Bits & Bytes: Four Freedoms Forum; Home Fire Preparedness campaign; Sarah Van Gelder at Simon’s Rock; Roxane Gay at Williams; Green Tea Party event; science and innovation fair

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By Monday, Feb 13 Life In the Berkshires
A speaker is shown at a previous Four Freedoms Forum event at Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. The museum will host its next forum on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Four Freedoms Forum to focus on refugee crisis

Stockbridge — The Four Freedoms Forum series will return to the Norman Rockwell Museum on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 5:30 p.m. with a look at today’s refugee crisis. The featured speakers will be Asma Abbas, associate professor of politics and philosophy at Bard College at Simon’s Rock; Hilary Greene, director of Berkshire Immigrant Center; and Dr. Charles Park, director of the Berkshire Immigrant Stories Project. The forum is free and open to the public.

Asma Abbas.

Asma Abbas.

Abbas is associate professor of politics and philosophy and the Emily H. Fisher Faculty Fellow at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington. She is also the founding director of Hic Rosa, an art, politics and education collective which hosts the Falsework School in the Berkshires and abroad. Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, she is a transdisciplinary political theorist interested in the history of forms of political existence. She is the author of the 2010 book “Liberalism and Human Suffering: Materialist Reflections on Politics, Ethics, and Aesthetics” and several published essays. She is completing her second book, “Another Love: A Politics of the Unrequited.”

Greene, the director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, grew up in the Berkshires, graduated from Mount Greylock Regional High School, and earned her BA in Soviet and Russian studies from Colby College. She worked as the refugee resettlement coordinator at the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and helped to establish the Berkshire Immigrant Center. For the past six years, Greene has helped coordinate United States citizenship naturalization ceremonies held at NRM.

Park is an assistant professor of English at Berkshire Community College. Prior to joining BCC, he taught a wide range of composition and literature courses at both two- and four-year institutions. The Berkshire Immigrant Stories Project, his pilot program at BCC, will collect and share the stories of recent local immigrants. Park earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University and his Ph.D. from Purdue University.

For more information, call NRM at (413) 298-4100.

–E.E.

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Green Tea Party to hold resistance event

resizeshepard-fairey-inauguration-posters-design-graphics-illustration_dezeen_2364_heroa-1-1Great Barrington — The Green Tea Party has registered with the Indivisible Guide for resisting the Trump/Pence agenda and will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m. at 27 Humphrey St. The GTP invites citizens who are committed to doing daily and/or weekly actions to attend a planning and networking meeting for an agenda of resistance. Simple, concrete and practical actions will be planned and other brainstorming is possible. All are welcome. Those attending are asked to RSVP to the Facebook event. For more information, contact (914) 319-3396 or bobbyhouston@hotmail.com.

–E.E.

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Red Cross to bring Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to Great Barrington

Great Barrington — The American Red Cross has announced that its national Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is partnering with the Great Barrington Fire Department to install smoke alarms in area residences on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Teams consisting of a Red Cross volunteer and firefighter and will visit pre-registered Great Barrington homes to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as to educate the homeowners on fire safety and personal preparedness. The campaign will kick off at the GBFD headquarters at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The goal of this campaign in Great Barrington and across the country is to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next four years. Great Barrington residents wishing to participate should have homes that were built prior to 1975 and current smoke detectors that are 10 years old or older. To register, contact the GBFD at (413) 528-0788 by Wednesday, Feb. 15.

–E.E.

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YES! Magazine co-founder Sarah Van Gelder to speak at Simon’s Rock

Sarah Van Gelder.

Sarah Van Gelder.

Great Barrington — On Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. journalist and YES! Magazine co-founder and editor-at-large Sarah Van Gelder will discuss the issues facing America today and grassroots solutions she uncovered while researching her new book “The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from the 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America.” The talk will take place at Bard College at Simon’s Rock’s Daniel Arts Center and is free and open to public.

In the spirit of YES! Magazine, which is dedicated to tracking pressing issues from a solutions-oriented perspective, Van Gelder’s new book, according to the website, “traces her journey in an old pickup truck and tiny camper though 12,000 miles and 18 states. From the ranches of Montana to the Native reservations of North Dakota, from the urban cores of Chicago and Detroit to the coalfields of Kentucky, she met and interviewed people who are ordinary and extraordinary–people who stopped a giant coal mine, brought urban farming into the heart of Chicago, worked to move Greensboro’s beyond its legacy of racism, and are bringing about a cooperative renaissance.”

Said Van Gelder, “The connections we each have to our physical and ecological place, and to one another in community, are where we find our power and our best hopes for change.”

For more information, contact Simon’s Rock at (413) 644-4400 or info@simons-rock.edu.

–E.E.

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Author Roxane Gay to speak at Williams

Roxane Gay.

Roxane Gay.

Williamstown — Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay will speak at Williams College on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in Chapin Hall. A book signing will follow the talk.

Gay’s work has garnered international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. National Public Radio awarded Gay best book of the year for her 2014 collection of essays titled “Bad Feminist.” Gay also authored “An Untamed State,” a novel that was listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. In 2017, she will release a memoir titled “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body,” and a collection of short stories titled “Difficult Women.”

For building locations on the Williams campus, consult the online map or call the office of communications at (413) 597-4277.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Museum to host science and innovation fair

Pittsfield — On Wednesday, February 15, Berkshire Museum will host the seventh annual Science and Innovation Fair featuring the Taconic High School Science and Engineering Academy and the Pittsfield High School Quark Science Club.

Approximately 100 students from Pittsfield’s public high schools will exhibit more than 80 projects that demonstrate skills and concepts across a range of engineering and science disciplines. Under the guidance of faculty advisors from Taconic and Pittsfield high schools, the participating student scientists and student engineers have conducted scientific research and completed engineering projects.

SABIC will provide prizes, lunch, and snacks for all participating student-scientists. Prizes will also be provided by Interprint. Students with winning projects will advance to the Region 1 science fair at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in March and then to the state science fair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A group of approximately 60 judges representing local businesses and educational institutions will evaluate the exhibits between 5 and 6:30 p.m., interviewing the participants about their work and then convening to determine award winners.

Thursday, Feb. 16, will be the snow day for the fair if needed. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free public admission to the museum will be provided courtesy of SABIC; visitors will be able to see the science fair projects as well as the museum’s exhibitions and galleries. For more information, contact the museum at (413) 443-7171.

–E.E.


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