Priscilla Holmes, WCAC Deputy Director, was recognized by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as one of the 100 “Unsung Heroines” of 2009 at the State House on May 13, 2009. A West Boylston resident, Priscilla Holmes will be honored for her extraordinary work with customers—particularly women—during her almost 20 years at the antipoverty agency that serves over 70,000 individuals and families in 37 towns through 20 emergency and economic self-sufficiency programs.
WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis said, “Priscilla is a consummate professional. She consistently demonstrates keen leadership, decision-making, and team building skills. Her work has a strong common theme: service to people in need. As a WCAC ambassador, Priscilla keeps the work of the agency, those we serve, and our mission in the forefront of her efforts. She is tireless, goes above and beyond the call of duty, and is always professional, on time, and focused on the positive.”
“Our Unsung Heroines are women who don’t make the news, but make the difference,” said Kira Dunn, MCSW Executive Director. “They are women who use their time and talent to show us the meaning of the saying, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.”
On May 6, 2009, the WCAC held its Third Annual Action Hero Award event at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester. Six individuals and/or organizations were honored for their monetary contribution, in-kind goods and services, and advocacy to WCAC:
John Laracy, Bagel Inn
Joseph Clouatre, Innovative Business Partners
Debbie C. Guiney and Michael Carroll, AllCom Credit Union
Nancy Concemi and National Grid Call Center staff
WCAC’s Worcester Community Connections Coalition Parent volunteers
Rod Lee, Telegram & Gazette
Dr. Melinda Boone, keynote speaker, was introduced by J. Christopher Collins, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, UNUM.
Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. (WCAC) recently nominated and honored the “Renovation Team” for the Association of Professional Fundraisers (AFP) of Central Massachusetts Annual Philanthropy Day.
A luncheon was held recently at Cyprian Keyes in Boylston to salute supporters of local agencies. WCAC was pleased to endorse and salute Paul Fontaine, Liberty Movers; Debbie Delorey, Delorey Contract Interiors; and Fran Madigan and Steve Pratt, F.W. Madigan Company, Inc. for helping enhance the WCAC facilities this past summer for our staff and customers. Jumpstarted with a generous donation of used systems furniture from National Grid, many contractors stepped forward to meet WCAC’s impossible deadline of about five weeks to dismantle and re-assemble our Main Street office to be up and fully functioning for the start of our busy fuel assistance season.
Special thanks to these partners who took the “we can get this done” approach and joined forces and agreed to a cooperative system that was grounded in good teamwork, constant communications, and problem solving. Thank you all for your amazing professional contributions!
In the wake of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, we are still searching for words adequate to express our disgust and horror over the actions of those responsible for his death; our deep sadness for Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community; and our anger over the repeated dehumanizing and fatal oppressive actions that threaten our nation. On behalf of the Worcester Community Action Council, we unequivocally condemn the police brutality that led to Mr. Floyd’s death. We join the call for justice, unity, peace and reform.
Worcester Community Action Council is directly and indirectly affected by the tragic events in our country that have reopened wounds that were never healed. Our board of directors, staff and clients feel the impact of these events in deeply personal ways, and struggle with the feelings of fear, mistrust, separation, and anger. We stand together in solidarity with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators across the country who are demanding justice for Mr. Floyd and an end to the systemic and intentional acts of oppression imposed upon communities of color. George Floyd is now among countless, precious Black lives lost due to the imbalance of power in this country that has been perpetuated by racism. Systemic racism must end. We must hold ourselves accountable as allies to act as a relentless force for positive change.
Community Action was created in 1964 from the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement as part of the federal Economic Opportunity Act in the “War on Poverty”. In our role in the community, WCAC must renew and strengthen our calls for an end to the poverty and inequity that threaten our society.
We will be a strong voice against injustice, oppression and hate by advocating for policies that create equitable access to education, health, social and economic systems.
We will continue to work to stabilize individuals and households through our programs while deepening our resolve to create economic self-sufficiency through financial building blocks.
We will continue our leadership role in the City of Worcester’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative in partnership with the Worcester Police Department and Worcester Public Schools, recognizing youth employment and education are pathways for success.
We will continue to invest resources in our youngest children across Southern Worcester County from ages zero to five as we help prepare them for long-term success in school and life.
We will use our agency’s purchasing power to support African American, Latinx and Immigrant- owned businesses by purchasing goods and services.
We will support a diverse staff at all levels to work within our own agency staff to examine, change and navigate ourselves and our community into a just and equitable era.
We will listen to the needs of our community and routinely shift our work to address these needs directly.
We will partner with you, and like-minded organizations, to support initiatives that help our community heal, unify, and become stronger.
Together, we can make meaningful reforms, and change the course of the future for our children.
Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director Noreen Johnson Smith, WCAC Board Chair
Statement endorsed by WCAC Board of Directors 6/2/2020