MLK Day Workshops

Preserving our Civil Rights
Organization: Bill of Rights Defense Committee and AFSC
Facilitators Emma Roderick and Jacqueline Johnson
Our rights and liberties are taking a tremendous assault from the federal government — from the PATRIOT Act to harmful immigration programs like “Secure Communities” to the recently signed National Defense Authorization Act, which contains provisions that allow indefinite military detention of US citizens. The federal government often relies on local agencies — often police departments — to carry out these flawed policies. Come learn about a few of the biggest threats, and about how residents of Western Mass are fighting back on the local level to preserve civil rights and liberties in our communities — and how you can join them.”

Our Liberation: Theatre of the Oppressed
Organization: Out Now! – QuEST
Facilitator Chiino Rios and Forrest Evans
We will engage with the “isms” – racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, xenophobia, and sexism, among others. But we don’t stop there. “Together with the audience, we create solutions to everyday instances of oppression”. In this workshop, the audience becomes actors too (we call everyone “spectators”). The workshop becomes a sort of dress rehearsal for real life where participants discover and then perform ways to interrupt and intervene in oppressive situations. We invite everyone to share in this inter-generational workshop.

I Have A Zine…: Peaceful Propaganda
Organization: Youth Action Coalition
Facilitators Katie Richardson & Synphany
In this workshop we’ll explore MLK’s message through image making. We’ll briefly look at historical examples of media advancing social movements in peaceful but provocative ways, and discuss how lessons from the past can inform our thinking about art making as a social justice practice today. Then we’ll get creative and collaborate to make a zine (low tech, collage, and handwritten mini magazine with a message) together using these ideas, and our own inspirations and dreams of liberation. (Ages 12+)

Environmental Justice Workshop
Organization: Pioneer Valley Climate Action
Facilitator: John Berkowitz
We’ll hear from many local young people about their campaigns and actions to stop climate change, shut down the Mt. Tom Coal plant in Holyoke and the proposed biomass plant in Springfield, the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant at the top of the valley, and other environmental and clean energy issues.

Got Union? It’s Good for You
Organization: Western MA Jobs with Justice
Facilitator: Jon Weissman
47 years ago, Dr. King told a union convention: “When in the thirties the wave of union organization crested over our nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society.” This workshop will explore this idea both as our history and as something for us to do: get yourself a union for the good of society.

MLK Expressions Booth
Organization: Community Action
Facilitator: Emily Shea
This is a funky workshop! Expressing diversity is important! Come join us and explore different ways we honor each other and our uniqueness. We’ll use video cameras, cameras and art! This workshop is for all ages, but is especially targeted for youth! Choose this workshop if you are creative and like something more hands on!