Grantee Spotlight: George Wiley Center
The George Wiley Center is a grassroots direct action group based in Pawtucket, RI actively committed to local community organizing for the purpose of creating social and economic justice through changes in public policy. They prioritize growing and centering the leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color staff and board members. For years, the Center has been working to pass a bill that would enact a Percentage Income Payment Plan (PIPP) to help low-income Rhode Islanders who cannot afford their utility bills. Despite the Center’s roots in the utility justice movement, organizers there understand that the issues their communities face are multiple and overlapping.
Executive Director Camilo Viveiros explains that their theory of change is focused on organizing the unorganized and mobilizing people’s power to take direct action. “Our power has always been based on our ability to bring people together to make an impact around issues that impact BIPOC and low-income communities. During the pandemic with record unemployment, the issues that we have worked on such as food insecurity, unemployment benefits, and economic justice have become felt more widely. And with the growth of the movement for Black Lives our work around racial justice has become more widely recognized, the challenge is always turning experience with injustice and sentiment around a social issue, into action”.
Camilo welcomes people to become members, volunteers, interns, sustainers, and urges people to get involved in organizing. “We have to fight the day-to-day issues that impact us while building our power, person by person, to win our long-term goals to dismantle every form of oppression”.