Wednesday, June 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Jackie Wang at Simon’s Rock; ‘Reviving Our Hearts for Justice’; oral history workshops; opioid panel at Williams

'Reviving Our Hearts for Justice: An Interfaith Call to Action' seeks to revive people’s spirits for the work of social justice in the Berkshires and beyond.

Black studies scholar Jackie Wang to address incarceration and capitalism

Great Barrington — As part of its Symposium Week, Bard College at Simon’s Rock will welcome black studies scholar, poet, and author of “Carceral Capitalism” Jackie Wang Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Daniel Arts Center’s McConnell Theatre.

Wang’s keynote address, titled “Carceral Capitalism and Abolitionist Poetry,” will examine the relationship between prison abolition and social imagination. A student of the dream state, Wang will use dreams to explore these issues free from present reality’s oppressive status quo.

A Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University in African and African-American studies, Wang is also the author of a series of a collection of dream poems titled “Tiny Spelunker of the Oneiro-Womb.” A prison abolitionist, she has recently been investigating the bail bonds industry and the history of risk assessment in the criminal legal system. Her book “Carceral Capitalism” is an examination of contemporary incarceration techniques. In it, she illustrates various aspects of the U.S. corrections system including the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, and cybernetic governance.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bard College at Simon’s Rock at (413) 644-4400 or


*     *     *

First Congregational Church of Williamstown to host ‘Reviving Our Hearts for Justice’

Shirley Edgerton

Williamstown — The First Congregational Church of Williamstown will offer “Reviving Our Hearts for Justice: An Interfaith Call to Action” Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. The program will feature inspirational speakers, activists, artists and musicians reflecting a positive vision of social justice in today’s political context.

Izzy Heltai. Photo courtesy Bennington College

The evening seeks to revive people’s spirits for the work of social justice in the Berkshires and beyond. Speakers will include Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield; Andrea Harrington, candidate for Berkshire County district attorney; Shirley Edgerton of Multicultural BRIDGE; Williams College chaplain Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer; Rabbi Rachel Barenblat of Congregation Beth Israel; Mount Greylock Regional High School students and anti-gun violence activists Ella Dudley and Sophie Jones; Ed Seiderbaum of Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County; and others. Featured artists and musicians will include Double Diamond, the Circus of Love Gospel Pick Up Choir, Brianna Bradley, Zack Finch, Izzy Heltai and more.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the First Congregational Church of Williamstown at (413) 458-4273 or


*     *     *

An oral history interview conducted by the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College and recorded at Community Television for the Southern Berkshires in Lee. From left: cameraperson Wendy Germain, interview coordinator Paul O’Brien, BCC student David Wasielewski and Workd War II veteran Dave Resnik. Photo courtesy Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College

Oral history workshops to highlight social justice

Berkshire County — The Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College will hold two oral history workshops focusing on social justice.

“Practical Solutions to Legal and Ethical Quandaries for Oral History Practitioners” will be held Thursday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon at BCC’s South County Center in Great Barrington. Legal and ethical issues can complicate projects, and in many cases, there are simple solutions. Participants may bring specific questions from their own experience along with the relevant consent forms, deeds-of-gift or interview segments for discussion and problem-solving. The discussion will be guided by archivist and oral historian Sarah-Jane Poindexter, with attendee participation encouraged. Poindexter is a roving archivist for the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board. She was co-director of the University of Louisville Oral History Center, and served on the steering committee for the oral history section of the Society of American Archivists and as an adviser to the Kentucky Oral History Commission.

“Oral History and Social Justice” will be held Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. BCC’s main campus in Pittsfield. Alisa Del Tufo, visiting faculty member at Bennington College, founding member of Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change and founder the Threshold Collaborative, will present the workshop. Del Tufo has been a RevsonRockefeller and Ashoka fellow, and is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary.

The workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Judith Monachina at (413) 236-1025 or


*     *     *

Panel at Williams College to examine opioid epidemic

Dr. Alex Sabo. Photo courtesy Berkshire Health Systems

Williamstown — Williams College will host a panel titled “The Opioid Epidemic in Our Midst: Searching for Solutions” Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Paresky Auditorium, in which guest panelists Dr. Alex Sabo, Wendy Penner, and Kenna Waterman will address questions about the current state of the opioid epidemic in northwestern Massachusetts. The panel will explore key issues including what the epidemic looks like in northwestern Massachusetts; the factors that contribute to the epidemic; and the ways in which the medical, mental health and community-based organizations have responded to this crisis.

Sabo is chair of the psychiatry and behavioral science department and training director of the adult psychiatry residency program at Berkshire Medical Center. Sabo is also the co-author of recent root-cause analysis of prescription opioid overdoses and has been a practicing psychiatrist for more than 20 years.

Penner is the director of prevention and wellness at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, where she facilitates community efforts in substance use prevention, access to treatment, harm reduction and recovery support.

Waterman is the founder and president of Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life, a nonprofit community organization committed to raising funds for people in recovery from opioid use.

The event is free and open to the public. For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the online map or call the Office of Communications at (413) 597-4277.



The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

BITS & BYTES: Pamyua at Bennington Theater; Center for Peace through Culture exhibition; New Marlborough Meeting House Gallery exhibition; Brandon Patrick George at Tannery...

Often described as “Inuit Soul Music,” Pamyua’s style derives from traditional melodies reinterpreted with contemporary vocalization and instrumentation.

Birds are the focus of the Great Barrington Land Conservancy’s upcoming program, including new project at McAllister Wildlife Refuge

The new bobolink monitoring program at McAllister Park is one citizen science endeavor the public is invited to learn about at the Great Barrington Land Conservancy’s (GBLC's) community program and annual meeting on Saturday, June 22.

BITS & BYTES: Aba Diop Trio at Race Brook Lodge; Kay Lerner, Pattie Lipman and John Huffaker at Art on Main; Congresswoman Nikema Williams...

The trio’s overall effect is a mesmerizing amalgam tethered to an ancient impulse while offering a current —and deeply listenable— reflection of our shared humanity.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.