At BRIDGE we have just had a full month and I am looking forward to the richness coming ahead in 2023. Our honoring of Martin Luther King Jr and service was to gather for a 3-day strategic in-service retreat this year with staff, board, board/staff together and representatives that have contributed to BRIDGE’s story in the past, present and some who have recently committed to the future. We decided BRIDGE is a love story held within a beloved and embodied community. Stay tuned for the many insights and outputs and for now take a peek at what our staff and board have to say when they think about BRIDGE.
We also launched our gala planning efforts. Please let us know if you have a skill you want to share or if your organization or family would like to sponsor our third quinquennial gala celebration. We have world-renowned scholars joining local and regional artists to honor the mission of BRIDGE at Jacob’s Pillow. Thank you to the Pillow, Berkshire Bank Foundation and Greylock Federal Credit Union for being our early bird sponsors. And thank you to Mass MoCA for the special announcement posted on our County Billboards…
Be in touch if you want to be a part of this epic celebration of movement building for equity and justice.
We want to welcome Florence back on our team as a Lead Engagement Coordinator in Community Health and Youth Leadership. Welcome to Delano as our Racial Justice Coordinator. Welcome back to Estervina as a Lead Engagement Coordinator in Outreach and Client Services.
Our BRIDGE team has renewed its commitment to our race analysis by 6 BRIDGE reps taking PISAB’s Undoing Racism. Join our Race Task Force and Towards Racial Justice this month as Delano steps in to Lead Racial Justice & Equity Coordinator. Join Stephanie and Delano this evening, Feb. 2nd on Zoom and join Florence and Delano Monday at 12:30 on Zoom. We hope to be in person in the Spring at our new site and other Berkshire locations!
Finally Gwendolyn had the honor of co-hosting the Trauma Research Foundation Social Justice Summit with CEO and Founder Licia Sky to discuss Race as Trauma in the Body and our collective path to healing. Global thinkers on somatics and racism gathered for three days and we offer a special shout out to our BRIDGE activists, allies and accomplices joined to hold care and accountability spaces as a part of the conference flow. Participants expressed joy, grief, rage and other resonances and processed in community for three days inspired by TRF, Dr. Bessel vanderKolk and thought leaders around the world.
I want to say Happy Black History Month and please know we will be celebrating all year highlighting and hosting Black Feminists throughout the year in presentations, book clubs and launches as well as our gala original performances and talks. Save the date for Elizabeth Freeman Day in Great Barrington as BRIDGE and other organizations collaboratively amplify Elizabeth Freeman starting in Sheffield and landing in Great Barrington at the Courthouse. Collaboratively, Du Bois Freedom Center, BRIDGE, NAACP, educators and others are arranging a beautiful event with activists and allies. This month, BRIDGE will be holding a Black History Month discussion with Berkshire Bank for its employees and co-hosting a concert at Simon’s Rock on Feb 26th with the Harlem Chamber Players.
Keep an eye out for BRIDGE and Town of Great Barrington Du Bois Day celebrations! Earlier in the week, Delano Burrowes, will be the Du Bois speaker at Simon’s Rock on february 20.
Finally, thank you to all of our donors! We met our FY22 fundraising goals and thank you to those who have contributed to our Solidarity Meeting House and Kitchen Pantry. We have our new lease at 965 So. Main St in Great Barrington for our dedicated program site. Thank you to those who made it to Brava to see the plans for the site!
And on closing…
This has been a devastating week and I offer these two images for mediation because sometimes there are no words and as a mother of a Black Trans daughter, a Black biracial son, a sister of a Black man and most simply a human I have none. But both Tyre Nichols and Basquiat in their artistry invite me to sit with my breath and find spaces of grief, healing and interrogation all at once..
This Basquiat print hangs in my home office:
Share any thoughts you have here in our virtual hub.
See below notes from our BRIDGE team!
In solidarity together,
Winter is a time for reflecting, assessing, celebrating, and planning. BRIDGE's Mutual Aid program began in 2020 as a response to the community's needs in the face of Covid. The program has continued to expand and grow stronger throughout the years. Here is some of what we accomplished in 2022, by the numbers: