Western Massachusetts Social Justice Calendar

This calendar can also be reached by going to http://socialjusticecalendar.org. To submit an event, email calendar@afscwm.org

Gender Reconciliation Dialogue @ Pelham Library
Mar 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm


How can all people engage in solidarity to change sexism?

“What the world believes about women impacts all of us — and Earth.” — Jude Rittenhouse In the early 1960‘s sexism was called “the problem that has no name.” Today we know that sexism is a linchpin in keeping all kinds of violence going and we realize that each person is welcome and needed in the struggle to change the systemic oppressions that skew our human community.

During this dialogue we will increase our understanding of each other and our appreciation for ourselves. This two-hour dialogue will include a time to choose a personal story from today or from childhood to share in small groups relating to gender messages or relating to how sexism has intervened. Together we will build connection because we will give each other and ourselves the food of understanding.

To create a safe atmosphere, all sharing remains confidential and at any time you have the option to pass. Dialogue leader: Sarah Pirtle, Interfaith Minister and author of five books including An Outbreak of Peace and Better Together. Sarah directs the Common Threads Project of Traprock. Option: Before the dialogue, try to skim Sarah’s booklet online — Keeper of the Fire: Dialogue to Change Sexism and Foster Gender Reconciliation. This is found at traprock.org

Talk: Long-term Strategy and Movement Building for Dealing with the Trump Regime @ Room 160 East, Commonwealth Honors College UMass Amherst
Mar 31 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

An unprecedented mobilization of resistance and protests have arisen in the U.S. during the last couple of months. That is hopeful, but there are important issues and lessons from resistance studies to reflect upon that are not necessarily taken into account by the activists. How will these large protest events evolve into a resilient and long-term movement? Activists will need to mount a resistance strong enough to create a necessary system change that will survive the repression that the Trump regime has already prepared for. This talk will reflect upon a movement that can make a difference during the next 4-8 years of Trumpism. After an introduction by Stellan, we will discuss how to best develop a framework for such a resistance in small groups.

Dr. Stellan Vinthagen is Professor of Sociology, a scholar-activist, and the Inaugural Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he directs the Resistance Studies Initiative. He is also Editor of the Journal of Resistance Studies , Co-Leader of the Resistance Studies Group at University of Gothenburg, Sweden, co-founder of the International Resistance Studies Network, Council Member of War Resisters International, and academic advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict ICNC). His research is focused on resistance, power, social movements, nonviolent action, conflict transformation and social change. He has since 1980 been an educator, organizer and activist in several countries, and has participated in more than 30 nonviolent civil disobedience actions, for which he has served a total of more than one year in prison. His latest book is A Theory of Nonviolent Action – How Civil Resistance Works (2015).

Open to all and refreshments served.

Justice for All Concert @ First Congregational Church in Amherst
Apr 1 all-day
This singalong concert will provide an opportunity for people across the Pioneer Valley to come together to sing songs of freedom, hope, and justice. We will celebrate the work of groups working for racial justice – as well as on immigrant rights, climate, and peace.
Lea Gilmore is a blues, gospel, and jazz-singing civic activist who has lent her voice, literally and figuratively, to advocacy for the underserved of the world for many years. Essence Magazine named her one of the “25 Women Shaping the World” in 2005. She has worked tirelessly to advance racial justice and bridge divides in her native Baltimore, particularly since the death of Freddie Gray in 2015. www.leagilmore.com  Here is an example of her strong voice singing “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”.
Lea will be joined by:
Brother Louie is an award-winning blues pianist and vocalist who often accompanies Lea in her work.  www.professorlouie.com
The Amherst Area Gospel Choir, under the leadership of Jacqui Wallace, performs regularly at a variety of events in the Amherst area as well as Sunday mornings at Zion AME Church.
Annie Patterson & Peter Blood, creators of Rise Up Singing and Rise Again songbooks. Annie & Peter have been holding “Hope & Courage” concerts to build resilience and resistance to the attacks being made against women, racial minorities, immigrants and the earth.  www.riseupandsing.org
2017 Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference @ Mount Holyoke-Chapin Auditorium
Apr 1 @ 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
2017 Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference @ Mount Holyoke-Chapin Auditorium | South Hadley | Massachusetts | United States

The 4th Annual Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference will be held this year in Chapin Auditorium on April 1st, 2017 and will feature a series of workshops centered around this year’s theme: “Empowering Voices: Breaking Boundaries, Making Change”. This year’s keynote speaker will be spoken word poet, performing artist and LGBT rights political activist: Staceyann Chin!

The conference is open to self-identifying women of color across the Five College community while the keynote address will be open to the general public.

$10.00 MHC Students, Five College Students, Faculty, and Staff $15.00 Members outside of the Five College Consortium

Limited conference scholarships are available to MHC students at: https://docs.google.com/a/mtholyoke.edu/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIB_7A1_DlNneWnKS2aY4SZImF4nr53WIOXk0KbZ7fzpsIfw/viewform

The mission for the Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference can be found below: The Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference seeks to empower women of color across the Five-Colleges alongside faculty, staff, and community members with peer-networking, professional development, and leadership opportunities. In addition, we strive to encourage open dialogues and raise consciousness about issues prevalent in modern-day society regarding race, ethnicity, and gender. Most importantly this conference will provide a space to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of women of color.

If you have any questions regarding the conference, please reach out to the Students of Color Committee via our Facebook page: here


Non Violent Direct Action Training @ Mt. Toby Friends Meeting
Apr 1 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm



Learn the theory and practice of nonviolence as it applies to civil resistance to pipelines, fossil fuel infrastructure build-out, solidarity with #StandingRock as well as the other growing resistance movements springing up. We will help you connect to a Sugar Shack Affinity Group if you would like that. You need to have this training and be in a Sugar Shack Affinity Group to participate in a Sugar Shack direct action where folks are risking arrest. But this training is also useful for those wanting to use the knowledge and skills without joining Sugar Shack actions. The training is a full day from 9:00 to 5:00 with trainers Mary Link and Alice Grendon.

Racial Justice In the Courts: Does It Exist? @ First Congregational Church of Greenfield
Apr 1 @ 10:15 am – 12:15 pm

On Saturday April 1, from 10:15 to 12:15 at the First Congregational Church 43 Silver St. in Greenfield, Racial Justice Rising presents Ashfield Attorney Buz Eisenberg speaking on racial inequities in our criminal legal system. Doors open at 9:45. Light refreshments will be available. Donations are most welcome.
Attorney Eisenberg has practiced law for well over 3 decades in the region and has handled a variety of criminal, civil and civil rights cases. He has taught courses in Law and Government at GCC for 16 years and is well known for his work getting 8 Guantanamo prisoners released, many of whom who were being held without charges.
Childcare is available — RSVP with number & ages of children: email@racialjusticerising.org

Supported in part by the following Local Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency: Amherst, Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont-Hawley, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Greenfield, Hadley, Leverett, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Pelham, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Wendell

Amandla Chorus Concert @ Shea Theater
Apr 2 @ 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

This concert is being held to benefit Center for New Americans (Welcoming & serving immigrants since 1992).

Amandla offers two concerts to benefit the Center for New Americans on Sunday,—one for children and families, the other for adults and teens—at the SheaTheater in Turners Falls.The 4 p.m. show features songs and stories of respect, courage, comfort, and celebrating diversity. The 7pm show brings more nuance. “Let’s face it: many people are angry, fearful, exhausted, confused—a huge range of feelings, some very difficult. We’ll address these while offering hope and healing. And as ever, joyful and raucous songs!”

“Know Your Rights” @ Holy Name Social Center
Apr 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

In this new political climate, understanding your civil rights is more important than ever.
-What should you do if ICE agents show up at your door?
-Are LGBTQ couples in danger of losing equal marriage rights?
-Can the federal government “overturn” our public accommodations bill for trans people?
-What can you do if someone challenges your right to vote?

A panel of experts, drawn from our own communities, will discuss questions like these, followed by a question and answer period from the audience.

Who: Speakers Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Tara Parrish and Attorney Taylor Flynn.

UNDERSTANDING THE RESURGENCE OF WHITE POWER: A Conversation with a Former White Supremacist @ Flywheel Arts Collective
Apr 4 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

With hate crimes and bias-related incidents on the rise, there is growing concern surrounding the resurgence of white supremacist groups around the country. To understand how these organizations operate, their recruitment strategies, and the factors that have contributed to their proliferation, please join us for a community conversation with Mr. Christian Picciolini, a former white supremacist and the co-founder of Life After Hate. Mr. Picciolini will also share his experience of radicalization, as well as insights about the current socio-political climate.


Immigrants’ Day at the State House – Boston @ State House, Hall of Flags
Apr 5 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Immigrants' Day at the State House - Boston @ State House, Hall of Flags

Now is the time to make your voice heard! Come join us at the State House to talk to our legislators and let them know that immigrants are a valuable part of our commonwealth and deserve to have the same rights as everyone else. Before you come register here and make an appointment with your legislator!