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Systemic Change Starts With These Local Forces

The need for systemic change can be seen and heard just about everywhere these days, and New Bedford is no exception. In response to recent events, many New Bedford organizations fighting racism have voiced their missions louder than ever. In addition to their missions, you’ll find many of them have also released statements on their websites and social media pages specific to their stance in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and fighting for racial justice.

Read on to learn a little about these organizations and be sure to click through to their websites and Facebook pages to learn more about the work they’re doing, and how to get involved.

Photo Courtesy of 3rdEyE Unlimited

3rd Eye Unlimited

Founded in 1998 by three New Bedford youth who were looking to make positive and creative change, this hip hop based youth development organization engages young leaders to positively transform their community. They also offer a wide variety of programs and are partnered with many other powerful local organizations doing amazing work in New Bedford.

A’s Before J’s Program

A’s before J’s is dedicated to programs focused on rewarding area youth for academic achievement, and also bridging the divide between cops and youth in the community. Recently, they were recognized in this article for their “Cops-Kids-Comunity” program.

Coalition for Social Justice – NB

A grassroots organization founded in 1994, the Coalition is bringing together people affected by and concerned about poverty to advocate for economic opportunity. They engage in ongoing outreach to people affected by poverty.

Dennison Memorial Community Center

Dennison offers a variety of after school and summer athletic, academic, and artistic programs for youth from first grade through high school. For just $5, a child or teen can be a member for the year.

Dinner Club Podcast

This podcast is focused on local organizations and a wide variety of discussion topics that anyone can benefit from tuning in to. Hosts Lonelle and Tyson will definitely get the wheels turning in your head, and provide insight on how to get involved with causes that are making a difference in and around the New Bedford Area.

Doodles Creative Session

Doodles does it all! Children and parents are encouraged to participate in everything they have to offer. From hands-on experiences and multi-sensory explorations, to FREE art and yoga every Saturday, there’s something for everyone. Follow along on Facebook for updates.

Photo courtesy of Doodles Creative Session

Dream Out Loud Center, Inc.

With a mission to advance the personal and career goals of South Coast residents through innovation, education and mentoring, they offer a Creative Careers Program which uses creative writing, graphic design, music, theater and video projects to inspire a healthy individual and a vibrant community. 

EforAll South Coast

Since 2013, EforAll has partnered with communities to help under-represented individuals successfully start their businesses. They also recently released a statement on their commitment to racial justice that was empowering to read. Check it out here.

NAACP New Bedford

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. This local chapter is a great place to start if you’re looking to get involved.

New Bedford Historical Society

This all-volunteer grassroots organization is dedicated to documenting and celebrating the history, legacy and presence of African Americans, Cape Verdeans, Native Americans, West Indians and other people of color in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

Working to preserve, protect, and interpret certain districts, structures, and artifacts located in New Bedford, the Park works hard to incorporate the history of whaling and related social, economic, and environmental themes for the benefit and inspiration of the community.

NorthStar Learning Centers, Inc.

Northstar is a leader in the Greater New Bedford education and human services community in recruiting, promoting, and retaining staff who represent the linguistic and cultural diversity of the New Bedford Area. Their multicultural composition and multilingual capacity enable them to build strong relationships with families and to send a strong message that they can achieve success in our programs.

The Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts

The Community Foundation mobilizes philanthropy by matching donors and resources with community needs for the benefit our region. They address inequality in our community by providing scholarships, supporting the arts community, and currently countering the impacts of the pandemic.

The Women’s Fund

The Women’s Fund advances economic security for women and girls in Southeastern MA, promoting equity across race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender identity and country of origin.  They build partnerships and work toward advocacy and grantmaking to foster a more just region.

Vote New Bedford

VOTE New Bedford is a nonpartisan initiative that is on a mission to increase participation in every election through voter registration, education and engagement. VOTE New Bedford is closing the race, age, gender and socio-economic voting gaps by changing the culture around voting, creating process transparency, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to truly push reach to everyone in the New Bedford area.

Youth Opportunities Unlimited

On a mission to offer inspiring opportunities to the youth, Y.O.U. started up back in 2003 as “Trips for Kids” after recognizing the need for guidance, support, and experiential learning beyond the home and classroom. You’ll find them busy with activities through the summer, after school, inside and outside. And their offerings evolve with what is needed in the community.


YWCA works every day to eliminate racism and empower women. Through advocacy and local programming, they create real change for women, families and communities. You can read their Black Lives Matter statement here.

Is your organization making moves to be a part of the change? We’d love to hear more. Contact us at to tell us about the work you’re doing.

Caitlin Joseph