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Whitney Battle-Baptiste, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst, will give the keynote address at the 'Civil Rights Movement - Then and Now' event Wednesday, April 24, at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield.

Bits & Bytes: BCC civil rights event; Berkshire Voices staged reading; Thompson on bullying; Bittman on aging

By Friday, Apr 19, 2019 Life In the Berkshires

BCC to host civil rights event, amphitheater naming ceremony

Pittsfield — In collaboration with the NAACP – Berkshire County Branch, Berkshire Community College will host “Civil Rights Movement – Then and Now” Wednesday, April 24, from 2 to 6 p.m.

The event will feature a keynote address from Whitney Battle-Baptiste, associate professor and director of the W.E.B. DuBois Center at UMass Amherst; a slideshow presentation called “Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s” with former BCC faculty Don Lathrop; a BCC student presentation; a Human Library with community members; and haiku with the BCC Writing Center.

At 5 p.m., the amphitheater naming ceremony will take place with President Ellen Kennedy and Sarah Lee Guthrie, followed by songs of the civil rights movement with Wanda Houston and Paul Green.

The event is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Toni Buckley at (413) 236-3075 or abuckley@berkshirecc.edu.


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Berkshire Playwrights Lab to present staged reading

Andy Reynolds. Photo courtesy Berkshire Playwrights Lab

Great Barrington — Berkshire Playwrights Lab’s Berkshire Voices series will present a staged reading of “The Last Days of the Contract Player” by Andy Reynolds Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall at Saint James Place.

“The Last Days of the Contract Player” tells the story of Lizzie, a woman with a lot of family trouble: Her 19-year-old son has vanished into the wilderness of upstate New York; her estranged daughter judges from afar; and her gay, movie-obsessed brother arrives unexpectedly to offer aid despite needing a lot of help himself. The cast includes Elizabeth Aspenlieder, David Bertoldi and Joshua Briggs.

Reynolds has lived in Great Barrington for 10 years and has participated in Berkshire Voices since its inception. His full-length play “The Memory of Mollusks” was a 2012 finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference, and his play “Dark Hole” was a 2013 semifinalist. Reynolds’ “Eucatastrophe” won the 2009 Kaplan Prize and “In Between Without You” received a Berkshire Voices reading in December 2017. His short play “A Layover” was included in the 2017 Radius Playwrights Festival.

The event is free with a suggested donation of $10. Seating is limited. For more information or to reserve seats, contact (413) 528-2544 or admin@berkshireplaywrightslab.org.


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Berkshire Country Day School to host child psychologist Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson, Ph.D. Photo: Ming Louie

Stockbridge — On Wednesday, April 24, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Berkshire Country Day School will host a workshop with child psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., based on the theme of his best-selling book “Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Community, Friendship, Social Power and Bullying in Childhood.”

In the workshop, Thompson will shed light onto the complex social world of childhood. He will distinguish between normal childhood socialization and traumatizing bullying, and will also discuss ways in which communities can make children safer.

Thompson and co-author Dan Kindlon wrote the New York Times best-selling book “Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys.” Thompson is also the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School, has worked in more than 700 schools across the United States and internationally, and has appeared on national television shows including CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, For more information contact Alexandra Heddinger at (413) 637-0755 or aheddinger@berkshirecountryday.org.


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Intergenerational discussion, support group to focus on aging

Maggie Bittman. Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of the Berkshires

Pittsfield — On Monday, April 22, at 10:45 a.m., the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires will present the program “Aging: A Lifelong Process,” with therapist Maggie Bittman at Knesset Israel.

Explaining her outlook and approach, Bittman said: “From birth, we begin to age with Time. Along the way, we develop strategies to help manage the stressors that come with living life – those ‘existence pains’ or ‘existential stressors.’ Along the way we find meaning and purpose, experience aloneness, confront mortality, and develop self will. Within this context, participants will discuss, share, and offer support to one another.”

The program is free and open to the public and precedes a kosher lunch at noon). Advance reservations are required for lunch, the cost of which is a $2 suggested donation for adults over age 60 and $7 for all others, and can be made by calling (413) 442-2200 before 9 a.m. on the day of the program.For more information, call the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 x10.


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