Founded in 2001 and incorporated in 2003, Worcester Roots is a collective of youth and adult organizers on a mission to create opportunities for economic, social and environmental justice. We send these roots of opportunity into the community, sprouting up co-operatively run and green projects and initiatives that build toward our vision of neighborhoods that are safe for living, working and playing.
Our organization was founded to address the environmental justice concern of lead in the soil. In 2005, Worcester Roots made the decision to prioritize youth empowerment through its projects. In 2008, we expanded our focus to address economic, social and environmental justice. Within our focus on economic justice, we have a particular interest in supporting worker co-operatives (businesses or projects that are run and owned by workers) and promoting the development of green jobs in our city.
Worcester Roots’ current projects are:
- Toxic Soil Busters, a group of 10 teenagers using outreach, education and direct action to tackle lead contaminated soil in Main South and Piedmont neighborhoods
- Youth In Charge, a group of 6 teenagers working to identify and meet community needs in Bell Hill and Lower Lincoln neighborhoods
- Worcester Energy Barnraisers, an intergenerational group that uses hands-on weatherization barnraisings to educate Worcester residents about simple and low-cost ways to reduce their energy use
- Incubation and Training Collective, an intergenerational group developing video and print curricula and offering resources and support for groups interested in adopting Worcester Roots’ co-operative, community organizing, and/or youth empowerment principles
Worcester Roots’ Current Partnerships Are:
- Worcester Lead Action Collaborative
- Worcester Green Jobs Coalition
- Worcester Partnership for Racial and Ethnic Health Equity
- U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops
- Social Justice Roundtable
- Save Our Poolz Coalition