Category: News

Discovering Justice in a Pandemic

America’s legal system often provides a framework and guidelines on how we address issues that impact our communities. From civil rights and environmental concerns to individual freedoms and the rights of corporations, the legal system can help us address issues that impact us all.

This summer, we are piloting Discovering Justice’s Topics Program, to help students better understand and explore the legal system and how it is addressing real issues impacting our communities.
The first course in our Topics Program, Discovering Justice in a Pandemic, will create a space for students to wrestle with the tensions inherent in how society is responding to COVID-19. Lawyers, community health officials, judges, and community activists will lead classes for students to talk about the need to protect personal liberties and the need for communities to set limits in order to protect public health. The program will culminate in a student-led roundtable discussion in which students will present and discuss what they’ve learned and created throughout the sessions.
We will be working with students and counselors at Camp Harborview and Crossroads, two nonprofits that run student leadership programs throughout the year.
Moving into the fall, Discovering Justice is considering developing courses on the Civil Rights Movement, the United States as a Protest Nation, the Environmental Movement, and the Workers’ Rights Movement.
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Educational Resources on Race and Inequality

Discovering Justice’s Education Director Laura Brenner compiled this list of resources to support learning and facilitate conversations around race and racism in America.

Books For Students


Books by Black authors to for Adults:





Specifically for Educators:


*Please consider purchasing these titles and others from Frugal Bookstore, a Black-owned community bookstore in Boston that DJ tries to support whenever possible.





Specifically for Educators:




Netflix Series


Amazon Prime




Social Media Accounts:

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Photo/Reba Saldanha  June 17, 2020

Welcome Discovering Justice’s New Executive Director

Discovering Justice is excited to welcome Matt Wilson as our new Executive Director.

Wilson has a three-decade history as a nonprofit executive in the Commonwealth, most recently finishing a seven-year stint as the founding Executive Director of MASSCreative, the state’s advocacy group for the arts and creative community.

“Matt brings a history of building and managing nonprofits that educate, prepare, and engage students and Massachusetts residents in civic actions,” said Tony Jordan, board president of Discovering Justice. “We are excited that he is bringing his energy, experience, and passion for positive change to Discovering Justice. Especially in the current environment, Matt is the kind of leader we need to take Discovering Justice into the future and best serve our constituents.”

For thirty-six years, Wilson built and ran community-based initiatives for a healthier and more vibrant Commonwealth. As a community organizer, public advocate, fundraiser, and trainer, Wilson has worked with residents to help them envision, realize, and build their capacity and power for change. He has led campaigns for a cleaner environment, affordable and accessible health care, and increased investment in the arts.

“I am excited about the opportunity to help grow Discovering Justice’s programs that help students understand how the legal system works and how they can act to create a more just Massachusetts,” said Wilson. “There has never been a more important time to engage in civic action and ensure that our democracy is vibrant and holds our leaders accountable. I look forward to working with our dedicated staff to continue Discovering Justice’s two-decade-long history of working with judges, teachers, lawyers, and civic leaders to teach students about the judicial system and to work for justice.”

Wilson was the founding Executive Director of MASSCreative, the statewide advocacy voice for Massachusetts’ arts, cultural, and creative community. Under his direction, MASSCreative grew to more than 400 organizational members with 25,000 individuals taking part in public education and advocacy actions. In his tenure, arts funding in the Commonwealth doubled and his advocacy work helped implement state policies to increase access and participation to quality arts education.

As the Director of Toxics Action Center from 1989 to 2005, Wilson built the organization from scratch to a New England-wide resource for hundreds of neighborhoods working to protect themselves from pollution threats.

Wilson graduated from Dartmouth College earned a Masters of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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2018-19 Volunteer Impact

This year, Discovering Justice volunteers conducted Courthouse tours for nearly 2,000 visitors, served over 3,000 students through our field trip program, and dedicated over 4,000 hours to after school programming.

A huge thank you to all of the incredible volunteers who worked with us in May and June.

Annapurna Balakrishna, Leciana Barbosa, Andrew Barreira, Kevin Boyle, David Brown, Sabrina Chartrand, Ain Clinto Cerbito, Jacky Chong, Priscilla Cobb, Alisa De Dominics, Garrick Dust, Dean Elwell, Mark Este, Jonathan Feinberg, Eric Fist, Elicia Flemming, Betsy Gabrielson, Claire Gardner, Lauren Godles-Milgroom, Nathalie Hart, Lisa Jacobson, Hervens Jean-Baptiste, Rachel Jellinek, Julia Jonas-Day, Anastassia Korin, Thomas Kreeger, Tim Krumreig, Cheryl Lomaglio-Puleio, Allyson Lowitz, Amy Mahler, Emmylou Manwill, Sarah Marshall, Rajon Mitchell, Jenn Mori, Katie Moxam, Yani Ngo, Lydia Nicholls, Claire Nivolla, Jane Peachy, Marrissa Persichini, Graham Porell, Taisha Richmond, Maryrose Robson, Shawn Rossier, Annabel Rodriguez, Karen Rutherford, Jasmine Sadeghani, Suzanne Schlossberg, Meaghan Sheridan, Hillary Sullivan, Xiaxoue Sun, Julie Thames, Jane Triano, Joe Veilleux, Harry Wang, Ning Yang, and Liuyang Yu

If you’re interested in working with the next generation of civic leaders and getting involved with our programs, contact Johnny Sadoff at

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#MA Civics for All

The Civics Project Trust Fund will ensure that schools have the resources to provide every young person in the Commonwealth with high-quality civic education necessary to be participants in our democracy.

The budget amendment has strong support from the House, and will be introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, May 8th. 

Want to advocate for the amendment and make your voice heard? Contact Senate Ways and Means Chair, Michael Rodrigues; Senate Ways and Means Vice Chair, Cindy Friedman; Senate Education Committee Chair, Jason Lewis; and/or your local Senator.

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Boston and Gateway Cities

Last month, we celebrated another successful season of after school programming in Boston, Lawrence, Lowell, and Worcester. The success of our Stand Up For Your Rights and spring Mock Trial programs wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated school partners, volunteer attorneys, and middle school students-turned-lawyers.

Match Middle School Students from Team Foley and Lardner with the Honorable Andrew R. Grainger at “An Evening to Stand Up For Your Rights” in Boston.
Forest Grove Middle School students with the Honorable Timothy S. Hillman and volunteer attorneys from Middlesex Corporation and Mirick O’Connell at “An Evening of Mock Trials” in Worcester.
Henry J. Robinson Middle School students with the Honorable Leslie Donahue at “An Evening of Mock Trials” in Lowell. The team was mentored by volunteer attorneys Scott Hulgan, Sarah Spofford, and Daryl Zule.
Guilmete Middle School students with the Honorable Mark Newman and volunteers from the Law Office of Sandra Gutierrez and the Law Office of Joanna Rodriguez at “An Evening of Mock Trials” in Lawrence.
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