RSVP for Working Cities Wednesday on September 28

The Berkshire Bridges Initiative is meeting on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:30 pm in the Family Resource Center. Dinner and childcare are provided. Below is the tentative meeting agenda. Please RSVP on Basecamp, or by calling (413) 442-3181. 

Berkshire Bridges – Working Cities Challenge Meeting Agenda
September 28, 2016 @Family Resource Center

5:30        Arrive, sign in and collect meeting materials. Grab a plate of dinner generously prepared by Cheryl Bassett, Pittsfield resident and community volunteer!

5:45        Committee Updates (5-7 minutes each)

  • Hiring
  • Bridges Facilitators
  • Communications
  • Berkshire Bridge Builders

6:15        Community Consensus Announcement
Food Committee is still being formed to plan the dinners at each coalition meeting. Contact Christian after this meeting or at if you are interested in this opportunity.

6:15        Presentations & Events
Jana Hunkler, BCAC on the C.A.R.S. program (15 min)

6:30        Final reminders, end meeting, and clean up

  • Creating a Trauma-Informed Berkshire County on October 5 at the Colonial Theater beginning at 5:30 pm. Highly suggested that you go as a Berkshire Bridges partner! Mayor Tyer and the Chief Michael Wynn are attending, along with Superintendents, and leaders from throughout Berkshire County. Refreshments provided. RSVP at the Berkshire Theater Group: (413) 997-4444
  • Harvest of Hope Festival and World Groove Dance-In on October 1 at The Common from 12:00-7:00 pm, and the dance party from 7:30-11:00 pm. A multicultural day of art making, dance, spoken word, creative performances, a Harvest Feast, and more to celebrate diversity that fosters unity in our community! Contact Anaelisa Jacobsen at to learn more, or to be a partner.

Please contact us here with any questions. See you on September 28!

August 24 Meeting Minutes – and we’re on Facebook!

The Berkshire Bridges – Working Cities Pittsfield coalition is now on Facebook! Please like, share, and follow us at
If you are part of a community organization and have announcements or events to share, simply comment on the page and after a review, we will post it. A website forum will be added on in the coming days as an additional space for conversation.

If you were unable to attend our August Working Cities Wednesday meeting, here are the notes from what was discussed. Many thanks to Alan and Christian for taking such extensive minutes. You can contact us at (413) 442-3181 with any questions.

Community Consensus
  • The Department of Mental Health event Creating a Trauma Informed Berkshire County is voted “yes”, to be adjunct partners. The event is on October 5th 5:30 to 8:30 at the Colonial Theatre. Tickets are free and you can reserve them through Colonial Theatre.
  • Bridges training is voted “yes”. Trainings will start October 26th at Working Cities meetings
  • November Working Cities Wednesday meeting date decided; November 16th
  • The Food Committee is created via sign up form. Contact Christian if you want to join but didn’t sign up.
Hiring Process
  • The job description is being posted, new sites for posting are suggested; Craigs List and Indeed.
  • Anyone can help by posting the job on social media or lending out your account for job posting websites
  • Janine Fondants’ eJournal is suggested as an excellent means to outreach the position to a more diverse group of job seekers.
  • Important to have a diverse hiring committee and a diverse pool of candidates.
  • Goal is to make a job offer by October 15th
  • Looking to train upper level and mid level businesses
  • Have some bridge trainings scheduled, but looking to schedule more
  • Will break down 4-6 hour modules to make them more managable
Many community members expressed concern about reporting crimes they witnessed. People are scared of retaliation from said criminals or their comrades.
  • The need for an anonymous report option.
  • Have any and all information the police take not be disclosed without the expressed permission of the reporter.
  • A conversation regarding the reporting of crimes and issues with local judges.
  • The police need testimony for the trials to use as key evidence in the prosecution process.
  • Continue this conversation with the local Neighborhood Watches: Morningside and Westside.
  • Transportation needed to help more people get to meetings
Communication Committee
  • Basecamp is becoming overwhelming and unfocused with nonlogistical posts.
  • A forum and Facebook page were presented. The Facebook page received far more praise than the forum concept.
  • A submission tab will be added soon to the Berkshire Bridges website to allow the community to post events
  • An “offline communication platform”, many Pittsfield resident do not have access to a smartphone or internet and the need for a person to person information exchange.
  • Ideas for Offline Communication; weekly ministry event, Snail Mail, local Zine.
  • If there are any more ideas for the offline communication please contact Nicole and Alan.
Berkshire Community College (BCC) Presentation
  • BCC is starting a public humanities center to help the undeserved population
  • BCC is partnering with Tenement Museum to host workshops for post 1965 immigrants to have workshops for people to submit their stories.
  • Examples of past stories can be found at
Manos Unidas Harvest of Hope Presentation
  • Manos Unidas is a cooperative founded in 1997 working on many different programs
  • They are offering lessons on how to start a cooperative
  • They are sharing art and stories in their zine. They are also looking to recruit social justice reporters for their zine.
  • They are creating a multicultural and multifaceted festival, Harvest of Hope, which will be on October 1st. If you are interested in contributing in any way to Harvest of Hope, you can contact Anaelisa, Nicole F, or Sonrisa.

Working Cities Wednesday meeting August 24 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

*The agenda will be published one (1) week before the meeting.*

The Working Cities-Berkshire Bridges Initiative meetings the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm. The location is the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor of Berkshire Children & Families at 480 West Street, Pittsfield.

Dinner is provided but you must RSVP on Basecamp (our project management page) or call (413) 442-3181 by August 22nd.

Please join us as we discuss the grant implementation, increasing community involvement, and recruitment of the Initiative Director.

For any questions, you can contact us.