Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice

Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice

All BCP&J programs will be held at the Unitarian/Universalist Church,

175 Wendell Ave. in Pittsfield, MA.

These events begin at 7:30 p.m. and are

free and open to the public.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


By the mid 20th century, Mississippi’s African Americans had suffered from nearly 75 years of slavery by another name – Jim Crow discrimination. In 1964 in Mississippi, people died in an effort to force the state to allow African Americans to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Although the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer has passed, the struggle for voting rights is still pertinent. According to the NAACP, states have recently passed the most laws limiting voter participation since Jim Crow.  Moreover, these laws also disenfranchise other people of color, the elderly, poor, and disabled. With elements of the Voting Rights Act being unpopular with some of those in our current administration, this important film is timely. It offers historical footage and interviews with Freedom Summer architects and volunteers, as well as present day activists. 1964: THE FIGHT FOR A RIGHT uses Mississippi to explain American voting issues in the last 150 years. Such as, for instance, why red states are red?  As the Lathrops drove through all of the deep south states from Georgia to Texas in 1964, they may be able to offer personal reflections In response to questions about Freedom Summer.

Thursday, August 16, 2018  This evening is Third Thursday. There will be no program.  Consider joining the celebrations on North Street.

Thursday, August 23, 2018   An American in Paris

(For a change of pace, this film is an experiment in providing pure entertainment without our usual messages of social significance, a kind of celebration as summer draws to an end.)

An American in Paris is a 1951 American musical film inspired by George Gershwin’s 1928 orchestral composition of the same name. It stars Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary, and Nina Foch.  It was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner.

It is one of the greatest, most elegant, and most celebrated of MGM’s 50’s musicals, with lavish sets and costumes, outstanding dancing, tremendous Technicolor cinematography, and a romantic love …

Thursday, August 30, 2018   Dream On

Comedian John Fugelsang sets out to see if the American Dream is still alive by retracing the journey taken across the United States by French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831 that inspired his 1835 book Democracy in America, which gave birth to the concept of the American Dream.

We showed this fine film once before.  However, we are showing it again as it wonderfully illustrates points made by our speaker, Ellen Lagemann, on the value of higher education both for inmates, not only themselves, but for society as a whole.

It also highlights aspects of the film we showed entitled “Poverty, Politics and Profit” which focused on millions of families that are what housing experts call “rent burdened,” meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their income to keep a roof over their head.  Millions more of them pay more than half of their income in rent.