC to extend the moratorium on utility shut-offs. Rep David Morales helped us institutionalize this Victory into state law. GWC and the people of RI are deeply grateful for Rep Morales.

IMG_1797.jpg
e7f239_cec7befc86404538afb675cabc6fdcc3.webp
PUC Rule Hearing Dkt 3876 0ct 11_4 protest in back row.JPG

Statement from the Executive Director

I came to the George Wiley Center in 2012 as a longtime organizer. One of my driving principles has been encouraging groups toward democratic structures run by those most directly impacted. Almost 30 years ago I started organizing to challenge the root causes of injustice and because people like me, a first-generation graduate of public high school and public college, a child of working class immigrants, a queer organizer, are too often ignored and underrepresented, even in so-called social justice circles. For years I agitated internally for changes at the George Wiley Center to align the board of directors with our grassroots organizing mission. Ultimately it took working with members who confronted the crisis head on, using direct action to transform the board.

Power is rarely given without a struggle. Too many nonprofit boards are dominated by those who are seated based on money or insider connections, or who presume they know better than those most impacted by issues. Boards that are elected by a broader base of members are more in line with organizing groups. Boards are entrusted with critical oversight, while there is often little oversight of boards within a self-electing authoritarian model. It's a problem when board members are disconnected from on-the-ground campaigns and at the same time are making irresponsible decisions that impact the success of the organization.

While many wonderful board members have served the George Wiley Center over the years, in a system with little accountability board mis-leadership can steer an organization away from the vision. For almost two years I alerted the board to its own mismanagement, including issues of xenophobia, racism and classism, compounded by board leadership that repeatedly broke bylaws and common sense ethics. Unfortunately my concerns were usually ignored or dismissed, and I was often reprimanded. On May 3, 2019 I sent a formal letter to the board regarding recent serious actions by board leadership that were against the bylaws and threatened the future of our organization. My corrective suggestions were ignored.

I’m proud to say that during this difficult time the George Wiley Center has continued to be rooted in organizing efforts. Our organizing work that challenges the status quo is difficult enough. But we can’t change society if we don’t also transform our social justice organizations internally, demanding transparency and ethics in decision-making, dismantling the rampant racism and classism that short circuit our ability to fulfill our stated goals. One step toward undoing systems of oppression is shifting toward more representative and democratic decision-making structures. Power structures reinforce oppression when they silence and marginalize those who speak out. Organizing teaches us how effective it can be to come forward, seeking justice with the backing of our communities.

I'm so inspired by the courage and commitment of the new George Wiley Center Board of Directors that represents a wide array of Rhode Islanders impacted by social and economic injustices, including five board members who have been involved in our organizing work and who had been waiting for years to join the board. When a seat at the table is denied for so long, a seat at the table is no longer enough. It was time to take back the table and that’s what people did.  

For those who may have doubts why the transformative board action was necessary, it was done to save and strengthen the George Wiley Center. If anyone has questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m willing to offer further insights as needed, while also not wanting to distract attention too far away from our other ongoing efforts. I hope that past and new supporters welcome the recent positive changes, so we can work together on this path to increasing grassroots power. Thank you for signing on and sharing our call for solidarity during this pivotal time at tinyurl.com/solidaritygwc. Please stay in touch.
 
Beyond the George Wiley Center, I hope others can use our organization’s story as an example of collective visioning and transformative justice. I'm excited about our next steps, the possibilities of liberation, the power of organizing!

Yours in the Struggle,
Camilo

Camilo Viveiros
Coordinator/Executive Director, George Wiley Center
camiloviveiros@gmail.com

bottom of page