Self Defense Classes

There are two empowerment self defense workshops being offered by myself and Sher Mindermann. I hope that in some small way, we can offer a fun, dynamic, and transformative experience for others to move through the world feeling safe and self-affirming. We serve to guide students as they explore their own abilities and create a sense of safety and harmony in their lives. At the heart of this is a deep passion to grow.


All workshops are free and all persons are welcome. These 2 offerings will be held at the UU Church of Pittsfield at 175 Wendell Avenue.


October 27th, 2018: Empowerment self-defense workshop in collaboration with Elizabeth Freeman Center. This 2-hour workshop will offer

simple and effective applications of assessment, assertiveness and boundary setting, verbal strategies, and Physical responses that anyone can use to protect themselves.


November 17th, 2018: ESD Global will collaborate with a U.S. based company called Fodada to help promote their International Women’s Self-Defense Day. For the past 7 years, Fodada has used the sales of its clothing line to provide these free workshops for women worldwide.

Kim Rivers

Messages of Hope

Messages of Hope

“Messages of Hope” art exhibition is a collaboration between Unitarian Universalist Church, Teaching Artist Marney Schorr, and emerging Pittsfield artists from the Arts in Recovery for Youth program. The show will feature original paintings and drawings by Marney Schorr, as well as her students. Curated by poet and artist, Jack Kelly, this show aims to inspire hope, healing and community action about suicide, including the youth perspective.

An opening reception will be held at Unitarian Universalist Church during First Fridays Artswalk, on Friday, November 2, from 5-8 pm in their main lobby and social hall. All works are for sale and benefit youth arts engagement in the community.

In conjunction with the show, Unitarian Universalist Church will offer a Community Artist Talk on Sunday November 4th during Sunday Services, which starts with coffee and conversation at 9:30 am, and service at 10 am.  Guest speaker, Marney Schorr, Founder and Director of the Arts in Recovery for Youth program, will chronicle the shared journey of these youth artists, from hopelessness to resilience. The Talk will include a community dialogue about solving the youth suicide problem together, through hope, faith and action.


For information about Unitarian Universalist Church, go to
For more information about the show, or to view works privately, contact Curator, Jack Kelly at (413) 770-0320.
For more information about Arts in Recovery for Youth, please visit



Silent Auction November 18th through Thanksgiving Weekend

The auction will run from November 18 through Thanksgiving weekend. There is a possibility we may extend it into the 1st week in December. There are letters available to take to businesses for donations along with donor forms. The donor form should be filled out and returned to the box on the table in the entrance hall. There is also a list of suggestions for things that people can donate. There is a box that contains donor forms and a box for completed donor forms. All donor forms should be in by November 1st. If people have items that they would like to donate I am happy to pick up items. If people have extra baskets to donate but they can bring them to church. Non-perishable foods would work in a basket. I’m looking for several volunteers to help put the baskets together and I’m still looking for someone to be my assistant. To help or ask any questions contact Paula at: 413-281-6094.


International Women’s Self Defense Day

7th Annual
fodada International Women’s
Self Defense Day – November 17th, 2018


We are very excited to announce the 7th Annual fodada International Women’s Self Defense Day from 2-5pm at the church. This program aims to empower women by providing and facilitating free self-defense classes in communities around the globe.


In the past six years, we have reached milestones in this movement. We’ve expanded our locations from right here in Southern California, to as far as Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, India, and more. We have provided these self-defense classes to over 6,000 women in 30 US cities and 15 countries around the globe at no cost, and we are excited to expand our program further this year.

From schools, to community centers, business board rooms and to open fields, fodada partners with individuals, groups, companies and organizations like yours that recognize the importance of women’s empowerment, and are interested in becoming catalysts for this powerful message and movement. There is no cost for the program and our facilitation.