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BRIEFS: Standout for LGBTQ rights; Race Amity Day community retreat

Race Amity Day recognizes that the people of the Commonwealth are its greatest asset and that the state is made up of multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial citizens.

Indivisible Pittsfield to hold rally for LGBTQ rights

Pittsfield — Indivisible Pittsfield’s LGBTQ committee will hold a rally in support of LGBTQ rights on Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 2 p.m. in Park Square. The rally is being held in honor of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, which took place one year ago, and as a sister event of the National LGBTQ Pride March in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 11.

Across the country, states are attempting to roll back legal protections for the LGBTQ community, threatening access to education, employment, healthcare and more with “religious freedom” bills that could legalize discrimination. The committee invites all who are interested to join them as they stand out for the rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and gender non-conforming individuals to live and thrive as their authentic selves.

For more information, contact

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Multicultural BRIDGE to hold Race Amity Day community retreat

Lee — In observance of Race Amity Day, Multicultural BRIDGE invites members of the community to a free retreat on race education, healing and relations at its offices and at the Lee Common on Sunday, June 11.

In 2015, former Gov. Deval Patrick designated the second Sunday in June as Race Amity Day, which recognizes that the people of the Commonwealth are its greatest asset and that the state is made up of multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial citizens. Communities across the state are encouraged to recognize and celebrate friendship, collegiality, civility, respect and kindness. The day originated from within the Baha’i community as a way to focus on building friendship to break down racial barriers.

The day’s events will include an opportunity for community dialogue, an exploration of racial affairs in Berkshire County, and a prayer vigil at Park Place–the commons in Lee–where community members will stand in solidarity against the harmful impacts of racism. The day will conclude with a screening of “Not in Our Town: Manhattan Beach,” which depicts a portrait of a community grappling with a suspected hate crime after an African-American family’s home was set on fire in Manhattan Beach, California. A facilitated discussion will follow.

The schedule for Race Amity Day will include:

  • 8 – 9 a.m. – What is Racial Amity? Intentions, overview and state of racial affairs in Berkshire County
  • 9 – 10:30 a.m. – “Where are we on the journey?” with Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant and Morgan Burns
  • 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Race education workshop facilitated by Stephanie Wright and Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – lunch/walk
  • 12:45 – 1:15 p.m. – Cultural sharing as it relates to race and heritage
  • 1:30 – 3 p.m. – “Interracial Relationships” with Christy Stokes, M.S.W., and Anna White
  • 4 – 5:15 p.m. – Community prayer vigil for impact of race and racism with Liz Blackshine at Park Plaza in Lee (participants should bring posters and candles)
  • 5:30 ­– 6 p.m. – Cultural sharing as it relates to race and heritage
  • 6 – 7 p.m. – Film: “Not in Our Town: Manhattan Beach”
  • 7 p.m. – Closing, commitments and intentions

Energy healing work will be available throughout the day by a certified Reiki instructor.

All are welcome to attend; those who are interested are asked to RSVP to with “Amity Day” in the subject line and specifying the workshop(s) they wish to register for.


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