Photo: Wikimedia commons.

There is a lot happening in Amherst this fall.  Here is a brief listing of some select events. 

Amherst Energy and Climate Action Public Forum.  Saturday, October 5, 10 AM.   Community members are invited to join members of the town’s Energy and Climate Action Committee on Saturday, October 5 in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library from 10 a.m. to – noon to share perspectives on the town’s approach to energy and climate change.  The Committee would like to hear ways in which climate change has impacted residents, and would like people to share their , concerns, ideas, visions, hopes, and strategies. These forums are part of an ECAC outreach program, to take the pulse of residents concerning climate issues and renewable energy. This outreach will precede the committee’s formulation of energy goals for the town,  to be presented to the Town Council in mid-November. There will be opportunities for large group interaction as well as smaller facilitated break-out discussion groups. This event is free and open to the public. Childcare will be provided.

Cuppa’ Joe w/ Paul & Economic Development Director Geoff Kravitz. Friday October 11, 2019, 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM @ Share Coffee. Town Manager Paul Bockelman will be at Share Coffee at 178 N. Pleasant Street on Friday, October 11th from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Stop by and enjoy a nice a cup of coffee and conversation. Paul will be joined this time at Share Coffee by the Economic Development Director Geoff Kravitz. We have received great recommendations from the crowd for a future guest and will be getting that scheduled soon. The “Cuppa’ Joe with Paul” is a monthly event and rotate around the Town. Each time, Paul is joined by a different Town department head or official. Residents and others are welcome to share their concerns, offer suggestions, or just get to know each other.

Karuna Center 25th Anniversary Celebration. Saturday, October 12, 2019  5:30-7:30 pm. Amherst Women’s Club, Amherst, Massachusetts
Please join us in this celebration of what we have accomplished together since Karuna Center was founded in 1994. We will share multimedia stories from our programs—and fuel our collective resolve to build a more just and peaceful future out of these troubled times. Free and open to the public, with light refreshments provided.

48th Annual A Better Chance Fall Foliage and Cider RunSaturday Oct 19  9AM – 2 PM.  Amherst Town Common. The 5k Fall Foliage And Cider Run is a community celebration of Amherst A Better Chance, a residential high school program that prepares academically talented young men of color from educationally underserved school districts for college and future leadership roles. Run or walk to support Amherst A Better Chance and enjoy a cup of cider at the finish line! The walk/run starts at Amherst Town Common, partly circles Amherst College campus and enters the woodlands of The Amherst College bird sanctuary, highlighted by a beautiful view over the Pelham Hills. Finally, it follows the Norwottuck Rail Trail back to the campus. Upon completion, runners and walkers are invited to enjoy a cup of cider, healthy snacks, entertainment and fun activities.

How to Talk So Your Legislators Will Listen. Saturday, October 19, 2019  Woodbury Room – Jones Library.  3-4 PM  Learn the most effective ways to reach your state legislators and make your voice heard on issues that are important to you in this non-partisan presentation by Nancy Brumback. Learn at what point in the legislation process is communication from constituents the most effective. Discover why it is important to contact legislators even when you know they agree with you.

World Film Premiere: A Place in the Sun- Stories from Tibet in Exile Wednesday, October 23, 7:30-9:30 pm. UMass School of Management
Flavin Family Auditorium Room 137, UMass Amherst. A Place in the Sun is an evocative, poignant new documentary film on Tibet’s quest for freedom and rights.   Free and Open to the public.

Amherst Affordable Housing Forum.  Monday November 4.  A public forum entitled Act Locally to Create Affordable Housing is scheduled for Monday, November 4 in the Social Hall of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst from 6:45-9PM.  The event is organized by the League of Women Voters of Amherst, the Amherst Coalition for Affordable Housing, and the Amherst Municipal AffordableHousing Trust.. The forum will focus on current housing problems in Amherst, gather support for a town-adopted affordable housing policy,  and examine other initiatives for the development of affordable housing.  State representative, Mindy Domb and State Senator Jo Comerford will offer their perspectives from the State House, presenting on both pending legislation and recent budget changes at the state level which could affect affordable housing locally. There will also be an update on the state of housing and homelessness in Amherst and how this affects the town and its residents. After the formal presentations, attendees will break into small groups to discuss improving affordability and availability of housing in Amherst and to suggest plans to achieve these goals.

Fiction Reading: Ocean Vuong. (UMass best selling author and McArthur Fellow). Thursday November 14, 8-10 PM at The Old Chapel at UMass. Hosted by UMass Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers and UMass Amherst Libraries.  Free, accessible and open to the public.

Amplifying Hate: White Supremacy and Social Media/ Tuesday, November 19. 7-9 PM.  Bangs Community Center. Karuna Center for Peacebuilding and Critical Connections are co-convening 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 will examine 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. Speakers will analyze the manifestation of white supremacist ideology in recent elections and voting patterns, and the pervasiveness of hate speech in social mediawhile discussing means to address these trends, including by understanding our communities’ own role in either perpetuating or countering harmful systems and ideologies. People of all racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds are encouraged and welcomed to attend. Each event will also allow ample opportunity for discussion and dialogue with speakers and among attendees. This series is made possible through the generous support of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.  On November 19 join Dr. Whitney Phillips (Syracuse University), who will discuss 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. ​

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