Berkshire Interfaith Organizing is an interfaith group of clergy, their congregations and their regional affiliates who, together, grounded in faith seek to make justice real in our community. We are informed by the stories from individuals in our towns, our places of work and worship, and our families. These stories have given shape to concerns that run deep in the fabric of our Berkshire community.
Clergy and lay leaders in the Berkshires have been working for more than two years to create this faith and values-based, multi-issue organization of religious congregations in Berkshire County that will build community, develop leadership, and take action on issues of concern such as hunger/food insecurity and transportation. Through citizen action organizing and democratic economic development strategies, we will work to improve the quality of life for all people in the Berkshires.
GOAL: Win increased public transportation funds for Berkshire County to increase access to jobs, medical care, and affordable nutritious food for low-income residents.
STRATEGY: Increase ridership and access to existing rural public transportation system through educating members of our congregations and others; and develop campaign to reclaim our fair share of tax revenues to support and expand our local transportation system to meet the needs of low-income residents.
GOAL: Win easier access to nutritious free food for low-income people.
STRATEGY: Win improvements in existing emergency food delivery system and changes that produce a more local, sustainable food delivery system
The 2016 Micah Awards Dinner was held at the former St. Mark’s School in Pittsfield on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. Nearly 300 people packed the auditorium at St. Mark’s to pay tribute to nominees chosen from among the members of 12 of our 16 member groups. The groups and their nominees: Cathedral in the Night, Pittsfield: its volunteers; Congregation Beth Israel, North Adams, Ed Oshinsky; Congregation Knesset Israel, Pittsfield: Cindy Tatalovich; First Church of Christ, Pittsfield: Grace Hutchins, posthumous award; First Congregational Church, Dalton: Leslie Hazelton; First Congregational Church, Williamstown: Carolyn Behr; Lee Congregational Church, Lee: Judy Morehouse; Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative: Kathy Hrach; Sisters of St. Joseph: Sr. Kathryn Flanagan and Sr. Barbara Faille; South Congregational Church, Pittsfield: Mary Wheat; St. Mark Catholic Church, Pittsfield: Dick Murphy; St. John’s Episcopal Church, Williamstown: Jim Mahon; St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Pittsfield: Joan Evans.
The event also served as a celebration of BIO’s first Anniversary. If you would like to honor one or more of the nominees or congratulate BIO on its first Anniversary, you may send a donation to BIO, P.O. Box 1133, Pittsfield, MA 01201.