History, Government & Politics

Asian American Students in Action (AASiA)

Student Leaders: William Huang (wh4) & Rachel Jiang (rj3)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Rashida Braggs

AASiA serves as the coalition for API groups, and acts to foster Asian American community and political action on the Williams campus. Through social events, discussion-based activities, and political activism, AASiA strives to provide a forum for community-building, cross-cultural exchange and political organizing.

Berkshire Immigrant Center

The mission of the Berkshire Immigrant Center is to assist individuals and families in making the economic, psychological and cultural adjustment to a new land, not only by meeting basic needs, but also by helping them to become active participants in our community. The Center also aims to build bridges of understanding and cooperation across cultures, to fight racism and discrimination in all forms, and to advocate for the rights of immigrants from all backgrounds. The Center offers comprehensive services for individuals from more than 80 countries to promote civic engagement, facilitate cultural integration, and assist in navigating the complex U.S. immigration system.

Additional Information & Current Opportunities:

learning-in-action.williams.edu/opportunities/berkshire-immigrant-center/

Black Student Union

Student Leaders: Isha Kamara (ik4) & Gelila Kassa (gzk2)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Bilal Ansari

The BSU is meant to provide a support network through which students can become more engaged in the global effort to improve the lot of all people of Black African Ancestry. This means; providing a mechanism through which students of Black African Ancestry at Williams College can maintain contact with other students and organizations whose goals are similar to those articulated here; providing support to political organizations, worldwide, whose goals are in agreement with those articulated here.

Bread and Roses

Student Leaders: Wylie Thornquist
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Shanti Singham
Meeting Time/Place: Wednesdays in Environmental Center

Bread and Roses is a student organization interested in bringing discussions of labor rights and organizing to campus, by engaging with existing labor movements in the Berkshire area and learning about labor history more broadly. We organize talks with local unions, and try to facilitate student participation and support for worker’s rights. Our group also holds discussions for students to learn about and discuss left politics, theory, and action more broadly.

Break Out Trips

In 2013-2014, the Chaplains’ Office and Center for Learning in Action began coordinating funding and advising for Break Out Trips over spring break that involve projects in and beyond the Berkshires region.  A general interest survey, detailed advice, guidelines, timetable, a Proposal Form, Budget Calculator, and additional resources are available at learning-in-action.williams.edu/opportunities/bot.

Circle of Women

Student Leaders: Ariana Romeo
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Magnus Bernhardsoon
Meeting Time/Place: Weekly on Sundays

Circle of Women (CoW) is a national nonprofit organization–run completely by students–that provides the necessary resources to girls around the world who are pursuing an education. As such, our focus is primarily abroad. The organization partners up with local groups to implement construction projects and each school/college chapter fundraises to make such projects possible. The Williams chapter is responsible for CoW’s most recent project, which is a girls’ higher secondary school in Jabergali, Pakistan.

Website

CLiA Community Outreach Summer Fellowship

This paid summer program trains a small team of Williams students to help build better community service and experiential learning opportunities at Williams.  The selected rising Sophomores and Juniors are initially oriented to the Berkshires and trained in key skill areas before spending the balance of their time immersed and leading others in community engagement work.  This 8-week, 35-hour/week position reports to the CLiA Director.

Additional Information & Application:

learning-in-action.williams.edu/opportunities/community-outreach-summer-fellowship

 

Coalition for Immigrant Student Advancement

Student Leaders: Imane Rharbi (ir4) & Chelsea Romulus (ctr1)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Clinton Williams

CISA aims to achieve administrative progress and create a campus consciousness around immigrant issues. We hope to improve college policies to better address the needs of immigrant and mixed-status family students. We also want to foster a richer campus dialogue and give a voice to these stories.

College Democrats

Student Leader: Essence Perry (ekp1) & Argenis Herrera (ah15)
Faculty/Staff Adviser: James Mahon

College Democrats aims to mobilize students at Williams to participate in the political process, outside of voting. Williams students are an abundant resource of energy and intellect that can be applied to the benefit of candidates running for office, and this group is a manner to provide them the opportunities to do so. This will take the form of writing policy briefs to help local voters understand candidates’ platforms, attending local Democratic Conventions and Democratic Town Committees to engage in the political process, phone banking, canvassing, Get Out the Vote efforts, campaigning in New Hampshire, and potentially helping in areas that face voter suppression. Personal benefits to students will include networking opportunities with local and state Democratic officials, extensive knowledge of campaign operations in the Democratic party, and a connection to a nationwide organization full of equally vibrant and skilled college students.

Darfur Cookie Project

Student Leaders: Isabel Abraham ([email protected]), Todd Hall ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Tendai Muparutsa ([email protected])
Meeting Time/Place: Once per month, Paresky

This project is an attempt to bake and sell 400,000 cookies. We bake and sell cookies to raise money for the Jewish World Watch Solar Cooker Project. The Solar Cooker Project provides solar powered stoves for refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan, who are in camps in Chad. We also hope that our project will help people understand the enormity of genocide.

Divest Williams

Student Leaders: Isabelle Furman ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Shanti Singham
Meeting Time/Place: Wednesdays 9 PM in Zilkha Center

Divest Williams seeks to build and foster a movement around divestment of the college’s endowment from fossil fuels; in this work, we aim also to undermine the entire extractive economy. Through this work, we strive to educate the community and challenge people to think more deeply about both their own and Williams’s place in social movements. We hope to develop a deeper understanding of systems of power and oppression and the points at which these systems are vulnerable. We understand the fight for climate justice to be inextricably linked to the fight for racial justice, economic justice, LGBTQIA justice; to the fight to end colonialism and imperialism and dismantle the patriarchy; to end ableism, transphobia, heterosexism, and all other forms of oppression. Therefore Divest Williams stands with all other groups fighting for social justice and climate justice on campus and beyond.

Website

Education Outreach

For 20+ years, Williams has partnered with our local educators to create hands-on programming that serve the needs of the children and their families in a host of Berkshire County schools in the areas of science, writing, mentoring, homework help and more. Currently, more than 350 students participate and serve in K-12 schools in paid and volunteer positions in Williamstown, Lanesborough, North Adams and Pittsfield. We welcome your involvement and ideas, and look forward to hearing from you! Please visit the Education Outreach section of our website for more information.

EphVotes

Student Leaders: Elizabeth Hughes (elh3) & Milo Chang (mc36)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Paula Consolini

EphVotes brings together students who are concerned with declining voter and civic participation on campus, and thus works toward increasing voter registration and turnout on the Williams campus. By engaging with students, faculty, staff, and administrators, we hope to engage Ephs on the importance of voting to our democracy as well as making it easy to register to vote and apply for absentee ballots.

Feminist Collective

Student Leaders: Arielle Nathan (adn1) & Alex Pear (arp2)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Molly Magavern

Our organization focuses on providing a safe space for folx with marginalized genders/identities to foster community and facilitate activism. This involves hosting activities, speakers, and workshops that are created with the intention to empower individuals and destabilize current structures of power.

Hoosic River Revival Summer Internship

The Hoosic River Revival (HRR) is looking for students to conduct research and assist with public programs, and help produce a short film.  The HRR is a community-based, nonprofit organization with a mission to reconnect the North Adams community to a clean, beautiful, and safe Hoosic River and to enhance the river’s recreational, cultural and economic vitality. For complete details, visit learning-in-action.williams.edu/opportunities/hoosic-river-revival-summer-internship/.

Kinetic

Student Leaders: Zachary Brand
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Jessica Bernheim

The purpose of Kinetic is to cultivate a social innovation incubator committed to designing and implementing creative, non-political, sustainable, scalable solutions to pressing social issues in the Berkshire region. Kinetic teams, which are comprised of 4-8 Kinetic members, work on a particular issue in three distinct phases: research, design, and implementation. Kinetic members work to understand the entire landscape of an issue and to discover gaps where they can intervene and create systemic change.

Kinetic Website

Rules Change Project

The Rules Change Project is an initiative to support action ideas for capitalism and the common good.  America is not working for all of us. The Rules Change Project is an open coalition to spotlight, amplify and educate the public about existing efforts to foster economic “rules change.” It is an informal, non-partisan collaboration of individuals and independent groups seeking to help launch a national conversation about how we govern, regulate, manage and interact with corporations, about their relationship with government, and with their stakeholders — employees, customers, communities, the environment — in addition to stockholders.

Additional Information & Current Opportunities:

learning-in-action.williams.edu/opportunities/rules-change-project

Sentinels Summer Public Policy Research Fellowship

This U.S. public policy research program supports student research projects focused on contemporary issues in U.S. economic, social, and/or environmental policy, including but not limited to community and regional development, regulation, inequality, and/or processes and powers of the American Government at any level.  Sentinels Fellows are awarded research funding based primarily upon their written project proposal.

Additional Information & Application:

https://learning-in-action.williams.edu/opportunities/sentinels-summer-research-fellowship/

Sisterhood

Student Leaders: Shiara Pyrrhus (sp23) & Megan Groomes (meg5)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Toya Camacho

The purpose of Sisterhood is to empower its members by instilling a sense of camaraderie amongst Black women and by supporting Black women as they navigate the world as a double minority. A primary goal of the organization is to instill a sense of unity and community amongst Black women and to equip Black women with professional development tools. Sisterhood aims to provide Black women with a solid platform to discuss and address issues that are often both undetected and overlooked. Sisterhood embodies leading with love.

Student Veterans Association

Student Leaders: Brandon Hashemi (bah4) & Joseph Grillo (jag20)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Tamanika Steward

The purposes of the Student Veterans Association (SVA) are thus:

  • Provide academic and professional outreach for prospective and current student veterans.
  • Connect members with on-campus resources, generate awareness of veterans on campus, develop a supportive community, and serve as a voice for veterans on campus.
  • Serve as a resource for non-veteran students and the community at large for those who are interested in pursuing military service.
  • It is also the purpose of this organization to abide by the Code of Student Conduct and to uphold the educational mission of Williams College.

Students for Education Reform

Student Leader: Cooper Bramble
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Shawna Patterson-Stephens
Meeting Time/Place: Wednesday at 6 PM, Paresky 220

Student’s for Education Reform is an organization that is committed to improving the state of education in the United States. We advocate at the state, local, and national levels, pushing for positive legislative change and raising awareness for important educational issues. At the college, we work to increase understanding and foster discussion about education related issues by holding events, bringing in speakers, conducting school/school board visits and holding dinner meetings.

Students for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue

Student Leaders: Sydney Pope (sgp2) & Gaby Ivanova (ggi1)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Seth Wax

SIPD aims to bring students together — no matter their background, ideological leanings, or perspectives — and provide opportunities and forums to share and learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and occupation. We see there is a gap in campus conversations, so our goal is to create more open dialogue, education, and compassion within the community about the reality in Palestine and Israel. We hope to achieve this by inviting speakers from the region and around the world, ranging from scholars, artists, filmmakers, activists — all individuals with powerful stories to share. Part of our mission is to increase education and awareness and to create spaces to practice critical skills, so a big part of our programming is hosting workshops around Palestinian and Israeli history, as well as how to facilitate dialogue and develop active listening skills. We hope this will help the community gain more insight and context so that we can engage respectfully over such a charged topic and better understand where people are coming from.

Students for Justice in Palestine

Student Leaders: Gina Al-Karablieh (gza1) & Lour Yasin (liy1)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Aseel Abulhab

This is an organization that activates for Palestinian rights and strives to spread awareness about the history of Palestine with regards to the Israeli occupation.

Williams College Law Society

Student Leaders: Max Chayet (myc4) & Clarissa Dominguez (cd13)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Anthony Pernell-McGee

The Law Society brings together Williams students who have a common interest in law along with alumni, faculty, and professionals in fields relating to law through programs and activities dealing with or related to the field of law. It also promotes understanding of the legal profession, the rule of law, and the legal process while also identifying and discussing the bias and contemporary problems in our legal and justice system.

Williams Empower Through Health

Student Leaders: Stephanie Teng (st15) & Jaeeun (Jenny) Lee (jl35)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Kiaran Honderich

Empower Through Health (ETH) is an international organization that aims to lift up the communities in the Busoga region of Uganda through projects and collaborative partnerships aimed at increasing the quality of healthcare, a fundamental human right, with an interdisciplinary model between the ETH teams in America and Uganda. Alongside chapters at other universities, the Williams chapter will specifically focus on pioneering the fight against the global mental health crisis, psychosis in particular. Williams ETH will strive to educate members on issues of health globally, organize and carry out a community-based project in Uganda, and apply skills to create the next generation of public and global health leaders through public educational events such as panels, lectures, and workshops to discuss the current status, problems, and solutions in global health, as particularly relates to mental health and psychiatry. In addition to this, we hold on campus and virtual fundraising for the implementation of a mental health intervention in Uganda in a variety of manners.

Williams Political Forum

Student Leaders: Davey Morse ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: TBD

The Williams Forum provides the primary platform for open political discourse in the College. The Forum hosts student-led debates and forums with political leaders, and its member pursue select political initiatives. The Forum is guided by deep mutual respect, appreciation of disagreement, and a drive to improve society.

Williams Refugee Advancement Coalition

Student Leaders: Kazi Raleh (kfr1) & Jonathan Breibart (jsb8)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Colin Ovitsky

The Williams Refugee Advancement Coalition seeks to assist in the advancement of refugees and evacuees coming into Berkshire County. Currently, we are collaborating with the Center for Learning in Action, Jewish Family Service, and other local organizations to mobilize structural assistance and create a welcoming environment for 60 Afghan evacuees who are in the process of being relocated to Pittsfield, MA. As the resettlement process further develops, we expect to be providing a diverse array of services that could make a tangible difference in their new lives and we would love your help!

Williams Translation Project

Student Leader: Maria Roman (mjr8) & Isabel Frey Ribeiro (if2)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Luana Maroja

We help translate short legal documents for nearby non-profits that help immigrants.

Williams Young Democratic Socialists of America

Student Leader: Raymond Beltran (reb6) & Tali Natter (tsn1)
Faculty/Staff Advisor: Sidney Rothstein

We believe in the potential of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) to be a group for social change on campus and in the local Berkshires community. In order to enact change in accordance with our beliefs, we propose a structure that emphasizes collaboration, accessibility, flexibility, and transparency with the result being a decentralized structure. We strive to focus on sustainable practices of care and compassion in our commitments to our community and in doing so, increase participation.

Williamstown Historical Museum

The Williamstown House of Local History was founded in 1941 to promote knowledge of the town’s history by collecting and preserving materials, mounting exhibitions, presenting educational programs and facilitating research. Its goal is to document the diverse people and buildings, the associations and institutions, the businesses and events which form the town’s history from the earliest days to the present time. The collection includes photographs, documents and artifacts from the 1700s to the present day as well as published material on the town and genealogical material on local families.

If you’re interested in history, the Williamstown Historical Museum is the place for you!  We are a museum and research center that maintains a collection of photos, artifacts and documents that relate to Williamstown’s past. We work to increase the public’s knowledge of Williamstown’s past in a variety of ways including educational exhibits, programs, events, research and publications.  

We have numerous volunteer opportunities available.  Our goal is to help you to use your talents and interests in a way that allows our organization to maintain a diverse collection of photos, artifacts, documents and manuscripts, and use our materials to educate the public about the town.  As a volunteer you are a valued member of our team and you will develop a greater connection to the community around you as your understanding of our local history grows.   All of our volunteers will receive training and a manual to assist you with your work.  

To learn more about our organization please visit our museum, visit our website or give Sarah or Nancy at the WHM a call:

1095 Main Street
Williamstown, MA
413-458-2160
www.williamstownhistoricalmuseum.org
Contact: Sarah Currie, Director, [email protected]