Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women

Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women In 2004 Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women (BCCSW) was enacted by law to advance Berkshire women toward full equality and to promote righ

In 2004 Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women (BCCSW) was enacted by law to advance Berkshire women toward full equality and to promote rights and opportunities for all women. BCCSW Commissioners 2014: Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant (Chair), Donna Todd Rivers (Vice Chair & Policy in Action Task Force), Roberta McCulloch Dews and Mary Berle (Education Task Force), Janis Broderick (Policy in Action Task Force), Luci Leonard and Kristen Van Ginhoven (Equity Task Force), and Margo Bradley Davis and Susan Olshuff (Historians). BCCSW Mission 2014: The Berkshire County commission shares the mission and vision of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women(MCSW). We advocate, organize and work to cultivate and promote access to education, health , wellness, economic independence and safety from violence for all Berkshire County women and girls. BCCSW Priority Areas: Two priority areas are addressing the feminization of poverty and reducing violence against women. We intend to create action networks and activist circles with local activist women as well as local professional womens groups. We will reach out to all women and girls to address, act and speak on issues that affect women. Our third priority area is an area where we can create and co-create educational policy for our youth from Pre-kindergarten through College. We have been mindful regarding reported domestic violence statistics, date rape statistics, porn culture, teen pregnancy, racial disparities, health literacy and drug use/abuse in our County. It is the collective belief of our BCCSW that providing children and youth with lessons on self- esteem, happiness, consent, values, engagement, civics, cultural literacy, and resilience will be the foundation needed to create sustainability, equity and freedom for healthy women leading to healthy communities. BCCSW vision: To be an effective inclusive voice and vehicle for action for all women and girls of Berkshire County. BCCSW Action items to date in 2014: Feedback on welfare reform and minimum wage by writing letters and speaking with our delegates. BCCSW-MCSW Statewide Actionable Items for Women of The Commonwealth: In Service of the MCSW Priority Legislation for 2013-2014: An Act Relative to Comparable Work; An Act relative to Healthy Youth; An Act Establishing Paid Sick Time; An Act Updating Public Health Law; & An Act Providing for Equitable Coverage in Disability Policies “...but we are much stronger than we appear to be, and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.” (Maya Angelou) Come share your voice on the Status of Berkshire County Women--- JOIN US: Second Mondays 7:15-7:45PM Open Forum: Elizabeth Freeman Center Pittsfield, MA Regular BCCSW Meeting at 6 PM (Commissioners only) For Contact: Gwendolyn VanSant, Chair 413-717-8164. [email protected]

Mission: BCCSW Mission 2014: The Berkshire County commission shares the mission and vision of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women(MCSW). We advocate, organize and work to cultivate and promote access to education, health , wellness, economic independence and safety from violence for all Berkshire County women and girls. BCCSW Priority Areas: Two priority areas are addressing the feminization of poverty and reducing violence against women. We intend to create action networks and activist circles with local activist women as well as local professional womens groups. We will reach out to all women and girls to address, act and speak on issues that affect women. Our third priority area is an area where we can create and co-create educational policy for our youth from Pre-kindergarten through College. We have been mindful regarding reported domestic violence statistics, date rape statistics, porn culture, teen pregnancy, racial disparities, health literacy and drug use/abuse in our County. It is the collective belief of our BCCSW that providing children and youth with lessons on self- esteem, happiness, consent, values, engagement, civics, cultural literacy, and resilience will be the foundation needed to create sustainability, equity and freedom for healthy women leading to healthy communities. “.

Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and first responder in Louisville, KY, who loved helping her patients and her co...
06/07/2020

Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and first responder in Louisville, KY, who loved helping her patients and her community.

On the night of March 13, the Louisville Metro Police executed a warrant, looking for drugs they never found, reportedly trafficked by a person who did not live with Breonna or in her complex--and whom they already had in custody.

They sprayed her home with 20 rounds, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her in her bed.

Breonna would have celebrated her 27th birthday this past Friday, June 5.

Be angry. Rage. Cry and don’t just mourn. Organize.

Take action today at https://justiceforbreonna.org/

Illustration by Melanie Cervantes.

Systemic racism is a criminal legal issue. It is a public health issue. It is a reproductive justice issue. It a social ...
06/03/2020

Systemic racism is a criminal legal issue. It is a public health issue. It is a reproductive justice issue. It a social justice issue. It is an LGBTQ issue. It is a human rights issue. It is something every one of us in Berkshire County should be speaking out about and fighting back against.

And when speaking out about it, show more courage and decency than certain local electeds, who choose to equivocate and foment baseless paranoia. We are not safer with greater police presence, particularly when it is militarized.

#BlackLivesMatter

Statement from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women regarding the murder of George Floyd and ongoing racial violence.

MCSW's statement is also available here: https://www.mass.gov/lists/mcsw-announcements-and-media

This map lists all the COVID-19 testing sites in the state. Sadly (though unsurprisingly), there are only two locations ...
05/27/2020
Massachusetts COVID-19 Test Site Locator

This map lists all the COVID-19 testing sites in the state. Sadly (though unsurprisingly), there are only two locations in Berkshire County, both of which require a medical referral, and only one of which (Pittsfield) accepts MassHealth and tests children. Just one more way that Berkshire County struggles with widespread healthcare disparities.

This app is for use in locating nearby COVID-19 Test Sites in Massachusetts.

The Girls Initiative event kicks off today! The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women wants to hear from the y...
05/19/2020

The Girls Initiative event kicks off today! The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women wants to hear from the young women of Berkshire County. Check out the schedule and make sure to share this with the young women in your life.

MCSW is excited to announce that its Girls Initiative event is finally here, with kickoff starting:
Tomorrow, Tuesday May 19, 2020!

We are looking forward to these next two weeks, as we work together with you to give the girls and young women of the Commonwealth a place where their voices can be heard.

***Please share amongst women and girls within your communities and organizations.***

https://tinyurl.com/mcswgirlstatus

Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
05/18/2020

Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women

MCSW is excited to announce that its Girls Initiative event is finally here, with kickoff starting:
Tomorrow, Tuesday May 19, 2020!

We are looking forward to these next two weeks, as we work together with you to give the girls and young women of the Commonwealth a place where their voices can be heard.

***Please share amongst women and girls within your communities and organizations.***

https://tinyurl.com/mcswgirlstatus

05/11/2020

The Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will be holding another virtual meeting this month!

If you've wanted to attend in the past but couldn't make it, we encourage you to join us tomorrow (Tuesday), May 12, from 6:30-8pm, using your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/341508669

You can also dial in using your phone:
United States: +1 (872) 240-3212
Access Code: 341-508-669

Hope to see you all then!

Happy Mother's Day! Motherhood comes in many forms, many of which are nontraditional. Today we lift up mamas of all kind...
05/10/2020

Happy Mother's Day! Motherhood comes in many forms, many of which are nontraditional. Today we lift up mamas of all kinds in celebration and admiration.

This Mother's Day, consider donating to National Bail Out , which is raising money to bail out Black mamas and caregivers now through May: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/freeblackmamas2020

Image created by the wonderful Repeal Hyde Art Project. Image description: An illustration of jellyfish floating next to the inscription,
"Happy Mother's Day to every mother,
every grandmother,
every caregiver,
chosen families,
queer mamas,
genderqueer and trans parents
incarcerated moms,
those who wanted to but were unable to be mothers,
moms who have lost their children, and children who have lost their mothers"

04/30/2020

Could 2 friends or family members just copy and repost? This time is especially hard for people with depression.
#SuicideAwareness
1-800-273-8255
Just two. Any two. Say done.

Hot off the presses! Take a look at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's new report, “The Impact of COV...
04/29/2020

Hot off the presses! Take a look at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women's new report, “The Impact of COVID-19 and Related Policy on Massachusetts Women and Girls.”

The Report includes key findings and areas for immediate attention in the following categories:
· The Economic/Financial Impact
· Health Issues
· Essential Workers on the Front Lines
· Domestic Violence
· Risks Facing Incarcerated Women

This is a snapshot Download the full COVID-19 Report here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/mcsw-covid-19-report-april-2020-0/download

Thanks to both the survey and virtual hearing participation from our constituents, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women has released a report on “The Impact of COVID-19 and Related Policy on Massachusetts Women and Girls.”

The Report includes key findings and areas for immediate attention in the following categories:

· The Economic/Financial Impact
· Health Issues
· Essential Workers on the Front Lines
· Domestic Violence
· Risks Facing Incarcerated Women

This is a snapshot of the CSW's report, with the full COVID-19 Report available on our website at: https://www.mass.gov/lists/mcsw-announcements-and-media

04/13/2020

This month's meeting of the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will be virtual!

If you've wanted to attend in the past but couldn't make it, we encourage you to call in tomorrow (Tuesday), April 14, from 6:30-8pm.
Conference Line: (605) 468-8003
Access Code: 513073#

Take care and be well, friends.

Rihanna Creates Grant for Domestic Violence Survivors Amid Quarantine
04/11/2020
Rihanna Creates Grant for Domestic Violence Survivors Amid Quarantine

Rihanna Creates Grant for Domestic Violence Survivors Amid Quarantine

According to the Los Angeles Housing Authority, ever since the city issued its "Safer at Home" order in late March, approximately 90 people a week have been turned away from domestic violence shelters due to capacity restrictions. So to help remedy this, Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) annou...

FRIENDS! Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will be hosting our monthly meeting virtually via a conferen...
04/03/2020

FRIENDS! Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will be hosting our monthly meeting virtually via a conference line this coming Tuesday, April 14, from 6:30-8pm.

If you've wanted to attend in the past but couldn't make it, we encourage you to call in:
Conference Line: (605) 468-8003
Access Code: 513073#

(The adorable puppy is solely to grab your attention; she will not be calling into the meeting.)

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Fluffy brown, black, and white puppy sitting on a stone wall, staring at the camera.]

Washington Post
03/07/2020
Washington Post

Washington Post

Women in Mexico plan to skip work and school on Monday in an unprecedented strike over gender violence.

Friends, the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will hold our monthly meeting this coming Tuesday, March...
03/07/2020
Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women

Friends, the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will hold our monthly meeting this coming Tuesday, March 10, at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center in Great Barrington, from 6:30-8 p.m. We'll be in the Arts & Crafts Room. All our meetings are open to the public.

We also have open commission positions! If you're curious to learn more about the BCCSW, join us on Tuesday! And apply here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/berkshire-county-commission-on-the-status-of-women?fbclid=IwAR2Oy3Gviit0b7dB-GbiIYOSdUByZE0nukbAOIt9U5oWRtAAVFgvBFoDJ-c

Washington Post
03/01/2020
Washington Post

Washington Post

Heaven Fitch made state history by defeating an all-boys field. A week later, the significance of her achievement is still resonating.

The Lonely Burden of Today’s Teenage Girls
02/15/2020
The Lonely Burden of Today’s Teenage Girls

The Lonely Burden of Today’s Teenage Girls

Amid our huge, unplanned experiment with social media, new research suggests that many American adolescents are becoming more anxious, depressed and solitary.

The Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will hold our monthly meeting this coming Tuesday, February 11, a...
02/10/2020
Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women

The Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women will hold our monthly meeting this coming Tuesday, February 11, at the Berkshire Athenaeum, from 6:30-8 p.m. We'll be in the auditorium. We'll be meeting to plan our goals for the year. All our meetings are open to the public.

We also have open commission positions! If you're curious to learn more about the BCCSW, join us on Tuesday! And apply here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/berkshire-county-commission-on-the-status-of-women

Established 2005

Omega Women's Leadership Center (OWLC)
12/18/2019
Omega Women's Leadership Center (OWLC)

Omega Women's Leadership Center (OWLC)

"Give your girl the space to decide when and how she wants to show affection." --Girl Scouts #ConsentMatters #MyBodyMyChoice

Berkshire District Attorney's Office
12/18/2019
Berkshire District Attorney's Office

Berkshire District Attorney's Office

“Human trafficking is one of the world’s fastest growing criminal activities, operating on the same scale as the illegal trade of guns & drugs, and this case demonstrates that human trafficking occurs right here in our community. [The BDAO] is working w/ law enforcement to empower sex trafficking victims who are often vulnerable women who are preyed upon by greedy & brutal people. We are grateful for the diligent collaboration with the Pittsfield Police Department In holding this perpetrator accountable and making our community safer for women & girls.”

https://theberkshireedge.com/news-brief-da-secures-conviction-in-human-trafficking-case/

Today, December 17th, is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. As with so many of the issues we've been...
12/17/2019
Sex Work — CALL YOUR GIRLFRIEND

Today, December 17th, is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. As with so many of the issues we've been examining, at the heart of it are the needs so many women in Berkshire County have expressed: for affordable housing, living wages, affordable and broad access to healthcare, labor rights, affordable higher education.

We're sharing the most recent episode of one of our favorite podcasts, Call Your Girlfriend, that discusses the topic of sex work. The link also has a full transcription of the episode from those who prefer to read it, as well as links to articles and organizations.

Here is a description of the episode: "Sex work brings out extreme views. On one end of the dial: "It's purely exploitative and nothing someone could actively consent to!" And on the other: "It's wholly empowering consensual trade that should be celebrated!" We talk with writer and sex worker Lorelei Lee about how sex work can be like other kinds of labor: underpaid, boring, unfulfilling, and yet not necessarily vile criminality or sublimely erotic and expressive. A pair of laws passed by Congress in 2018, SESTA and FOSTA, have made sex work more dangerous and subject to criminal prosecution."

12/13/19 - Sex work brings out extreme views. On one end of the dial: "It's purely exploitative and nothing someone could actively consent to!" And on the other: "It's wholly empowering consensual trade that should be celebrated!" We talk with writer and sex worker Lorelei Lee a

DSVTaskForce
11/14/2019
DSVTaskForce

DSVTaskForce

“Every country is home to domestic abusers. Only America gives them easy access to an arsenal and ammunition,” says Shannon Watts, who founded the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action. According to Watts, women in the U.S. are 21 times more likely to die by firearm homicides than women in other high-income nations.

Thanks to WAMC Northeast Public Radio for covering our upcoming listening session--happening TOMORROW, 11/12 from 6-8pm ...
11/11/2019
Listening Session On Women’s Lives Planned In Pittsfield

Thanks to WAMC Northeast Public Radio for covering our upcoming listening session--happening TOMORROW, 11/12 from 6-8pm in the Community Empowerment Center of Greylock Federal Credit Union's 75 Kellogg St, Pittsfield branch--with the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts.

We can't wait to hear from YOU!

On Tuesday, the Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls will hold a listening session in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The Women's Fund

Address

Pittsfield, MA
01201

General information

In 2004 Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women (BCCSW) was enacted by law to advance Berkshire women toward full equality and to promote rights and opportunities for all women. Come share your voice on the Status of Berkshire County Women--- JOIN US: Second Mondays 7:15-7:45PM Open Forum: Elizabeth Freeman Center Pittsfield, MA Regular BCCSW Meeting at 6 PM (Commissioners only) For Contact: Gwendolyn VanSant, Chair 413-717-8164. [email protected]

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Hello All! For any women Berkshire County Massachusetts Micheala Whalen and I are starting a women's circle the first Sunday of every month in Pittsfield MA. December 1st from 5-8 p.m. at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness is the first circle! Private message me for more information. Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/1151238411933488/
Hello All! For any women Berkshire County Massachusetts Micheala Whalen and I are starting a women's circle the first Sunday of every month in Pittsfield MA. December 1st from 5-8 p.m. at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness is the first circle! Private message me for more information. Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/1151238411933488/
Watch the live stream. On break now but starting up again at 11:45.
On Saturday, September 29th, Miss Hall's School will be hosting a free panel discussion on Girls' Leadership Past, Present, and Future. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register.