New North Citizens’ Council granted $1.5 million from the MassMutual Foundation - MassMutual

New North Citizens’ Council granted $1.5 million from the MassMutual Foundation

Funding to support Barbara Rivera Community Center Capital Campaign


Springfield, MA., June 13, 2022 – The New North Citizens’ Council (NNCC), a nonprofit that provides advocacy, public and human services to Springfield and Hampden County, today announced a $1.5 million grant from the MassMutual Foundation. The grant will be used towards the NNCC capital campaign to construct the Barbara Rivera Community Center in the North End of Springfield where many different community focused activities and services will take place.

The announcement was made during the groundbreaking ceremony of NNCC’s new Barbara Rivera Community Center in Springfield, MA, today, an event that was attended by state and local leaders including U.S. Congressman Richard Neal and Mayor Dominic Sarno, both of whom made remarks during the short speaking program. Including the support from the MassMutual Foundation, the capital campaign has received approximately $4 million in funding to date.

“After several years of discussing a home for the New North Citizens’ Council, I am so pleased to have finally broken ground into what will be an amazing Community Center,” said Maria Ligus Executive Director, New North Citizens’ Council. “The Center dedicated in memory of Barbara Rivera will be the hub of activities and services that will not only serve the residents of the North End but all of Western Mass. Barbara Rivera was the founder and first Executive Director for the NNCC. She was to me, and many others, a force to reckon with when it came to the civil rights for people of color and a great mentor.”

The Barbara Rivera Community Center will become a hub where communities can access the services they need within a "one-stop" model. Centralizing social service programs that are currently in several locations will allow NNCC to effectively address the needs their clientele face day to day: financial stability, housing and homelessness, affordable housing, violence prevention, youth leadership development, mentoring, food insecurity, after-school academic and recreational support and employment.

NNCC has played an instrumental role in the MassMutual Foundation’s Live Mutual Project in Springfield. The MassMutual Foundation-led initiative brings together community resources and like-minded organizations committed to helping communities thrive and is focused on eliminating barriers to social and economic opportunity so that all families can build their financial capability and resiliency.

“The New North Citizens’ Council has been an invaluable community partner to the MassMutual Foundation over the last few years and together we’ve seen what’s possible when we all work together to foster stronger, more meaningful connections to necessary services, critical resources, and to one another,” said Dennis Duquette, head of Community Responsibility at MassMutual and president of the MassMutual Foundation. “This new center will help NNCC to advance its work and deliver even better outcomes for this important and vibrant community.”

Construction is set to begin at 495 Chestnut Street in Springfield, MA where the Community Center is projected to open in September of 2023.

About New North Citizens’ Council, Inc.
The mission of the Agency is “to provide advocacy, public and human services to Hampden County residents with an emphasis on serving the multicultural community for the purpose of enhancing the preservation and support of the family resulting in the improvement of quality-of-life issues.” The New North Citizens’ Council seeks to provide opportunities for citizen involvement, participation, and control. It provides individual and class advocacy, as well as comprehensive family supports and social service programs to residents of Hampden County. NNCC embraces a philosophy which includes providing community based, constituent sensitive services; the broadest possible range of services within the agency; services to the entire family system; and practical approaches to services.