Cancelled Classes (Fall 2018)

Por Qué Los Latinxs Tenemos Que Inscribirnos – y Votar
When: Saturday, September 1, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Nueva Esperanza, 401 Main Street, Holyoke

Contrario a las experiencias electorales en nuestros países, aquí en los Estados Unidos hay elecciones casi cada año (¡!) Este taller de 2 horas de duración va sobre la importancia de inscribirse y votar en las elecciones. En nuestros países, la gran mayoría de nosotros votamos. Sin embargo, aquí, a penas votamos. De hecho, este año tenemos primarias (tres candidatos del Partido Democrático; dos del Partido Republicano) para la gobernación el 4 de septiembre. Las elecciones generales son el 6 de noviembre. Varios escaños políticos y dos preguntas (sobre contribuciones estatales y protección contra discriminación por género) dependen de nuestro voto. Se presentará información de los candidatos y sus propuestas y las dos preguntas en la papeleta en este taller. Se proveerá la cena.

Unlike in our home countries, here in the United States there are elections almost every year! When we are in our home countries, we vote in large numbers, but here in the U.S., our voter participation is much lower. In this workshop we will talk about the importance of registering to vote and voting. This year, there are primaries for governor on Sept. 4. (There are three candidates from the Democratic Party; two from the Republican Party.) The general election is on Nov. 6. There are also two questions on the ballot (related to taxes and gender identity protection.) Information about all the candidates and the ballot questions will be presented. A hot meal will be provided.

Trainer: Lillian Torres, una activista comunitaria oriunda de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Vino a los Estados Unidos en los años 1990s, y trabajó en Casa Latina en Northampton for casi 20 años, los últimos dos como directora ejecutiva. Lillian Torres is a lifelong community activist from Ponce, Puerto Rico, who moved to the U.S. in the 1990s. She worked at Casa Latina in Northampton for almost 20 years, the final 2 years as its executive director.

Re-Imagining the Practice of Social Justice: Bringing Head, Heart, and Hands to Our Work
SERIES CLASS: This is a two-part series. Participants are expected to attend both Saturday sessions.
When: Saturday, September 8, 2018, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM &
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 128 Main Street, Easthampton

The influence of the dominant culture in the U.S. on social justice activism and organizing often goes unnoticed. In our culture, busyness, mind over heart, getting immediate results, and overestimating one’s individual power to produce and control are valued more than BEING. In this experiential workshop, participants are invited to explore the principles of evolutionary leadership and the implications for enduring social action. Through a combination of exercises and dialogue, participants will consider and make meaning of taking action from the heart center, acting boldly in the face of uncertainty, and surrendering the fruits of action, patience, and fierce compassion.
Rose Sackey Milligan
Rose Sackey Milligan


Trainer: Rose Sackey-Milligan, Contemplative Educator for Social Action


Knock, Knock, Knocking on Voters’ Doors!
When: Saturday, September 22, 2018, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 170 Main Street, Greenfield

This hands-on, practical and very focused workshop will cover canvassing, phone banking, and other strategies to reach voters during this high-stakes election year. The trainers will cover the why, when, and how of voter contact and will use role plays to help people get comfortable using different techniques to identify, motivate, and persuade voters. No experience being active with campaigns in the past is necessary or expected. Come ready to listen, learn, engage, and be empowered!
Clare Higgins
Clare Higgins
Elizabeth Silver
Elizabeth Silver

Trainers: Clare Higgins, former Northampton City Councilor and Mayor, early childhood educator and advocate, and Executive Director of Community Action

Elizabeth Silver, Chair of the Northampton Democratic City Committee, retired legal services lawyer, and seasoned local coordinator for local, state, and national campaigns.


We Will Not Be Divided: Jews and Allies Standing Together Against Anti-Semitism
SERIES CLASS: This is a three-part series. Participants are welcome to come to just the first session OR all three sessions (but participants must attend the first session to attend the other two).
Sunday, October 7, 2018, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2018, 3:00 PM -5:00 PM
Sunday, October 28, 2018, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Springfield Central Library, Community Room, 220 State Street, Springfield

Why is anti-Semitism so confusing and hard to talk about? And why do we still need to? At political marches and rallies against oppression, anti-Semitism often is not mentioned. Many people would like to believe anti-Semitism ended with the defeat of Hitler more than 70 years ago. Recent events have shown that is not true. Anti-Semitism is the classic example of divide and conquer. Sometimes anti-Semitism is overt and easy to recognize; often it is not. Whether it is obvious or subtle, anti-Semitism is used to divide groups from each other and derail our work for social justice. In this series, Jews and allies will learn to recognize and counteract anti-Semitism. We will explore the roots of anti-Semitism, how it hurts everyone – Jews and non-Jews – and what we can do about it.
Amy Leos-Urbel
Amy Leos-Urbel

Trainers: Amy Leos-Urbel leads classes and workshops about anti-Semitism, classism, sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression. She is co-author of a small book, “Anti-Semitism: Why Is It Everyone’s Concern?”

Betsy L. Ames holds a BA from Oberlin College in Sociology and Women’s Studies. She has been actively involved in helping people free themselves from the effects of oppression for the last 10 years and is excited to be involved as an ally in the work on ending Anti-Semitism.

Politics 101
SERIES CLASS: This is a three-part series; participants are expected to attend all three classes.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: Puerto Rican and Afro Caribbean Cultural Center, 413 Main Street, Holyoke, MA

Politics 101 is a class series designed for individuals who want to gain important and practical skills around civic engagement and community advocacy. The class will explore the root causes of oppression and help participants learn how to fight against systemic barriers and oppressive systems by learning how they operate. The series will cover these topics: how to make your vote count; how to build power as a community; how to identify what keep citizens from engaging in city matters and politics; and how institutional oppression manifests in work and community life. All are welcome!
Nelson Roman
Nelson Román

Trainers: Nelson Rafael Román, Executive Director, Nueva Esperanza, Holyoke
Efraín Santana, Groups Facilitator, Nueva Esperanza Holyoke, MA
[This class is capped at 20 people.]
Simultaneous translation services available English to Spanish. Clasés disponibles en español.


Millennials and Elders Working Together for Social Change
When: Saturday, October 13, 2018, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: Montessori School of Northampton, South Campus, 42 Bates Street, Northampton, MA

In this workshop, the trainers will facilitate “cross cultural” dialogue between self-identified elders and millennials. We will ask and examine key questions: What hinders these two age groups from being co-conspirators in service to social justice? What can make intergenerational organizing happen? After a “getting to know you” portion of the workshop, we will then identify a common cause, and plan a concrete action related to that cause.
Erin Joy Seibert
Erin Joy Seibert
Doug Renick
Doug Renick


Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Know Your Rights
When: Thursday, October 18, 2018, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence, 220 Main Street, Northampton

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have encouraged victims of workplace sexual harassment to tell their stories – and for the public to finally listen. Yet, often the truth comes out long after legal action can be taken. Many people are unsure about what they can do right now to stop harassment and hold perpetrators accountable. This class hopes to fill that gap and focus on legal rights under state and federal law for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. [This class is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or opinions.]
Michael Aleo

Trainer: Michael Aleo is an attorney with the firm Lesser, Newman, Aleo, & Nasser in Northampton, MA.  His practice is focused on civil litigation, including disputes involving employment and labor law, personal injury, medical malpractice, housing, civil rights, First Amendment, and municipal law.

Trainers: Erin Joy Seibert, Artist, Activist, Social Worker; and Doug Renick, Elder Activist


The Grant Proposal: An Explanation of Its Components
When: Thursday, October 18, 2018, Noon – 2:00 PM
Location: Springfield Central Library, Community Room, 220 State Street, Springfield

Participants will be guided through an overview of the elemental components of a grant proposal to understand each component’s distinctions, purposes, and organization. The workshop will provide an in-depth look at one or two of the components to offer examples and specific suggestions for how best to craft them. The targeted components include the Abstract/Summary, Introduction, Organizational Description, Statement of Need, Goals and Objectives, Project Activities and Outcomes, Evaluation, Dissemination, and Budget.
Deborah Koch

Trainer: Deborah Koch, author of How to Say It: Grantwriting: Write Proposals That Grantmakers Want to Fund. Deborah Koch is an accomplished trainer, writer, and grantseeker, raising millions of dollars for higher education and community nonprofits, and teaching hundreds of people how to do the same. 

Creating the New Society
SERIES CLASS: This is a four-part series. Participants are expected to attend all four classes.
Thursday, October 25, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Thursday, November 1, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2018, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Holyoke Public Library, Board Room, 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke

In this hands-on, four-part series participants will dream a future where some present dysfunction in society has been resolved, remember the final steps of how we got there, identify possible trailheads for that path in 2018, develop a strategic plan, and take some first steps to make that dream a reality. Using spiritual imaging, art, motion, and collaborative group process, participants will learn to build a new society in the shell of the old, in a way that will make your heart sing. The four classes will follow this outline:

Week 1. Overview: What is constructive program; identifying dysfunctions in today’s society; imagining a better future; creative tension.
Week 2. Developing the vision: Looking backward; finding the roots of change.
Week 3. Developing the roots: Strategic Planning.
Week 4. Successes and challenges: Collaborative support for your mission.

William Spademan
William Spademan


Trainer: William Spademan is Executive Director of Common Good, a Pioneer Valley nonprofit promoting community-centered democratic economics.


Writing With Fire: Using Narrative for Advocacy and Change
When: Thursday, October 25, 2018, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: Mason Square Branch, Springfield Public Library, 765 State Street, Springfield

In this workshop, participants will learn to write bold, compelling narratives that instigate change and social advocacy in both the digital sphere as well as in our communities. Together, we will create a safe space where we will learn how to mobilize the most effective aspects of our unique voices in the service of those who are not heard.
Epi Arias
Epi Arias


Trainer: Epi Arias, Writer and Independent Researcher



Peacekeeper Training for Marches and Other Actions
When: Saturday, November 17, 2018, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Bethesda Lutheran Church, East Church UCC, 455 Island Pond Road, Springfield

This highly interactive training will include discussions of the role of peacekeepers at marches and rallies, the tenets of nonviolence, how and why codes of conduct are created and followed, responding to hecklers, and how to support demonstrators who are having a hard time or are hurt. Using a combination of discussion, readings, small-group work, and role plays, the workshop will focus on the practical tools a peacekeeper needs to be effective and help defuse difficult situations that arise in public protests. [Note: To participate in this Peacekeeper Training, you must have already taken a full-day Nonviolent Direct Action Training, and been part of a demonstration where people risked arrest. You do not need to have been arrested yourself – just present at an event where nonviolent civil disobedience occurred.]
Cate Woolner
Sabine Merz

Trainers: Sabine Merz, peace activist; and Cate Woolner, Professional Conflict Resolution Practitioner and Trainer

Telling Your Public Story
When: Sunday, December 9, 2018, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 128 Main Street, Easthampton

In this workshop participants will develop their own public narrative for social change, experience the power of telling that story, and hear others’ stories. The goal of the workshop is to give participants the skills and confidence to share their own stories to build community and motivate people to action. This workshop is adapted from a framework developed by Marshall Ganz and others. We welcome new activists who would like assistance shaping their public story and experienced activists who would like a refresher on the power of story to build community and move people to be part of movements for change.
Dr. Gloria DiFulvio
Dr. Gloria DiFulvio
Dr. Mary Hannah Henderson
Dr. Mary Hannah Henderson

Trainers: Dr. Gloria DiFulvio, the co-founder of Valley Action Group – a local group dedicated to mobilizing people in the Pioneer Valley to support one another and act during these difficult political times. By day, she is a faculty member in public health, where her work involves the use of stories for community change; and Dr. Mary Hannah Henderson, an independent anthropologist who writes about community organizing and social justice education. She has been coaching new and seasoned organizers since the late 1990s, when she began learning from and working with Marshall Ganz.