Jennifer Knight-Levine was honored Tuesday as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s 2019 class of Unsung Heroines. Jennifer was nominated by Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) because of her years of dedicated service and for her role in founding the SAFE Coalition and helping people struggling with substance use disorder in Franklin and surrounding communities. Jennifer was honored with 130 other Unsung Heroines in a ceremony in the Great Hall at the State House in Boston.
In 2014, Jennifer had recently returned to Franklin, and was astonished to hear the heartbreaking stories of those struggling with heroin addiction in the community. She urged the creation of a warm, kind, and sustainable education platform for this matter. She envisioned a support system for people to come together to grieve and heal. From that, Jennifer went on to become one of the founders of the SAFE Coalition, a regional coalition of community partners who provide a pathway for support, education, treatment options and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance use disorder.
The Coalition has grown in the past 5 years, becoming one of the strongest in Massachusetts. The Coalition provides “Community Conversations” about substance use and prevention, Support Groups, a Support Telephone Line, Narcan training, a High School Peer-to-Peer Advisory Group, and a comprehensive Resource Manual for those suffering from the disease of addiction. Jennifer now serves as the SAFE President and through her efforts many lives have been saved and many people are on the pathway to recovery
“Jennifer’s great work with Franklin’s substance use disorder community provides peace of mind for countless families, a supportive space for people coping with addiction, and a place for education on substance use disorder,” said Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin). “Throughout her years of service, she has given her time, talent, spirit, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of Franklin’s recovery and addiction community.”
“It was an absolute honor to stand with these 129 incredible woman from around the state and to be recognized as an Unsung Heroin for 2019 by the Massachusetts Commission on The Status of Women,” said Jennifer Knight-Levine. “I was moved during each of the nominees’ introductions and was humbled by the stories of resilience, dedication, and compassion each provide to their communities. I am so thankful that Rep. Roy nominated me for this award and so proud to have the opportunity to continue the community work that I know my grandmothers would be proud of.”
“The work of the 2019 Unsung Heroines has mattered long before this day and this award is an overdue recognition of their impact. Each and every one of the Honorees has and continues to sacrifice endless time and energy to their pursuits, and for that, we are humbled with admiration.” Chair Nina Kimball, Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
The Unsung Heroines are women who do not always make the news, but make a difference. They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectation of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community is better because of their contribution.