American Friends Service Committee Of Western Mass. Hits Fundraising Goal, Will Launch New Group

Aug 30, 2017

The American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts has raised enough money to continue its activism, although under a new name.

A few months ago, the chapter announced the national organization would close the Northampton, Mass., office in late September. But local leaders said they hoped to raise $75,000 to start an independent activist group.

They hit that goal, and will re-launch in October as the Resistance Center for Peace and Justice.

"We'll be in the same space, same phone number," said Jeff Napolitano, who led the American Friends' chapter and will also lead the new group. "And we've recently gotten the blessing from the [national office of the] American Friends Service Committee as the successor organization."

Napolitano said that means the group can keep the computers and office furniture. But there will need to be be a lot more local fundraising than before, to cover an annual budget of $125,000.

"As an independent organization, it's going to free us up to do a lot more local work, but it also come with the burdens of making sure that we keep going," he said.

The American Friends' Western Massachusetts chapter was founded in 1968 by Frances Crowe, who at 98 years old is still at it. She was arrested in June protesting a pipeline expansion in Berkshire County.