Josh Becker has been teaching courses in psychology, education, and human services at GCC since 2002, alongside other work in community, educational, and clinical settings. He sees the world through a social justice lens: In both his professional work and personal endeavors, he brings forward issues around the physical and psychological environment, equality, empowerment, and structural/systemic forces that contribute to change. He is especially passionate about helping students clarify their academic, professional, and personal goals, making each class relevant to their life-long learning. His academic interests lie in that space where the fields of cultural studies, education, and psychology intertwine. Josh holds a Master’s degree in school counseling, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in child development from UMass Amherst. He completed his Master’s and Doctor of Psychology degrees at Union Institute & University.
Barbara Broussard recently graduated from Elms College magna cum laude with her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW). Prior to this she graduated from Greenfield Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services, where she worked closely with Professsor Abbie Jenks helping to expand the Traprock Center database and outreach. Barbara is currently working on building a social justice outreach program through working with local librarians and schools with grades K-8 by introducing books and films on the social justice issues children face today. She believes that engaging children in issues of peace and social justice at a young age will inspire them to help build a better world.
Barbara is also an advocate of climate change and social justice issues such as racism and environmental awareness. She recently attended the Climate Change Rally in Washington DC and also participated in Occupy Wall Street demonstrations at Zuccotti Park, NYC 2011.
Barbara is the Director of Film and Book Collection for the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice and oversaw their permanent placement in the Greenfield Community College library. She currently works as a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Crises Counselor and Medical Advocate at New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT), using her passion to help stop the cycle of violence and sexual assault against women by educating, counseling and empowering them to take back their lives.
Suzanne Carlson has been committed to nonviolent activism since 1983, including various acts of “divine resistance” to weapons of mass destruction, militarism, racism, and materialism. Following participation in the Walk for the Earth 1984 (from California to Washington DC), she joined Jonah House and the Atlantic Life Community and served a year in prison for a Plowshares action against the Trident first-strike nuclear system. Besides living simply and in community, she has participated in several acts of resistance as well as community-building and local food production. She serves on the Board to promote Traprock’s mission toward peace and social and economic justice.
Anna Gyorgy joined the Board in 2016 when the international website she coordinates (www.wloe.org) was accepted as a sponsored Traprock project. The Women & Life on Earth Internet Project was founded in 1999 to bring work and networking around women and peace, ecology and global justice online. The name comes from a northeastern ecofeminist network that Anna was part of back in 1980-82: Women & Life on Earth. Active in western Mass. and beyond in the antinuclear movement, from 1985-2013 she was based in Germany, where the website project was part of a membership organization. Now back in her home area, she is a member of the Wendell Energy Committee and through Traprock continues work on the website, with hopes to expand it as a resource for the social and ecological justice movements so needed now.
Pat Hynes is a retired environmental engineer and Professor of Environmental Health who worked on multi-racial and low-income issues of the urban environment (including lead poisoning, asthma and the indoor environment, safe housing, community gardens and urban agriculture); environmental justice; and feminism at Boston University School of Public Health. For her writing, teaching, and applied research, she has won numerous awards, including the US EPA Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), the 2003 National Delta Omega Award for Innovative Curriculum in Public Health; the US EPA Environmental Merit Award for Healthy Public Housing (2004) project and the Lead-Safe Yard Project (2000); and the 1996 National Arbor Day Foundation Book Award for A Patch of Eden, her book on community gardens in inner cities. She is the author and editor of 7 books, including The Recurring Silent Spring and, most recently, the textbook Urban Health: Readings in the Social, Built and Physical Environments of U.S. Cities.
Pat is currently publishing and speaking on the health effects of war and militarism on society and on women, in particular, and climate justice, renewable energy, and the hazards of nuclear power. As chair of the board of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice in western Massachusetts, she is committed to building with others the Traprock Center as an educational center in peacemaking and peace leadership for activists, educators, and students. Pat has had several of her articles on nuclear power, climate change, war, militarism, peace and related concerns published in journals, newspapers and online nationally and internationally. She recently conducted an investigation of the ongoing legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam and has created the Vietnam Peace Village Project to support scholarships for 3rd and 4th generation Agent Orange victims and also “10,000 Trees for Vietnam: an Environmental Justice Collaboration.”
Abbie Jenks, Traprock Board Member Emerita. Professor emerita Abbie Jenks, MSW, is a former member of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, having served 8 years as a Board member. She was a faculty member at Greenfield Community College and while there, created the Peace, Justice and Environmental Studies program at the college. Her work included forging an alliance between the college and Traprock Center for Peace and Justice.
In her capacity as full Board member, she collaborated on programming with GCC including the development of the Roots of Peace Speaker series. Under her leadership, she created and advised the Peace, Justice and Environmental Action Alliance (aka. the Peace Club), was a member of the Green Campus Committee and chaired the Peace Education Center Advisory Committee. In addition, she found ways to include students in the many activities at the college and in the community, to foster their civic engagement, oriented towards peace and justice. Professor Jenks, to honor the lives and work of the Nelson’s and to help students move forward in their education, established the Wally and Juanita Nelson scholarship.
Professor Jenks was an active member of the New England Peace Studies Association as well as the national Peace and Justice Studies Association. Through these vehicles, she worked on promoting peace studies in community colleges and helped GCC gain national attention for the program she created. She is co-author of a chapter in Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource, edited by David J. Smith, and several of her syllabi are published in the Peace, Justice and Security Studies: A Curriculum Guide, edited by McElwee, Hall, Liechty and Garber. Her legacy with Traprock was to create a deep and lasting collaboration between GCC and Traprock, where Traprock’s work focused on peace education.
Since her retirement from Traprock and GCC, she has become involved in local politics as a way to create positive change. Eight years ago, she helped develop a group of friends in her town of Pelham that was loosely based on the Transition Town movement. Over the years, they have brought legislation to their town regarding anti-fracking by laws and support of the Safe Communities Act. They focus on sustainability practices, and help create community resilience, calling themselves Neighbor to Neighbor. Finally, she is engaged in the study of medicinal herbs, ecological design and sustainable growing practices.
In her words, “My path is one of developing nonviolent practice in all that I do, for unless we create a culture of peace, we are not going to survive. I believe we have untapped capacities for goodness, compassion, forgiveness, working in community and finding a way to solve our conflicts and differences in a way that meets our needs.” Through her past and current work, this is her guide.
Mary McCarthy has received her bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Communities through the UMASS University Without Walls Program. Her Associate Degree is in Peace, Justice & Environmental Studies with a minor in Human Services from Greenfield Community College (GCC). It was during her time at GCC that she developed a deep interest and concern for issues relating to Social & Environmental Justice. She is interested in the inter-connectedness of economic, social and environmental justice and how these issues affect not only individuals, but communities as a whole. What can be done to encourage and empower people to come together and thrive in such unstable times? Mary is currently on the board of directors for Traprock Center for Peace & Justice. She is also the lead developer & coordinator for Traprock’s Peace Leadership Workshops with Paul K. Chappell, and has also been involved with Climate Action NOW MA, and American Friends Service Committee. In addition to her various committee projects, she has also enjoyed co-hosting Occupy the Airwaves on Valley Free Radio. Mary has a strong background in networking, strategic alliance building, program development, training, and outreach. Mary is also a graduate of the LIPPI (Leadership Institute for Political & Public Impact) through the Women’s Fund of Western Mass. Moving forward, Ms. McCarthy looks forward to developing a strong network with like-minded individuals and groups who are also interested in creating a positive, more sustainable and just world.
Sarah Pirtle taught the first graduate school classes in New England that trained educators to teach conflict transformation methods with children. Starting in the early 1980’s, she was a pioneer in writing peace education curriculum that addresses oppression. Her book An Outbreak of Peace was named the outstanding book of the year on world peace by New York authors and editors in 1987. This 400 page book illustrated by two dozen young people talks about changing racism. Her four peace education books include Better Together: Caring and Including Instead of Bullying which comes with a double CD.
She was the first Traprock Peace Education Coordinator in 1981 and editor-in-chief of the flip chart project called “Facing the Facts.” Since 1992 she has directed the Discovery Center for Peacebuilding providing over a hundred school residencies in eight states. At the suggestion of Traprock, she founded a nature and social justice camp called Journey Camp, which after 24 years she still directs at Woolman Hill. Currently Sarah founded and directs the Common Threads Program at Traprock. Her booklet: Keepers of the Fire: Dialogue to Change Sexism and Foster Gender Reconciliation is available online on this website.
Pete Seeger said, “If you want to hear some of the best songs for children out there today, listen to Sarah Pirtle.” A prolific songwriter, she has recordings for adults including Everyday Bravery and for children including Two Hands Hold the Earth. She founded the Children’s Music Network to encourage meaningful music for children (www.childrensmusic.org).
Her songs “My Roots Go Down,” “Mahogany Tree,” “Walls and Bridges” and “The Colors of Earth” have traveled internationally.
Information about her ten recordings and peace books is on her website: www.sarahpirtle.com.
Diana Roberts grew up surrounded by many distinguished theologians and artists thanks to my parents. Since then, I’ve been involved with a variety of volunteer groups and causes, first in England, where I studied photography, and now in Franklin County. Including: working with seniors in an outreach program; canvassing in presidential elections beginning 1968; tutoring ESOL students in several capacities; singer, section leader and treasurer for Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, and at the Greenfield Public Library, first on the circulation desk, and now for their Homebound program.
I was also a founding member of Gallery 267, and am now co-chair and member of the board of Directors at ArtSpace. I achieved my BA from UMass in Creative Writing after seventeen years, four colleges and three changes of major. My affiliation with Traprock Center for Peace and Justice ensued from being on the Response Initiative Committee, formed at GCC after the 9/11/01 tragedy, and also through pertinent Peace & Social Justice classes. As a Traprock affiliate, I’ve become involved with the Peacemakers Awards, along with Interfaith Council members, assessing and awarding eighth through twelfth graders who stand out in their communities for peace-related activities. More recently, I’ve been attending meetings of a collaborative film series between Greening Greenfield and Traprock, with Traprock co-sponsoring. There is much to be done to make the world a better place for all living beings. Propagating joy, compassion, love, peace, justice, tenderness and hope in all that we do, on a daily basis, helps.
Sher Sweet began her involvement with Traprock in 1979 after she discovered Traprock’s passionate commitment to non-violence and anti-militarism. She has been an educator most of her life and has taught students about religious literacy, non-violence, ethics, feminism, justice and world religions for over 30 years at Northfield Mt. Hermon School. Throughout most of Sher’s teaching career, justice has been an over-arching theme, along with challenging the materialistic, and superficial aspects of pop culture. When Sher left NMH School in 2009, she joined the Board of Traprock to continue working on values of justice and non-violence. In 2015, she finished her training to become a multi-faith spiritual counselor and now works at the Farren Care Center in Turner’s Falls.