Two local activists who are fifty years apart in age have teamed up to create a rare opportunity for people of all ages to dialogue and build understanding on Saturday January 6th. The dialogue, called "Connecting Ages, Changing Ageism" will be held 10 am to 3:30 pm at the Northampton Quaker Meetinghouse, 43 Center Street, and is sponsored by Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. It is offered at no cost, made possible by the Markam-Nathan Fund for Social Justice.
According to the organizers, Larkin Christie and Sarah PIrtle, this dialogue conference is based on the idea that every age has something to teach and something to learn. Pirtle and Christie work together at Journey Camp, which is now in its 25th year in the Valley and is a place where ages share leadership.They explain, “We want to nurture a generative relationship that fosters mutual respect and support. Ageism is one of the spokes in the wheel of oppression that often isn't spoken about."
Larkin Christie received a Peacemakers Award from Traprock and the Interfaith Council of Franklin County. Larkin is one of the founders of Youth Rise Together and an intern at the Resistance Center. Larkin offers these questions, “What do you want to share with someone of a different age engaged in progressive work? What do you want to ask? How do you wish people of other ages acted towards you and how is that different from how they do?
Sarah Pirtle, who directs the Common Threads Program for Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, comments, “We have structured conversations in three ways. At the start, similar ages will convene, then small groups diverse by age will meet, and in the afternoon there will be a choice of four dialogue topics offered." Pirtle participates in the "Hand Across the Hills" dialogue between Leverett and Letcher County, Kentucky.
Pirtle wrote, “Keepers of the Fire: Dialogue to Change Sexism and Foster Gender Reconciliation” which can be read or downloaded free online at traprock.org.
Topics planned for afternoon sessions include: “Gender and Age,” “Everyday Interactions,” “Generations addressing Sexism and Patriarchy," and “Racism, Ageism, and Intersectionality.”
Registration is suggested at traprock.org, but people can also arrive the day of the conference,
bringing their own lunch. All ages can attend, however, any families needing child care are required to register by Dec. 29th on the website.
Join Racial Justice Rising for a screening of Ava DuVernay's in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. The film will be followed by facilitated discussion.
The film's title refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.