2019-2020 Workshop & Discussion Series

  • Engaging Peace: Reparation and its Forms
  • Understanding the Many Dimensions of White Identity: Politics, Power, and Prejudice

Engaging Peace: Reparations and its Forms (Past Events)

Flickr-Tyler Merbler CC BY 2.0

Many people are aware of the deep and pervasive impact that the legacy of racial oppression in the United States has on the present day. The horrors of slavery and racist terror, and the theft of land and destruction of Indigenous communities, are obvious examples that have shaped the economy, environment, social fabric, institutions, education, and politics of this country over the course of centuries. But what can, and should, be done? As Presidential candidates debated the practicality and moral considerations of federal reparations for slavery, we attempted to invite our community to a more local conversation. This series was co-organized with Resource Generation and Western Mass Showing Up for Racial Justice.

LAND REPARATIONS with Leah Penniman

Monday, December 9, 2019
Time: Talk at 6:00pm, Workshop 7:30-9:00pm
Location: Congregation B’nai Israel of Northampton
253 Prospect St, Northampton, MA 01060

This workshop/conversation explored reparations and rematriation of land for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color farmers and earthkeepers, discussing the toolkit used by the Northeast Farmers of Color and the Black Farmer Fund to return stolen wealth and territory. 

Leah Penniman is the co-director and program manager of Soul Fire Farm and author of the book Farming While Black.

A Debt Owed

Monday, November 4, 2019
Flywheel Arts Collective • 43 Main St.
Easthampton, MA

This workshop/conversation posited a moral and ethical responsibility for Reparations to African American slave descendants, through the use of a lens that examines the interrelationship between the system of white privileges that enforce the myth of a white race, and the resultant intentional attempt to erase Black humanity.

This workshop was led by ​Kent Alexander, an anti-racism and workplace culture consultant serving as the Equity and Inclusion Advisor for ValleyCreates.

Understanding the Many Dimensions of White Identity:
Politics, Power, & Prejudice (Past Events)

Photo by David Wilson, CC BY 2.0 – cropped & enhanced

Karuna Center for Peacebuilding and Critical Connections co-convened the discussion series “Understanding the Many Dimensions of White Identity: Politics, Power, and Prejudice,” to explore the history, prevalence, and resurgence of political action based in white identity. This series examined how white identity has the power to shape violent movements, as well as the root causes, fears, and prejudices that allow white supremacist ideology to exist in its less visible dimensions. This series was made possible through the generous support of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

White Supremacy and Social Media

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Bangs Community Center
​Amherst, MA 01002

Dr. Whitney Phillips (Syracuse University), discussed how white supremacist groups have used social media platforms to incite violence against communities of color and the challenges inherent in curbing online hate speech. ​

Understanding their Rise, Resurgence, & Radicalization

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019
Edwards Church • 297 Main St.
Northampton, MA 01060

This discussion with Dr. Pete Simi, author of American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement’s Hidden Spaces of Hate, sought to understand the conditions that allow the movement to thrive and ways to counter it.

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