May You Live in Interesting Times:  Building Just Communities in a Time of Chaos

 

Keynote  Speaker: Miriama White-Hammond

Rev Miriama, born in Boston, MA in 1979,the child of two preacher-doctors, she grew up with an understanding that God calls us all to serve our fellow man. Her activism began in high school and continued at Stanford University where she was involved in campus politics and in the arts. Rev. Mariama majored in International Relations, studied abroad in Chile, and focused on the political and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean in the aftermath of dictatorships and/or civil wars. More. . .                                                                                     Click here for video

 

Ecovocation Hub: Working toward a Vibrant Green Economy 

How can we grow a resilient, sustainable, green economy in New England, and what does it look like? The Ecovocation Hub, a tri-county initiative, sought to answer these questions and looked for community input to ensure that the businesses that grow in our communities meet our needs and values. Three members of the leadership team, Alex Wilson, Stephen Dotson, and Sarah Kanabay from VT and MA respectively, kicked off the discussion by sharing the Ecovocation Hub’s progress to date, and the financial and social benefits of working locally, cooperatively, and collaboratively to develop markets for local products, build affordable homes, and secure funding for these and other efforts.  Click here for video

 

 Building Bridges and Engaging Communities in Conversations

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula Green founder of the renowned Karuna Peace Center, worked with residents of Leverett to instigate Hands Across the Hills.  In this workshop she explored with workshop participants the structures and elements that make for a successful conversation of difficult issues and how these events should be promoted and facilitated. She also explored how to expand our reach over time, beginning with those most willing to meet across controversial local or national divides, and using such initial meetings to enlarging the pool of participants. Paula also shared examples from Leverett, Northampton, and Amherst, as well as elsewhere in the country and world, as potential models for Greenfield and smaller towns in Franklin County.    Click here for video

 

War and Warming:  Can we Save the Planet Without Taking on the Military? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pat Hynes, long-time peace and environmental activist, author, engineer, and director of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice engaged participants and strategized on how to join two interrelated and crucial issues - militarism and climate change - into our activism, in light of the fact that the US military is the largest institutional contributor to climate change in the world.  Click here for video

 

 Climate Change and Social Justice:  How We Can Build a More United Climate Justice Movement

 

 

 

 

 


Structural injustice and climate change are intricately connected. Panelists from the Environmental Justice Working Group of the Sugar Shack Alliance and Climate Action Now drew on the ways in which racial distinctions are used by the powerful to weaken resistance movements and reinforce the status quo.  What climate action groups can learn from social justice movements and how internalized prejudices can affect the scope and effectiveness of our actions and influence was discussed. Also explored were ways that movements can work together toward common goals and break down the barriers between us so that our work will be more effective as we move forward.  Click here for video  

 

Building the 21st Century Downtown

In March 2018, the Atlantic published an article that explored the impact of e-commerce and Amazon on places like downtown Greenfield. The article asked, "How can local businesses compete with a company so local it lets people shop from their couches?" This panel led by Lisa Davol of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, will include John Delconte, PhD Candidate, Regional Planning, UMass Amherst; Erin MacLean, Co-owner, LOOT, Turners Falls; Kate Hunter, Co-owner, Greenfield Gallery; Tess Perrone Poe, Founder of Beehive Sewing Studio and Workspace, Northampton; Alison Williams, Owner of Flourish, Turners Falls; and Natalie Blais, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.    They will explore the impact of e-commerce on small businesses, trends impacting downtowns and commercial districts, efforts by small businesses to stay competitive,  and what business organizations and public sector organizations are doing to keep downtowns vibrant.  Click here for video

 

Forum 2018 Archived material (click on titles)

Keynote Speaker - Miriama White-Hammond

Keynote Speaker - Congressman Jim McGovern

Poster

Schedule

Workshop descriptions

Supporters & Sponsors

 

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