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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StillHere: A National Virtual Event

August 6, 2020 - August 9, 2020

Our coalition is excited to host a national virtual event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
thursday, august 6, 2020
sunday, august 9, 2020

#StillHereWe envision this virtual gathering as a creative, intersectional way to shine a spotlight on local events nationwide, to highlight the stories of survivors, to look toward the future of a world free from nuclear threats, and to amplify the voices of activists, experts and others beyond their typical audience.

This will be a two-day event featuring live and pre-recorded segments.

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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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7:30 am

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Anniversary Peace Vigil

August 6, 2020 @ 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Waltham Common, 610 Main St
Waltham, MA 02451 United States
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The first nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Three days later, another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The civilian death toll was 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) took effect 48 years ago, yet the five NPT nuclear weapons states have not taken serious action on their treaty commitments to nuclear disarmament. In the meantime, four more states have acquired nuclear weapons and the risks of their use have only increased over time.

In 2017, the vast majority of non-nuclear states, under the auspices of the United Nations, adopted a new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The nine nuclear-armed states and their close allies boycotted the talks.

President Trump has unveiled a Nuclear Posture Review that for the first time declares that the U.S. might use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear threats. He has declared that the U.S. will withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and has made no preparations to ensure that the New START Treaty will be renewed in 2021. His administration is building dangerous new categories of nuclear weapons, including the Low Yield nuclear weapons that would make battlefield use of nuclear weapons more likely, and an air-launched cruise missile, and is continuing with a $1 trillion nuclear weapons escalation, which is already leading to a new nuclear arms race among the great powers.The United States’ 6,800 nuclear warheads, although with those of the other nuclear powers, pose an imminent threat to humanity. The president can launch a civilization-destroying nuclear war on his sole authority.

Today, military spending accounts for more than half of the federal government’s entire discretionary budget. Nuclear weapons spending alone accounts for over $40 billion annually, and is scheduled to increase. There is an obvious connection between the bloated Pentagon budget and the critical underfunding of education, health care, housing and infrastructure in communities across the country.

Few presidential candidates are discussing the danger of nuclear war. Without a powerful grassroots movement dedicated to nuclear disarmament, the world’s nuclear crisis is rapidly getting worse instead of better. Therefore, Waltham Concerned Citizens joins with peace groups, people of faith, youth, community groups, and human rights advocates who have organized events across Massachusetts on August 4-11, 2020, to call attention to the people’s demand for an end to the $1 trillion nuclear weapons escalation and the failure of the United States to support the nuclear ban treaty.

For more information, call (617) 548-6330 or email

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8:00 am

75 Years Since Hiroshima

August 6, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Thursday 6 August 2020 marks 75 years since humans first used nuclear weapons against other humans.

There will be a Hiroshima Day Vigil that Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the sidewalk around Park Square in Pittsfield. At 8:15 a.m., the time the A-bomb fissioned above Hiroshima, there will be 5 minutes of silence. That bomb alone killed about 140,000 human beings. This will be the 39th consecutive Hiroshima Day Vigil at Park Square.

Signs will be provided at the Park Square vigil, or people may bring their own. Participants may stay for all or part of the hour.

Sponsored by Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice

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9:00 am

Witness for Peace and Life at Raytheon

August 6, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Waltham-based Raytheon Technologies just secured a contract to develop the Long Range Standoff Missile, an air-launched nuclear weapon delivery system that makes nuclear war more likely.

On the 75th anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima, we will gather at 9am on the public sidewalk in front of Raytheon BBN Technologies for the Witness for Peace and Life. After a period of silent reflection, we will walk around the corner to Raytheon property where there is adequate room to hold a rally, with opportunities to introduce ourselves and offer reflections, meditations, and rousing speeches. At some point, some of us will move closer to the front door of Raytheon to deliver a “Cease and Desist” letter to the CEO and Board of Directors expressing our concerns and outrage.

We’ll try to enter; if prevented we’ll tape the letter to the door and continue our presence under the alcove. If the police are called and show up, they have to warn us before arrests are made, at which point those of us not willing to be arrested can move off Raytheon property, while anyone called to commit non-violent civil disobedience can remain to face the consequences. Those willing to face arrest should have non-violent training, be members of an affinity group, provide their own support, and contact John prior to August 6.

There is plenty of free legal parking further down Moulton St. Bring signs and banners. We will observe all local, state, and federal guidelines to maintain social distancing while wearing masks. For other information please contact John Bach: (970) 209-8346;
Co-Sponsors (in formation): Mass. Peace Action; Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, Friends Meeting at Cambridge; International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – Boston

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6:00 pm

75 Years Later: What Hiroshima and Nagasaki can Teach us in 2020

August 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

We hope you will join us: to remember the past, acknowledge the present, and envision the future we want to create.

6:00 pm – Reading of Thomas Merton’s “Original Child Bomb” outside Friends Meeting at Cambridge, 5 Longfellow Park

Short procession down a small flight of stairs to Lower Longfellow Park

7:00 pm – Program featuring speakers, music, and dance at Lower Longfellow Park.


Karlene Griffiths Sekou of Black Lives Matter Boston

Ray Matsumiya of the Oleander Initiative

Harold Adams of the Committee of Friends and Relatives of Prisoners

Nick Rabb of Sunrise Movement Boston

Music will be provided by Boston-based rock band, Miele and by Toussaint Liberator’s Stone of Hope Drumming Circle.

8:00 pm – Procession across Mt. Auburn St.

Lantern and paper boat floating along the
Charles River.

BYO chair, food, and water. Please wear a face mask, and remain at least 6 feet apart from others. For questions, please contact If rain is forecast on the day, call 617-466-9274 to confirm plans.

August 6

On Hiroshima Day, we will gather for a night of art, learning, community, and action: to mark 75 years since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, and to demand the end of nuclear weapons once and for all. This program is one of many taking place globally, including a similar event in Watertown on Nagasaki Day (August 9), and a Witness for Peace at Cambridge’s local war profiteer Raytheon the morning of August 6.

People all over the world will commemorate the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day, carrying forward the legacy of hibakusha – survivors – who remember the first A-bombed cities. By the end of 1945, around 213,000 people had died from radioactive blasts hotter than the surface of the sun – vaporized, burned, and crushed. Many thousands more survived; for decades, they have worked for: NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS!

Global institutions are responding. Since it was adopted by the UN in 2017, 81 countries have signed and 39 have ratified the Treaty for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. While the U.S. and other nuclear-weapon states have refused to sign the Ban Treaty, the paradigm is shifting: from the perilous ill-logics of “deterrence” and “mutually assured destruction” to truthfulness about the humanitarian consequences of A- and H-bombs.

At this time of pandemic, mass uprisings, and emerging consciousness, the fight for nuclear abolition is not abstract. Nukes siphon resources that could be used to meet human needs and live responsibly on this planet; they are built to inflict massive and indiscriminate destruction; they enforce a global system based on domination. Ridding the world of these weapons requires that we confront state and imperial violence in their interlocking forms: war, racism, the destruction of Mother Earth, prisons, hetero-patriarchy, poverty, militarism, exploitation, colonization, and so on.

DoveCo-Sponsors (in formation): Mass. Peace Action; Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, Friends Meeting at Cambridge – Peace and Social Justice Committee; Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

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7:00 pm

Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Vigil

August 6, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Merrimack Valley People for Peace will be holding its Hiroshima vigil August 6 at 7:00 pm till 8, in front of the Old Andover Town Hall, Andover, MA.

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7:30 pm

75 Years Later: Remembering Hiroshima & Nagasaki:

August 6, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - August 9, 2020 @ 9:00 pm

August 6 and 9, 2020, mark the 75th anniversary of the devastating, racist and unnecessary atomic bombing of two Japanese cities, resulting in the immediate deaths of between 129,000 and 226,000 people, with many dying later from radiation exposure. In Japan and around the world, this entry into the atomic age will be remembered with calls for nuclear disarmament and international support for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
In Western Mass. several events are being planned. While reflective and physically safe, they will express our solidarity with the remaining Hibakusha survivors, and call for a phase-out of nuclear weapons, as we make connections and demands for justice relevant to this time.
August 6, 7:30PM in Turners Falls (Hiroshima Day)
Peskeomskut Park, Ave, walk to Gill-Montague Bridge
August 8, 11AM in Greenfield
Presence at weekly Peace Vigil on Town Common
August 9, 7PM in Easthampton (Nagasaki Day)
Meet at Library, walk to Nashawannuck Pond for 7:30 event
Please wear a face covering and maintain safe distancing! Bring your own candles and lighters for the solidarity vigil.
Sponsored by Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, FCCPR Peace Task Force, New England Peace Pagoda, Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, Nuclear and Carbon Free Future Coalition, NuclearBan.US, Interfatih Center of Franklin Country.
For more info, email

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