Mission, Vision & Values

Our Mission

The Consortium creates conditions in which people who have faced marginalization, oppression, or otherwise felt invisible are better able to pursue their dreams and strengthen communities through voice, choice, and inclusion. This is supported by an organizational commitment to address systems of oppression and work toward undoing the harms they have caused.

Our Vision

We envision inclusive communities built upon our collective wisdom and in which all people feel a sense of belonging. These communities are thriving based upon a shared commitment to social justice, the power of personal choice, and equitable access to supports and resources.

Our Values

  • Collective Wisdom – Honoring that the knowledge and strength we’ve gained from living through the ups and downs of life can provide us with the tools we need to create new paths, and help ease each other’s way moving forward.
  • Inclusive Communities – Creating conditions where people are able to bring their whole selves, find their power, and share their gifts.
  • Innovation – Encouraging creativity and transformation in our communities by building upon our strengths, collaborations, shared leadership, and informed risk taking.
  • Personal Expertise – Recognizing that we are each ultimately the experts of our own lives, and that the support we need is to uncover our own wisdom rather than others telling us what to do.
  • Authentic Relationships – Valuing the importance and healing power of environments and connections in which we each truly feel seen, heard, and valued.
  • Equity – Recognizing the impact of systemic oppressions such as racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and psychiatric oppression on individuals and communities, as well as the ways in which we must change and stand together in order to work toward undoing those harms.

Our History

Reflections on nearly 50 years of community building and changing beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions…

In the mid 1970’s Western Mass was the focus of two lawsuits that became landmark consent decrees: the Brewster and Ricci consent decrees. In was during this period – with a tremendous push for the development of community services and supports for people who had been institutionalized – that the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium was formed. The Consortium’s earliest mission was clear: to serve as a catalyst for incredible change in the creation and development of community supports.  We achieved this by supporting staff members to think critically about a vision for positive community supports and to dream about what was possible for people who had been denied even the most basic experience of community.

There have been tremendous changes over the years, and great opportunities for new insights and learning. An important source of that learning are the people who lived with both the challenges our society continues to label as sicknesses or defects, and the wide variety of solutions, therapies and interventions. The wisdom born of lived experience is the foundation of much of our work.  We find again and again the importance of relationships – respectful, peer to peer relationships. Taking a wider view of life – one which at its foundation, believes that there are many ways to be in this world.

Recently, we added our Social Justice initiative to further inspire change and create conditions for those who have felt marginalized and oppressed to be empowered. We believe that our communities are thriving based upon a shared commitment to social justice, the power of personal choice, and equitable access to support and resources.

From our very start, our role has been unique in cultivating new perspectives, encouraging progressive initiatives, and supporting change. We view ourselves as change agents creating conditions for growth to occur; at the same time, we believe that each person is their own expert in determining what they need to grow. We value the process as much as the outcome and acknowledge that through this process, a person is gifted with ‘lived experience.’ Lived experience is not what happens to us, it’s what we do with what happens to us.

Our Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Pictured (left to right) at Employee Appreciation Celebration on October 16, 2019:

Board Members: Mark Leonas, Linda Sarage,  Maureen Babineau (Alumni Member), Phyllis Smigiel (Alumni Member), Pedro Alvarez,  PJ Moynihan (Alumni Member), Bill Sorel ( Alumni Member), Tynisha Henderson (President) and John Copen (Alumni Member)

Board of Directors: 

President: Tynisha Henderson
Vice President: Pedro Alvarez
Treasurer: Mark Leonas
Clerk: Linda Sarage
Member: Daniel O’Neill
Member: Shannon Guenette
Member: Ysabel Garcia
Member: Karran Larson
Member: Tasha Marshall

Contact Information

Main Office

187 High Street, Suite 202
Holyoke, MA. 01040

(413) 536-2401
(800) 894-2401

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