BRIDGE had an eventful February and I hope you were able to join us in person or online for the celebration of Black History Month through our work on the Du Bois Memorial with the support of many of you, our collaboration and contributions to the Du Bois Legacy Festival or the visit to our archives for our Living African American History project highlighting the Black thought leaders that have joined BRIDGE these last two years.
We are excited about launching the testing phase of our virtual learning hub! We were proud to pivot to a new method of organizing and content delivery at the onset of the pandemic and now we are transitioning to our remote instruction platform fondly carrying the name New Pathways forward. This site will hold resources and content, thought leadership, polls, news, etc. There are multiple levels of engagement from a client, member, activist/ally or constituent perspective. However you are engaged with BRIDGE, there is something that will “add value” here and be accessible. Go to this link to sign up and explore our “mighty BRIDGE network”!
And now we move on to Women’s History Month and we have chosen to focus on self-care and resilience and uplifting the power of women’s leadership. We invite you to visit a self-guided Black Feminist book club that our CEO held for Mass MoCA’s Cauleen Smith exhibit. There will also be other women and feminist thought leaders and positive psychology thought leaders highlighted in the same way that our LAAHP project was in February and the best thing about it is, each of these campaigns will continue.
We look forward to an internet safety course at the end of March hosted by Northern Berkshire.
BERKSHIRE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE
WILL BE PRESENTING:
Keeping Kids Safe and Secure Online: A Project Safe Childhood Presentation for Parents
Childcare and Dinner will be provided!
RSVP Required for meals and childcare
Please RSVP to Stephanie at nbCC by:
Friday, March 25
(dinner will be from 5:45 pm – 6:25 pm - The presentation will begin at 6:30 pm)
Wednesday March 30th, 2022
Drury High School
1130 Church Street
The Presentation will include:
NEW RESEARCH PROVIDES INSIGHTS ON THE VALUE OF ARTS & CULTURE, AND IDEAS FOR CHANGE
Please join us for a virtual presentation and discussion of Culture + Community research findings for the state of Massachusetts and Berkshire County on Thursday, March 31, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m
This research shares insights from thousands of Massachusetts residents and provides statewide and local findings on:
Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation: Focus on Massachusetts is a specialized report from Slover Linett Audience Research and commissioned by the Barr Foundation. It extends learnings from national Culture + Community research to the state and county level.
The session will be a deep dive on Berkshire County, with a presentation of key findings followed by a discussion on how to act on them in the county's arts and culture sector and beyond. Guest speakers will include Margaret Keller (Community Access to the Arts), Thasia Giles (Jacob’s Pillow) and Gwendolyn VanSant (BRIDGE).
The Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network Presents Mosaic: Film, Conversation and Community
Thursday, May 5th at 6 pm
FREE, Registration required
The Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network in conjunction with Multicultural BRIDGE presents an evening of cultural exploration, performance, and intergenerational conversation centered on the screening of the new Western MA film, Mosaic, a film that the Network commissioned to highlight the transformational work of local leaders of color and other voices from the Connecticut River Valley to the Berkshires. A regional group of young and old helped create the content and guide the process of the film’s focus on the intersection of racism and health.
What would a world without racism look like?
What would it be like if quality healthcare were accessible to all?
How can we embrace and support wellbeing in all its manifestations?
What could healthy communities look like…and accomplish?
Join as these questions and more are explored in an open, supportive, creative environment.
upcoming bridge training
Building cultural competency is a foundational journey that organizational employees take, because the end result is a more inclusive, connected and effective organization through developing awareness, tools and resources for professional education, sector and professional bias awareness and cultural knowledge.
Rooted in cultural humility, BRIDGE’s award-winning, transformational and interactive training has been designed to support businesses and nonprofits in proactively developing a diverse, integrated positive workplace environment that allows your organization to thrive.
Food sovereignty and sustainability has always been a part of BRIDGE’s programming! Starting 10 years ago, BRIDGE has had a long-term partnership with Gideons Garden (stewarded by Grace Episcopal Church at Taft Farms) for our Happiness Toolbox summer programming for youth. Over the years, Happiness Toolbox youth participants have participated in a summer Seed to Harvest planting ceremonies in the Spring and harvesting for their families, and visiting the farm. Taft Farms with Gideons Garden have also provided healthy snacks for Happiness Toolbox for a decade along with their harvests.
Our Women to Women participants and their children enjoy nutritious meals twice a month for 10+ years uninterrupted.
Donate to Support the program!
Thursday’s- Resource kit prep/office support in Lee 2-4pm
Friday’s First Congregational Church in Great Barrington
10:30-12:00 Sorting & Packing items
12:00-3:00 Finish packing, assist loading vehicles
Afternoon Deliveries (times assigned individually between 12 - 2:30) Delivery drivers can sign up to drive after earlier shifts, or to pick up items to deliver in the afternoon.
Friday’s - BRIDGE Mutual Aid Distribution pick up in Lee
New volunteers are welcome; please take a moment to complete the BRIDGE Volunteer Form if you haven't already.
SAVE THE DATES
April 2nd: Honoring Rev Ester Dozier With Clinton Church and NAACP and family
April 22nd: Celebrating Earth Day with Happiness Toolbox, Women to Women and MVP Care GB. Details to come.
May 21st: Great Barrington History Project With Delano Burrows
2022 April Engagements with BRIDGE:
The Great Barrington Project is an ongoing community art and discussion event rooted in the ideas and writings of Great Barrington native son W.E.B. Du Bois. The creator is Delano Burrowes, a writer, artist and curator and also a Great Barrington native son. The first event will, appropriately enough, be in the namesake Berkshires town.
Since the summer of 2020, this country has finally been acknowledging how entrenched in our society is the idea that Blackness is seen as a problem, and the potential consequences of that. We are all, regardless of background, subject to the same media and social influences that perpetuate this narrative. It’s crucial that we don’t look at racism and intolerance as an “over there” issue, but one that is present in our own communities, bodies and minds. How we stop this centuries old way of thinking and seeing is through awareness and sometimes uncomfortable honesty.
Throughout the week, there will be an interactive public art experience where anyone walking by is invited to sit in a chair across from a seated Black person and look in each other's eyes for 10 minutes. The hope is that in those 10 minutes, the viewer will be reminded that we all create many narratives about strangers every day, but how often do we stop, pause and truly see individuals instead of stereotypes? In a world in which smartphone disconnection is constant, 10 minutes of simple silent human connection is rare.
Those who identify as Black will also be invited to write answers to the questions
1) How does the world see me?
2) How do I see myself?
At the end of the week there will be a free public event around these ideas co-facilitated with Gwendolyn Van Sant, the CEO and co-founder of Multicultural Bridge and well known Guest speakers will discuss the topic and how it relates to Great Barrington and the world today and we will open up the microphone for local people to share for one minute each. There will also be art, music and an area for people to write how they are seen by others and how they see themselves.
The Great Barrington Project is ongoing and will travel to many communities around the country with the hopes that it can be a model for others and continue to branch out into new and unexpected directions. More information can be found on the newly launched blog, www.thegreatbarringtonproject.squarespace.com. The blog will document the creative process and also display photographs and answers to the questions. It’s also where volunteers can sign up.
The goal of The Great Barrington Project isn’t that people walk away feeling guilt or shame. It’s that we can all leave with hope that we’re doing difficult but necessary work to break down old ways of seeing to create new ones.
If you’d like to donate to The Great Barrington Project, the GoFundMe link is Here
Language is very powerful. Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes. ~Desmond Tutu
Dear BRIDGE friends:
I am looking forward to saying goodbye to 2021 along with all of you and planting seeds for a new future for us all in 2022.
It is that time of year where we have been asking for renewals on pledges and giving for the 2022 year and we thank you all for joining in! If you haven't yet done so. You can donate here or follow the links on our website or view the previous newsletter here. (It is also that time of year for reflecting. What do we want to release and leave behind in 2021 and what do we want to keep and nurture for 2022? One answer for us at BRIDGE is that we want to keep nurturing our sense of community and family with each of you. Our connections have been enriched, deepened and strengthened as we have faced the pandemic and its impact over the last few years.
We are taking a pause right now and hoping we all can stay as healthy as possible. In the New Year we will start anew. (For this week our offices are closed and we will do remote work through January 4-17th. More on next steps for our community safety protocols in the new year!)
I invite you all to consider (re) visiting the 21 day challenge of race equity. Follow this link for instructions to renew your race equity commitment. This will take us right through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Looking ahead to 2022: We are thrilled to announce partnering for our traditional MLK Service Day with Berkshire South in allyship and partnership! Stay tuned for the many ways to serve and be in community on January 17th!
Before that, we will convene the Race Task Force and Towards Racial Justice meetings. Our Women to Women program runs weekly. And we begin our first quarter Foundations course.
In the meantime, we wish you a happy healthy New Year in family and community!
Be safe. We love you all. Thank you for being in the struggle with us for justice and equity
Gwendolyn & the BRIDGE team
We need more real love. Gritty, dangerous, wild-eyed, justice-seeking love.
In honor of Desmond Tutu’s passing I invite you all to read the “Book of Joy.” I gave this as a holiday gift to our BRIDGE team a few years back, and know you will enjoy it.
You can think about others who are in a similar situation or perhaps even worse a situation, but who have survived, even thrived. It does help quite a lot to see yourself as part of a greater whole”. ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu
2022 January Engagements with BRIDGE:
A new way to give! You can now text us to make a donation. Text "Justice" to 1-(844)-386-4891 to make a donation!
Dear BRIDGE friends and family:
We hope you are well and want to invite you to join us in sharing the joy of the holiday season!
This #GivingTuesday we are raising loving kindness, money, and holiday gifts for the BRIDGE Food Sovereignty program, and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. And on Giving Tuesday Nov 30, Meta will match $8 million in qualifying donations. Here's some information about our mutual aid work.
We serve 106 families bi-monthly with fresh locally grown food, supporting local businesses, farms and families. Serving 448 individuals with monthly grocery/gas/pharmacy gift cards in $25 increments per household. All constituents from clients to partners to board members and staff support the program as one community serving all of our collective vision and need. We primarily serve the BIPOC community with over 90% participation of the BIPOC Berkshire community members in mutual aid with education, resources on COVID, local assistance, fresh local food (CSAs), etc. ! We also have a keen eye for individuals falling through the cracks, in transition, and in caregiving scenarios.
We continue to spread mutual joy, abundance, knowledge, and good health! Distributing resources in our local community where most needed.
We could use your help! We are raising funds and most importantly we are seeking in-kind support this holiday season. Keep reading!
We are asking for gift cards for tweens and teens in $25 increments. All pledges go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to adopt a family, please contact email@example.com.
You can also make a one-time Giving Tuesday cash contribution here - that will sustain our mutual aid this winter!
As we work on systems change and mutual respect and understanding, BRIDGE is working tirelessly to spread love and kindness, lovingkindness, to families to cultivate and steward healthy, thriving communities for us all.
This Giving Tuesday is about giving our time, attention, and love to one another.
Help our mutual aid continue next year with this one-time gift between now and Tuesday! Please share this link!
And between now and then please be in touch with holiday gifts you can share for our BRIDGE youth.
Here is our wishlist:
HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE DAY - November 26th
Dr. Arthur C. Parker of the Seneca nation first protested for National Native American Heritage Day between 1912 and 1915. At first, he was fighting for an “American Indian Day” to be recognized within the Boy Scouts of America. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca, to designate the day after Thanksgiving as American Indian Heritage Day. The law was established on November 28 as a day to pay respects to the Native Americans for their numerous contributions to the United States. The American Indian Heritage Day was supported by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and 184 federally recognized tribes.
The Native American Heritage Day encourages Americans of all backgrounds to appreciate the indigenous cultures appropriately, with ceremonies and activities. Schools are also encouraged to enhance their students’ awareness of Native Americans by providing classroom activities focused on their history, contributions, and achievements.
The United States House of Representatives initially passed the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009, with technical adjustments made by a collective consent in the United States Senate. The House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the legislation again, including the Senate’s adjustments. The legislation was then signed into public law by President Barack Obama on October 30, 2009.
Native American Heritage Day and Month is a huge platform for Indigenous people to educate society about their communities. On this day, more than ever, they lead the discourse on culture, celebrate their heritage by donning traditional footwear (“rocking the moccasin”) and shed some light on the diverse tribal communities.
Excerpt from the website, nationaltoday.com. Please visit the website for a rich timeline of our Native American Heritage Day: https://nationaltoday.com/native-american-heritage-day/.
2021 December Engagements with BRIDGE:
We are grateful to be in community with you all everyday! In the struggle for justice & humanity together
- Your friends & community at BRIDGE
claim your special gifts this holiday season!
We appreciate you and have small ways to show you this season. Between our annual giving appeal arriving early December and Giving Tuesday, we have a special token of our love and appreciation for our one-time and sustaining pledges.
BRIDGE pin for gifts $1000 or more Restorative Justice Gift box for gifts over $500 and Aunt Elsie's cookies for donations over $250. For Donations $250 and under we will send you our BRIDGE and Not in Our County swag!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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:
Last Chance to Sign up!
Join us for the Cultural Competence Foundation Fridays, starting TOMORROW, Friday, September 10th, 2021!
IDEA Institute: Cultural Competence Foundations
FRIDAY, Sept 10 & FRIDAY Sept 17th 9- 1PM
Meeting ID: 895 5176 5971
Here are some recent photos from the Happiness Toolbox 2021 Summer Program! Our youth had a great time!
Congratutions to Gwendolyn and the BRIDGE team on this amazing award from #CAPCON21!
Read all about it!
We are back after an enriching restorative pause! Thank you all for your grace and patience so our team can reboot in service to our mission!
We have an abundant amount of good news to share! For today, we want to share with you that our CEO and Founding Director, Gwendolyn VanSant, has been published in a book compiled by Dr. Emily Williams on IDEA work. Get your copy here!
Also our partners at BCAC nominated our fearless leader for our community action award to have made the pivot to impactfully and intentionally activate in support of communities facing poverty issues. We will be honored alongside our client and partner Greylock Federal Credit Union who also was one of these National Community Action Awardees. Be in touch if you want to join in the Boston celebration in September! Keeping the Berkshires on the map with our collective Equity and Inclusion efforts!
Our summer program Happiness Toolbox is relaunching for its 12th consecutive year! We have several enriching programs in person and online. We are thrilled to have Drive Forward back with us online—clowns that focus on empowerment and joy. Don’t forget to visit our online video library from last year! We will have Spanish, French, Coding, Foraging, Yoga, HANDLE, Bookmaking, photography, Berkshire legends, Character strengths Sports, dance and activities with youth leaders. We will be celebrating Mother Earth! Join us. Financial aid available! Register here!!
Special thanks to Canna Provisions for our Pride month SJIA raising $1415. Also deep gratitude to our partners at Three Sisters Farm and Sweet Freedom navigating our stormy weather and supplying our mutual aid goods for our families. Big thanks to First Congregational Church for supporting our second year of mutual aid. We want to also congratulate Colleen Goewey on our team on her promotion as mutual aid coordinator. Growing our team step by step!
2021 August Engagements:
Please firstname.lastname@example.org to attend any of the above events!
JV and the BRIDGE team!
🤎 We appreciate your support, sustaining pledges and engagement! Thank you! Donate here! This month we are collecting for Happiness Toolbox and Mutual Aid Food Sovereignty program! 💕
Dear BRIDGE friends:
We are going in to a holiday weekend and asking that you all consider what Independence and Liberation is for all.
We are writing to you to invite you to revisit the classic Frederick Douglass speech which our BRIDGE community read in 2019 with Shakespeare & Co. And what was most important is that we read the entire piece.
A way BRIDGE is practicing our values is we are taking a break! Our offices will be closed for a planned restorative retreat. We will be closed July 12th - July 23rd. I was thrilled to see this notion of a resilience retreat be captured here in Vu Li’s article. We have made this suggestion to several of our clients that kept working through the pandemic and a few have found meaningful ways in both 2020 and 2021 for a resilience retreat for their employees. This is a way to honor the labor of our teams. We all need time to restore and reboot.
If you have urgent needs, please contact email@example.com during 7/12-7/13 AND if you are able to help us with our mutual aid distribution on 7/16, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by July 9th! Many hands make light work.
While we are away, we hope you spread the word about our hybrid Happiness Toolbox program and join us for a fun day on July 30th.
Our Race Task Force will be meeting in subcommittees on July 12th. We will use the same Zoom Link.
Also, we have just finished up our IDEA Institute Cultural Competence Foundations and we will resume with Systems of Oppression on July 30th. If you have taken BRIDGE’s Cultural Competence, we invite you to sign up for these three sessions or a deeper dive into a race, gender and poverty analysis.
Also, we begin the Foundations course again in September followed by Systems of Oppression which are prerequisites for our Train-the-Trainer course in the Fall hosted in partnership with Berkshire Community College.
Here is a sneak peek into our IDEA Institute Inclusive Leadership Cohort to see the topics covered as we begin to design our community projects.
Thank you to Canna Provisions in Lee, MA for celebrating Pride Month with BRIDGE and thank you Hop Brook Community Club for hosting a Social Justice in Action event on Juneteenth and raising consciousness about white privilege and its impact.
“joy is an act of resistance” ~ Congresswoman Pressley
We have had an eventful Spring so far with Happiness Toolbox and our Climate Action work!
Enjoy our Earth Day celebration photos here! As our Happiness Toolbox families and friends gathered together again (reunited!), we went foraging in an original “Trailgrazing” program with Maya Richards at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Also, we returned with our BRIDGE youth leaders and team and played games, challenged ourselves with trivia about our Mother Earth, made herbal remedies, practiced our Spanish, and positive psychology & growth mindset skills in person and over Zoom in our hybrid program. Stay tuned for our summer dates.
Thank YOU!!! Mutual aid at its best!
We cannot tell you enough HOW you as a community lifted up the collective work of BRIDGE during this pandemic and how your collective time, treasure and talent have lifted the health of our community in ways that go beyond basic needs and reach the scale of our local humanity! We ask that you continue to commit to working alongside BRIDGE, making meaningful financial gifts in the form of sustaining pledges for mutual aid, speaking up and against injustice and insensitivity, and that you continually educate yourself and others.
“I now genuinely believe that self-knowledge and self-reflection is invaluable to doing good work in this world.” ― Parker Palmer
Tomorrow we end one year of our Food Sovereignty and Empowerment Program and renew with Year 2 late May within an expanded network of mutual aid including an expanded partnership of local farms! Thank you to Sweet Freedom Farm, Three Sisters, Indian Line Farm, Full Well Farm, Colfax Farm, Taft Farms/Gideon’s Garden, Random Harvest, Greenagers, Square Roots Farm and Off the Shelf Farm. Many thanks to our sponsors, donors and once again to all of you whose resources flow right through our hearts and hands to the local farms and in to our local families!
Finally Celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Month this month- read more here: https://asianpacificheritage.gov
Climate. Action. Resilience. Equity!
TONIGHT- FIELD TRIP (VIRTUALLY)! Our monthly Racial Justice and weekly Women to Women Meet up for the Town of Great Barrington MVP GB Project
6:30-8:30 PM | Zoom
EVERYONE - Feel free to join us for dinner (you can bring your own!) and an engaging session at the intersection of community, environmental justice and racial justice! Together we will decide on priorities for the town’s climate action work!
Join us for this series of three to watch our community put our thoughts and wisdom into action
“Climate change is a fundamental problem that we must solve and not merely pass on to the generations to come…We can’t let our children and grandchildren look back on this critical period in time and say that we failed them.” ~Mary Robinson
See the 10 priorities that our intergenerational, cross-cultural community members and municipal leaders highlighted in our work to date:
In loving memory of community members Mabel Hamilton and Jahaira deAlto.
We will miss you both.
I believe in the power of the human heart—in its capacity for truth and justice, love and forgiveness. ~ Parker Palmer
In People Magazine: Transgender activist Jahaira DeAlto "touched the lives of everyone around her with her passion, drive, humanity, humor, and fierce vision." Read here
Join us! We have openings in board committee service, our volunteer network, and even on our staff! Also you can join in the fun with fundraising activities like Patsy and Dottie’s Coffee Lounge (see pics below) and also our community navigator, Colleen, offering to all of her clients a free hair shine with a donation to BRIDGE.
Email email@example.com for any questions, suggestions, or ideas you might have.
Member Spotlights: Greylock Federal Credit Union and Guido’s Fresh Marketplace!
HOT! Job Opportunities at Greylock! Take time to review the benefits and multiple levels of job opportunities. Greylock, a BRIDGE partner, and client, has committed to equity and accessibility in their diversity and inclusion efforts. Give them a call!
Thank you Guido’s for rounding up to support us in March and April!
In case you missed it - in the news
Two articles about BRIDGE:
Wishing you all the best and a Happy Mother’s Day,
- Gwendolyn, JV and the BRIDGE team
P.s. Don’t forget to vote in your local elections! It matters! Ayanna Pressley states… "policy is my love language. Because policy has created hurt and harm, but it can also create equity and justice. That’s what we deserve, and that’s what we’re going to need in order to recover from all the hurt that has been caused…”
Do you shop at Guido's? Well, if you do, be sure to round up at checkout! Details below!
Latest Videos from New Pathways: