Photo: Pixbay.com

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

Saturday October 19,  9AM – 2 PM. 48th Annual A Better Chance Fall Foliage and Cider Run.  .  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.

Saturday, October 19, 3-4 PM. HOW TO TALK SO YOUR LEGISLATORS WILL LISTENWoodbury Room – Jones Library  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.

Monday, October 21. 6 PM. COMMUNITY EVENT: LUCIO PEREZ, TWO YEARS IN SANCTUARY. MAKING THE DAYS, CELEBRATING THE COMMUNITY. First Church of Amherst.  165 Main Street. Lucio Perez took sanctuary at First Church Amherst on October 18, 2017. For two years he has been separated from his family and unable to live freely while he works for a reopening of his immigration case. Over the course of these two years, Lucio’s quiet and persistent faithfulness has given rise to a beloved community of generous and good-hearted people. For two years, that community has walked and worked, struggled and strategized, gathered and grown, prayed and praised—together and continues to stand together, in solidarity, love, and hope. Join Lucio and his family and this community to mark the days, celebrate this community, and to renew the ongoing work for the reunion of Lucio and his family. We will ring bells, sing together, and eat cookies. If you would like to bake and bring cookies 🍪or some apple cider to share, wonderful!  Please bring them upstairs to the lounge room across from the sanctuary when you arrive.  We are also looking for a few volunteers to help with cleanup if you are able!  Email margaret@pvworkerscenter.org, or just come! 🙂

Monday, October 21. 6-7:30 PM. School Committee Candidate Meet and Greet. Fort River School Cafeteria. Meet the seven candidates running for the five open seats on the Amherst School Committee. Pizza and Drinks will be provided. Children welcome. Sponsored by the Fort River PGO.

Wednesday and Thursday, October 23 and 24. MAX ROACH AND HIS LEGACY.   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! 

Wednesday, October 23, 7:30-9:30 PM. World Film Premiere: A
Place in the Sun- Stories from Tibet in Exile . 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.

 Monday, October 28th. Public Forum and Primer on the Town Master Plan. There will be two parts to the evening:

  • 5:00 p.m. – The Planning Director will provide a primer on the current Master Plan
  • 6:00 p.m. – Public Forum on the Master Plan as required by Section 2.13 of the Town Charter

The public is encouraged to attend and learn about the Master Plan during the first session and convey any opinions, questions, or thoughts they may have during the Public Forum.

Monday October 28 and Tuesday October 29. Daniel Ellsberg Film and Lecture.  Daniel Ellsberg, recently named a Distinguished Research Fellow by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at UMass Amherst, will be featured in two PERI events during his visit to campus in late October. Ellsberg’s PERI appointment coincides with the university’s recent acquisition of his personal papers, to be managed by the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

On Monday, Oct. 28, starting at 5:30 p.m. in Gordon Hall, the public is invited to view the documentary, “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Following the documentary, Ellsberg and Gar Alperovitz will participate in a panel discussion. This will be the first time Ellsberg and Alperovitz have appeared publicly to discuss their Pentagon Papers experiences. Alperovitz, a distinguished historian and political economist, acted as a courier to deliver copies of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to numerous U.S. newspapers in defiance of a Justice Department order and FBI manhunt. Alperovitz’s work with Ellsberg first became public knowledge only in 2018, with the publication of a New Yorker article. Light dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. in the second floor Gordon Hall atrium. The documentary screening and panel discussion will follow in the third-floor conference room.  No RSVP is required, but please note that space is limited. The panel discussion will be live streamed and recorded for those who can’t attend in person.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m., Ellsberg will present a lecture titled, “The Dollar Auction, Unendable Wars and Gambling with Catastrophe.” The event will be held in the third-floor conference room of Gordon Hall. A reception will follow. The talk is free and open to the public.

Monday, November 4.  6:45-9:00 PMAmherst Affordable Housing Forum.   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.  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.

Friday November 8- Sunday, November 10. VISIONS OF LABOR CONFERENCE AND FILM FESTIVAL.  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.

Thursday, November 14, 8-10 PM. FICTION READING: OCEAN VUONG. (UMass best selling author and McArthur Fellow).  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.

Tuesday, November 19. 7-9 PM. Discussion- Amplifying Hate: White Supremacy and Social Media/ Tuesday,.  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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