Social Justice Calendar of Western Massachusetts

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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

Magical Thinking and the US War in Afghanistan

August 11, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Why is the U.S. still in Afghanistan?

When did it first get involved, and why?

What is the truth behind the so-called “Soviet invasion”?

What have been the long-term consequences – for the Afghan people, the region, and the world – of the Carter administration’s fateful decision in 1978-79 to support and arm a tribal-Islamist rebellion against Afghanistan’s left-wing, modernizing, pro-women’s rights government?

What can progressives do to finally put an end to the sorry record of U.S. disinformation and “magical thinking” about its foreign adventures?

A discussion on magical thinking underlying US policy in Afghanistan featuring video-journalists Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald and moderated by Prof. Valentine Moghadam. Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action’s Middle East Working Group. Register here.

Our discussion will focus on a paper authored by University College Dublin scholar Conor Tobin. Titled “The Myth of the ‘Afghan Trap,’ Brzezinski and Afghanistan 1978-79,” it claims that there is no proof that President Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski lured the Soviets into the December 27, 1979 invasion. Even Brzezinski’s infamous interview in a 1998 Nouvel Observateur article boasting about the Soviets falling into his ‘Afghan Trap’ is now in doubt. Having trailed the Afghan story as journalists for decades we already had the research to connect the US quagmire in Afghanistan back to Brzezinski’s scheme. In addition to providing evidence validating the ‘Afghan Trap’ claim, we will reveal a technique favored by ideologues that uses ‘magical thinking’ to wantonly remove facts that contradict the narrative they wish to create. ‘Magical thinking’ literally means, “If I think it’s real, it is real and you have to prove it’s not.” Tobin’s paper is a jaw-dropping example of how the context of the U.S./Afghan record is being stripped down to a fantasy based on ‘magical thinking.’ The practice of rewriting historical records through an ideological lens has resulted in generations of policy failures that will continue until there is a complete transformation from magical to conscious thinking.

Liz Gould and Paul FitzgeraldPaul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, acquired the first visas to enter Afghanistan in 1981 granted to an American TV crew. Following their news story for CBS, they produced a documentary (Afghanistan Between Three Worlds) for PBS and in 1983 returned to Kabul for ABC Nightline. Starting in 1992 they worked on the film version of their experience under contract to Oliver Stone. In 1998 they started working with Afghan human rights expert Sima Wali and contributed to the Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future project published by Palgrave Macmillan (2002). In 2002 they filmed Wali’s return to Kabul since her exile in 1978 and produced a film about her journey titled The Woman in Exile Returns. Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, was published by City Lights (2009). Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire, was published by City Lights (2011). Their novel The Voice, was published in 2000. Visit their websites at and

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