Raising up Indigenous Peoples Day, Du Bois Legacy & Justice Efforts
Dear BRIDGE Community:
We hope everyone is enjoying Fall as much as we are! This is a wonderful season in our Berkshire home.
This month we are going to do things a bit differently and invite everyone to join in an “action in solidarity” in the place of our regular Racial Justice convenings. There are several ways to engage with Indigenous Peoples' Day this month and we have shared some of our Southern Berkshire-based outdoor and virtual offerings. (See below)
Also our partner WAM has a play that you won't want to miss directed, written and acted by Indigenous women.
On the weekend of October 17th the Town of Great Barrington Du Bois Legacy committee invites you to pass by, leave reflections and take a walk on the interpretative trail at the Du Bois Boyhood Site at 612 S Egremont Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230. On October 18th in honor of the 52nd anniversary of the dedication of this site, we will gather with members of Town of Great Barrington Du Bois Legacy committee, Du Bois Middle School, BRIDGE Youth corps from Happiness Toolbox and Real Talk, and community members to lift up Dr. Du Bois and his legacy in education, civil rights, economic justice and race equity. Join us!
Additionally we are supporting the Cultural Appreciation Week of the Massachusetts Trial Court and hope you can all join in a community dialogue about justice and safety on Oct. 20th as well as a community-building event on Oct. 22nd at 9 Gilmore Ave, Great Barrington, MA 01230. (Read more below.)
BRIDGE is proud to be a partner in all of this work as we honor our Black Indigenous and all People of Color’s heritage in our Berkshire County. We are also celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month September 15th - October 15th and we invite you all to find a way to intentionally celebrate and honor our Hispanic Berkshire community. We must all work and activate together in solidarity to create connection in our lived experiences as we advance toward equity and justice.
Congratulations for the 25th Annual Festival Latino!
Attention! We would like you all to celebrate our CEO’s 50th birthday by meeting Gwendolyn’s request to make a contribution and testimonial to BRIDGE. We invite you to make a donation to her annual birthday facebook fundraiser in increments of 50 cents or dollars.
Second, we are asking for you to join our mosaic project by sending us a testimonial. We invite you to send one word about BRIDGE’s impact in your life, your work, and/or your community to email@example.com or BRIDGE, 17 Main St. Ste. B3 Lee, MA 01239 Re: Mosaic. We are building our next mosaic of our BRIDGE community and hope to include your voices.
Your sharing your one word with a photo and a brief explanation is our second Birthday request. This mosaic project was launched last Sunday at our SJIA and we cannot wait for you to join the chorus! Please enjoy photos from our intergenerational SJIA thank you event for staff, volunteers, youth leaders, and donors this past weekend! These submissions are due by October 18th, 2021!
The BRIDGE Team
Great Barrington Community to Observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Drumming, traditional Native American songs, speeches, and a procession culminating in a ceremonial blessing of the Housatonic River will mark the local observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Great Barrington on Monday, October 11 2021.
This will be the centerpiece of a four-event program organized by Alliance for a Viable Future, a local grass-roots organization. The aim is to acknowledge and heal the wounds of our past, honor the Native American ethic of respect and care for the natural world, and integrate indigenous values into our response to climate change, according to Lev Natan, organizer and founding director of the Alliance.
“The commemoration is inspired, in part, by Randy Weinstein and Gwendolyn VanSant of the W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee, who, in 2019, asked the Town of Great Barrington to join a growing movement of towns, cities and states around the country who are recognizing the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” said Natan.
The Oct. 11th event will begin at the Gazebo behind Town Hall at 11:00am with Aaron Athey, the Master of Ceremonies for powwows in the Berkshires, playing his drum and singing traditional songs.
From the gazebo, the gathering will proceed down Main St. to the RiverWalk via Dresser Ave. It will continue to the Memorial Park baseball field, where a ceremonial blessing for the Housatonic River will also honor the ongoing legacy of the people who were displaced by the colonists.
“The purpose of this entire program, a four-event series that stretches from September 22nd thru October 17th, is to establish a deep connection with the indigenous history of our place. By acknowledging this part of our past, we are able to bring healing to our community, in the present, and move forward into the future, with greater trust and unity,” says Natan.
WAM Theatre presents the US Premiere of KAMLOOPA: An Indigenous Matriarch Story by Kim Senklip Harvey. This hilarious transformation story, and winner of the 2020 Governor General's Award for Drama, is presented LIVE in a COVID safe production at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company from October 7-24, and streams digitally from November 1-7.
KAMLOOPA is high energy comedy that follows two urban Indigenous sisters and their encounter with a lawless trickster, as they explore what it means to honor who they are and where they come from. Learn more at wamtheatre.com.
As a BRIDGE partner, WAM Theatre has some complimentary tickets to offer to BRIDGE community members for our Thursday October 7, Friday, October 8 and Saturday, October 9th performances. Performances are at 7pm.
Please email our General Manager, Dori Parkman, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 1 with the names and email addresses of anyone who would like tickets. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Sending warm wishes to you from all of us at WAM and hope to see you at KAMLOOPA.
Fourth Annual Cultural Appreciation Week: Justice, Culture and Community
Hosted By: Southern Berkshire District Court Cliff Flynn, Assistant Chief Probation Officer & Cultural Proficiency Champion with community partner, BRIDGE and other County-wide Collaborating Partners at local Police Departments and District Attorney Office
Justice, Culture and Community Day in Great Barrington: Bridging the Gap in Social Justice”
Community Dialogue, “A Conversation about Restorative Justice & Promoting Equity, Trust & Safety in Berkshire County, pt. 2
We are partnering for the 5th annual statewide Cultural Appreciation Week 2021 (CAW) on Justice, Culture & Community, October 18-22 led by Pamerson Ifill and the Cultural Proficiency Team of the Massachusetts Trial Division. Locally Probation Officer Clifford Flynn is working with BRIDGE for the third year in a row to collaborate in community on the design of the week. The first year BRIDGE supported the Pittsfield Court in their appreciation and awareness building week.
This year, BRIDGE will facilitate pt. 2 of the Community Dialogue “A Conversation about Restorative Justice & Promoting Equity in Berkshire County, pt. 2 that we started last year. We gathered to think about Justice in Community working through accountability, trust and safety in our community. This year our constituents want to make strides in community policing, restorative practices and making cultural connections. We will continue to work to develop relationships with the courthouse.
This year the Southern Berkshire Regional District Courthouse is running a food drive once again for the next three weeks to benefit BRIDGE Food Sovereignty, People’s Pantry in Great Barrington and Lenox Ecumenical Food Pantry. On Wednesday, 10/20, from 2-4 on Zoom we will co-host the virtual community dialogue and on Friday,10/22, there will be the lawn event at the Courthouse in Great Barrington. The Courthouse and Police Department will have a meet and greet from 1-4 with police cars, trucks and the therapy dog and BRIDGE will have children's activities and "to go" snacks for everyone. We will have our not in our county pledge for signing and renewing on the lawn and do bubbles & light snacks for afterschool. So Co will do ice cream.
Wednesday, Oct. 20th 2:00-4:00 PM Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0rfuqhrjIqHNxtGiAVb-2-hCKBAr7SLIg9
Friday, Oct. 22nd 1:00-4:00 PM Great Barrington Courthouse
Food Drives Oct. 4th - 22nd
2021 October Engagements with BRIDGE:
Race Task Force and Toward Racial Justice are canceled for October due to our Indigenous People’s Day events
MUTUAL AID: 2nd Annual Introduction: Canning & Jarring Class: