Social Justice Calendar of Western Massachusetts

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Veterans for Peace 2020 Online Convention

August 2, 2020 - August 9, 2020

We are excited to announce Veterans For Peace’s first Online Convention! We know that many of us will miss being able to greet each other in person but we also know that each and every one of us wants to make sure all of our members are safe and healthy. Convention will take place from August 2nd-9th, with the theme “Human Rights over Nuclear Might”. Since our founding, Veterans For Peace has had it in our goals “to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons” and the week will mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the first nuclear explosion of all time at the Trinity Site, New Mexico, which occurred on July 16, 1945).

There are presentations and sessions every day from August 2 through August 9. See the detailed Schedule of Events. To register go to For full convention details, go to

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CoJourn for Racial Justice

June 30, 2020 @ 8:00 am - September 12, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Announcing a 12-week pilot version of CoJourn specifically in support of Racial Justice!
Kick-off Event Sunday, June 28th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm EST

Whether you are a long-time Racial Justice activist, or brand new to thinking about race and racism, it is clear that NOW IS THE TIME to boldly move forward, and take our work to the next level.

CoJourn for Racial Justice will help you clarify your role, identify next steps, and set up a structure for success to be an ongoing part of the solution in a sustained way.

Read more and Sign up HERE

The 12-week pilot program will include:

Video instructions and Guidebook on how to use the CoJourn framework for support and accountability in a compassionate, celebration-focused way

An opportunity to be matched with a CoJourn partner also interested in racial justice, or work with someone you choose

A CoJourn for Racial Justice Resource List including our favorite existing curated lists. This will include ideas for action, community-care, and education for folks from different racial identities, roles, and experiences with racial justice work
Monthly group meetings to check-in, get support, share successes and resources (meeting attendance is optional, and will be held on Zoom)
Group Kick-off session (Sunday June 28th, 7-9 pm)

On-call support from a diverse team of expert coaches along the way (coaches are all experienced social justice educators / change-makers and familiar with the CoJourn program)

CoJourn for Racial Justice Co-Collaborators and Coaches:
Angelica Castro, M.A., CPC, Social Justice Educator, Certified Professional Coach
Oscar Collins, M.Ed., Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant
Jessie Cooley, M.Ed., Nonprofit Leadership, Social Justice Educator and Mediator
Latrina Denson, M.Ed., Social Justice Educator, Higher Education Administration
Karl Henricksen, CoJourn Co-Founder
Molly Keehn, Ed.D., CoJourn Co-Founder
Elise Manning, M.S.W., LICSW, Trauma-Focused Psychotherapist and Collaborative Artist
Jen Matos, Ed.D., Higher Education Faculty and Certified Professional Coach
Emily Pritchard, M.Ed., Educator with Social Justice Focus, Performing Artist
Tanya O. Williams, Ed.D. Social Justice Educator, Certified Professional Coach

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7:00 pm

Turmoil in Bolivia: Ungovernability, Uncontrolled Pandemic, Economic Crisis, and Postponement of the Elections

August 4, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The right-wing government of Bolivia that usurped power in a coup last November, announced the postponement of the general elections from September to October 2020. These announcements take place at a time when the candidate of the Towards Socialism Movement (MAS) Luis Arce indisputably leads the citizens’ preference to occupy the Presidency of the republic. Former President Evo Morales warned that “a delay in the election date will only harm the people because of the ungovernability, the uncontrolled pandemic, and the economic crisis…The de facto government wants to gain more time to continue its persecution against social leaders and Socialist candidates. That is another form of proscription. That is why it does not want elections on Sept. 6.”

On July 22, the Bolivia’s Police reported that 420 bodies were collected from the streets, houses, or vehicles in five days. Those corpses were collected in two large cities, La Paz (141) and Santa Cruz (191). The authorities also recognized that at least four out of every five corpses correspond to people who probably died from COVID-19.

Adriana Guzman

Adriana Guzman Arroyo is a leader of The Anti-Patriarchal Communitarian Feminism in Bolivia. she is recognized for her studies and political experience in Popular Education, Education Sciences and Feminism, organizations that strengthen the energy of Community Feminism. She was born in La Paz, Bolivia and studied Educational Sciences at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia. She was part of the social movements that faced the gas massacre in 2003.

Moderator: Kevin Young. Professor Kevin Young teaches history at UMASS Amherst. His main research and teaching interests are in modern Latin America. He is the author of the book “Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Bolivia” (2017) and is the co-author of the recently published book “Levers of Power: How the 1% Rules and What the 99% Can Do About It”.

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7:30 pm

From Stormtroopers in Portland Streets to November’s Election

August 4, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

This summer's nationwide struggle against racist police violence takes place at a time when the racist, reactionary forces led by Donald Trump fear repudiation and expansion of democracy on behalf of a multinational movement.

What is at stake in the struggle to defund the police, keep the military and Border Patrol out of the streets of U.S. cities, and ensure a fair election in November? To answer these questions we turn to antiwar military scholar Lawrence Wilkerson and Portland emcee and activist Mic Crenshaw.

Second in a series of webinars on Authoritarianism and Democracy; the first was presented by Noam Chomsky, Van Gosse, and Ty dePass on June 29. You can read their presentations at Sponsored by MAPA's Authoritarianism Working Group

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8:00 pm

Resisting State Repression

August 4, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

You know you've got Trump scared when he starts trying to roll out this kind of militarized response! Because folks have been organizing so effectively to defund police under the call from Black leadership, and mass numbers of folks are taking to the streets in multiracial formation, he's responding in ways similar to fascist responses designed to break movements and dismantle our already weak democratic processes. He's experimenting with tactics that he began trying in anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant efforts at the border, and in ways that communities of color are all too familiar with here. This escalation, however is unprecedented and dangerous. We can't allow this to happen.

With the increased repression starting in Portland and continuing across the country, it is critical that white people continue to show up for Black lives. in coordination with Black leadership, SURJ's strategy will include a diversity of tactics designed to end this "surge" by federal agents on our communities, defend our rights, and defund white supremacist militarized forces including the Department of Homeland Security and the police in cities. Join this webinar to hear about this strategy and the many ways to collectively resist.

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