For Immediate Release

Boston, MA, April 19, 2016 – Executive Director Joan Meschino of the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice has won the Democratic primary in the special election for the open State Senate seat in the Plymouth and Norfolk district. In the wake of her victory, Meschino resigned her post as Executive Director effective immediately. Meschino had been on a leave of absence during her primary run.

The Board of Directors of Massachusetts Appleseed extends its thanks and recognition to Meschino for her leadership over the past eight years. During Meschino’s tenure, Massachusetts Appleseed has championed due process rights and equal treatment for children who are suspended and expelled from school, access to education for homeless children, and access to justice for underserved populations. Board Chair Martha Mazzone said, “We at Massachusetts Appleseed are grateful for Joan’s tireless and effective work on behalf of the Center and the citizens of the Commonwealth. Joan is leaving our Center stronger than she found it. Through Joan’s leadership, we are on a clear path for continuing to serve the community by seeking systemic solutions to social justice issues.”

The Board of Directors of Massachusetts Appleseed wishes Meschino the very best in her future endeavors and thanks her for many years of friendship and service.

About MA Appleseed

MA Appleseed’s mission is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. At MA Appleseed, we dedicate ourselves to remedying social injustices for at-risk and underserved children, youth, and adults. Working with volunteer lawyers, community partners, and others, we identify and address gaps in services and opportunities in areas such as education, homelessness, and the court system. Through in-depth research, community problem-solving, and consensus building, we develop powerful solutions that reform systems and structures.

For Immediate Release

Meschino takes leave of absence to run for office

Boston, MA, December 17, 2015 – Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice (MA Appleseed) has today named Sue Heilman as interim executive director. With more than 25 years of experience leading mission-based non-profit organizations, Ms. Heilman will help MA Appleseed continue its broad systemic reform initiatives focused on equity in public education and access to Massachusetts’ courts and legal system. MA Appleseed’s Board granted its current executive director Joan Meschino a temporary leave of absence while she campaigns for the Massachusetts state senate.

“Sue has a proven track record in working with boards of directors, staff teams and additional stakeholders to fulfill missions, inspire vision and meet strategic goals and objectives. We look forward to working with her in this interim period,” said Board chair Martha Mazzone. “We want to thank Joan for her deep commitment to MA Appleseed and her outstanding service in support of this Commonwealth’s most vulnerable populations, and we wish her well in her campaign.”

“I look forward to building on a strong foundation through collaboration and my personal passion for MA Appleseed’s important mission,” said Heilman. “It’s a privilege to step into this role to assist MA Appleseed’s Board and staff in its research, policy development, community outreach, and advocacy initiatives.”

Among other things, Ms. Heilman will lead the center in its new access to justice initiative, exploring the impact that recent technological innovations could have in strengthening access to Massachusetts courts by empowering those who cannot afford to pay a lawyer.

About MA Appleseed

MA Appleseed has been instrumental in leading vital systemic reform initiatives for over 20 years. By building on its experience and expertise as a leader, a convener and a trusted research and policy resource, MA Appleseed has been a key voice in influencing policy on education, youth homelessness issues, and the courts in Massachusetts. The legal community has strongly supported MA Appleseed’s endeavors for many years, through law firm and corporate sponsorship for the MA Appleseed “Good Apple Award.” MA Appleseed awards the Good Apple each year to a corporate general counsel or leader who embodies the commitment to the ideals of justice shared by the Massachusetts legal community. The 2016 Good Apple Award will be given to Jeffrey N. Carp, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of State Street Corporation, on March 24, 2016. For more information, visit the MA Appleseed website,