WHAT’S HAPPENING IN AMHERST

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

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.

DAVID BOLLIER TALK. October 15th at 7:00pm. Amherst Books.
Amherst resident David Bollier will talk about his & Silke Helfrich’s new book, Free, Fair, & Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons.   From co-housing & agroecology to fisheries & open-source everything, people are increasingly using “commoning” to emancipate themselves from a predatory market-state system.   Free, Fair, & Alive presents a foundational re-thinking of the commons — the self-organized social system that humans have used for millennia to meet their needs.   It offers a compelling vision of a future beyond the dead-end binary of capitalism versus socialism that has almost brought the world to its knees.   Written by two leading commons activists of our time, this guide is a penetrating cultural critique, table-pounding political treatise, & practical playbook. 

KAMALA SHAMSIE READING. Thursday, October 17th at 8:00pm,  UMass Old Chapel. Kamala Shamsie will read from recent work at the Old Chapel, UMass, Amherst, as part of the UMass MFA Program for Poets & Writers’s Visiting Writers Series.   Shamsie, who got her MFA at UMass, is author of three novels, including In the City by the SeaBurnt Shadows, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction & won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in the US & the Premio Boccaccio in Italy; &, most recently, Home Fire, which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, was long listed for the Man Booker Prize, & shortlisted for eight other awards.   For more information, see the MFA Events Calendar

48th Annual A Better Chance Fall Foliage and Cider Run.  Saturday 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 LISGTEN. 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.

MAX ROACH AND HIS LEGACY.  October 23 and 24.  UMass Fine Arts Center.  A series of conversations and a concert.

CONVERSATION – Drummers As Trendsetters –  Max Roach and His Legacy.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6:30 pm reception; 7:00 pm conversation, New Africa House, UMass. Drummers are placed right up front, as they discuss the legacy of Max Roach and how they themselves fulfill a role as a trendsetter in the industry. The panelists include Terri Lyne Carrington, renowned drummer, composer and producer; Makaya McCraven, UMass alumni, beat scientist and popular drummer; royal hartigan, who studied extensively with Max Roach; and moderator Stephanie Shonekan, chair of the UMass W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. Followed by mini-concert with Mtali Banda.  Very limited seating! VJN members, up to 30 people, must RSVP by email to yvonne@umass.eduby October 18, 2019. 

CONVERSATION – The Life and Legacy of Max Roach, Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 4 – 6 pm, New Africa House, UMass Amherst. Special opening performance by Terry Jenoure. Panelists include famous poet Sonia Sanchez; Max’s daughter Maxine Roach; Max Roach’s biographist Herb Boyd; visual artist and colleague of Max Roach Nelson Stevens; and moderator John Bracey, faculty member, UMass W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.
 
PERFORMANCE –  Terri Lyne Carrington: Money Jungle, Thursday, October 24, 2019. 7:30 pm, Bowker Auditorium. Tickets available at FAC Box Office and online at fineartscenter.com. For 40 years, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington has worked with luminary artists such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, John Scofield, Esperanza Spalding and countless others. Carrington is also the first female artist to win a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. This specially-curated performance Money Jungle, is based on the legendary album of the same name which featured Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. The performance will feature a special appearance by poet Sonia Sanchez.  

Join us for a pre-show talk on Significance of the Original Money Jungle album by Claire Arenius, 6:30-7:00 pm, Bowker Auditorium. Food truck, snacks and cash bar will be available before the show! 

World Film Premiere: A Place in the Sun- Stories from Tibet in Exie 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.

VISIONS OF LABOR CONFERENCE AND FILM FESTIVAL.  Nov 8-10. UMass Campus Center. The UMass Labor Center invites you to join us November 8-10 for an exciting event, Visions of Labor: Film and Worker Voices. Together, as workers and social justice activists, we will watch and discuss new and classic labor films, along with worker-created videos, as we explore the power of worker stories and how these stories can be used to inspire reflection and spur creative action. You’ll also have the opportunity to get a sneak preview of a major labor film in-progress, and hear from the film’s award-winning director. The films and videos shown will reflect the diversity of the labor movement and working people, and our discussions together will highlight the many ways in which worker voices can be effectively heard.  For a full program and film schedule look here.

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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