Boston-based reflect and strengthen is creating a grassroots movement for those in need. // By Layla Schlack // Photograph by Ernesto Arroyo
WHO: Alexia Lomon, Kristine Frazier, Mallory Hanora, Roselyn Berry (clockwise from top right)
MISSION: To support working-class women in the Boston area struggling with family, financial and emotional issues. In addition to the five lead advisers (Cindy Printemps is not pictured), Reflect & Strengthen comprises a core group of 36 members, ages 14 to 30, who come together to help one another and other women in their communities. In addition to leadership development programs with professionals in various fields, the group holds multisession programming in the city’s high schools, works with girls in the juvenile justice system and has a street theater troupe.
MOTIVATION: “We came together in 2001 in a really organic way,” says Berry, who cofounded the group with seven working- class friends. “We talked a lot about how the city’s institutions weren’t meeting our needs. The issues we were facing were interconnected, so our response had to be holistic.”
A PLACE TO CALL HOME: “We’d love to one day have a house or a building,” Lomon says. “People could stay there if they needed to, and we could have meeting space, maybe even commercial space. That’s the dream.”
For more information, go to www.reflectandstrengthen.org