About Berkshire Interfaith Organizing (BIO)

Our overall goal is to alleviate the root causes of poverty in our community. We seek to gain a seat at decision making tables and change the power relationship that exists between our member congregations and allies, and institutions whose decisions shape access to income, transportation and food for the poor and working poor in Berkshire County.

Our strategy is to develop leadership skills of hundreds of clergy and lay leaders in our member institutions, leading to a powerful Berkshire organization capable of making systemic changes.

Current Issues

Transportation

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.

Food Security

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

Immigrant Support

GOAL: Create a safe and inclusive community for immigrants in Berkshire County.

STRATEGY: Provide ongoing English/Spanish coaching and organizing training to immigrant leaders, to amplify their voice and their capacity to act in the public arena. Work to implement the Great Barrington Trust Policy as passed on May 1, 2017 including working to establish a human rights commission to promote civil rights in the town, address any violations of the policy, and demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion. Support the passage of the Safe Communities Act, statewide legislation that seeks to create statewide limits on the voluntary collaboration between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, and prohibit Massachusetts from cooperating in any federal registry based on religion or ethnicity. Facilitate discussion around, and possible creation of, a network of sanctuary congregations in Berkshire County.

BIO Organizational Structure


BIO Organizational Structure