413-734-4948 467 State Street, Springfield MA 01105

Staff & Board

Arise for Social Justice is supported by dedicated staff, who are drawn from our membership and accountable to their Committees and the Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors is elected once a year at our Annual Meeting by our membership.

All staff can be contacted by e-mail or by calling our office 413-734-4948.


Michaelann Bewsee, Executive Director
Michaelann Bewsee is one of the original founders, and current Executive Director, of Arise for Social Justice. Michaelann has been active in Springfield organizing for more than 30 years, and prior to serving full time as Executive Director, was employed by the Mass Senior Action Council, the Home Coalition, Mass Tenants Organization and others. Michaelann was a leader in changing the city charter so that school committee and city council could elect seats by ward as well as at large, increasing the diversity of both bodies, and in organizing a tent city for homeless people which so that the city had to hire a homelessness coordinator and reopen a shelter.  She also played a role in the founding of the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition, and the campaign for Springfield to develop a Climate Action Plan. She serves on the Board of Directors of Western MA Jobs with Justice, the Wellspring Cooperative, and the Rainville Apartments, and was a 2016 recipient of the Order of William Pynchon. 

Liz Bewsee,
Housing and Economic Justice Organizer

Ellen Graves,
Criminal Justice Organizer and Office Manager

Jacqueline Logan, Director of Outreach and Community Service
Jackie Logan is a longtime member of Arise for Social Justice who joined the staff in 2012. Jackie works on assisting on membership organizing around all Arise issues, day-to-day advocacy for community members who stop into our office with questions ranging from housing to criminal justice, and running the Arise Community Service Program. She has served on the Arise Board of Directors, and  is the proud mother of four and grandmother to two.

Mr. King,
Advocacy and Intake Coordinator

Jesse Lederman, Director of Public Health and Environmental Initiatives
Jesse Lederman is a lifelong resident of Springfield who first came to work with Arise as a community member opposing the construction of a biomass waste incinerator. Today, Jesse works with Arise and community members on environmental and public health campaigns, including the Springfield Climate Action Plan and the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition. Previously, Jesse served as a professional political organizer, working with local and statewide candidates for public office, and has served on the Board of Directors for several local non-profit and civic organizations. Jesse is a member of the Democratic State Committee, and was a 2015 Candidate for the Springfield City Council. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Lisa Darga, VISTA Tenant Organizer
Lisa Darga came to Arise 5 years ago as a part of her college curriculum. After completing her Associates Degree in Human Services, and a Certificate in Addiction Studies, Lisa joined the staff as Arise as an Ameri-Corps VISTA, working on the Affordable Housing Preservation Project (VAHPP). The VAHPP protects and preserves Privately Owned, Project Based Section 8 properties that have expiring contracts, failing inspections, and/or mortgages are maturing. The VAHPP is designed to prevent the rapidly diminishing availability of affordable housing in the city of Springfield and other major cities nation wide.

Board of Directors

Terrette Lowe, President

Kristie Hosey, Treasurer

Monica Wright, Secretary

Muwakkil Aluqdah

Christina Densmore

Ellen Graves

Jacqueline Logan

Brenda Lopez

Holly Richardson

Tom Taaffee, Ph.D.