History, Government & Politics

Asian American Students in Action (AASiA)

Student Leaders: Amber Lee ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Keara Sternberg

AASiA hosts weekly meetings to discuss and plan for several justice-oriented projects around Asian American Studies, political education, coalition-building, and more. In the past we have facilitated workshops, invited guest speakers and performers, and collaborated with other MinCo groups on equity and inclusionary events.

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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: Shane Beard ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Bilal Ansari

The Black Student Union exists to support and celebrate the Black community at Williams, through community and campus events, weekly meetings, and invited speakers.

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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.

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CLiA Community Outreach Summer Fellowship

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 version of this program is under revision. The changes will be posted here and announced via the CLiAlert and Daily Messages. Those who have already applied will be advised of the changes directly. Thank you for your understanding.

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: Tania Calle ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Ninah Pretto

CISA was an organization committed to bringing awareness to and advocating for immigrant students’ on campus, particularly those who are undocumented and/or protected under DACA. As of recently, CISA has shifted towards integrating more community-building event planning as well as working to advance state level reform such as the Family and Work Mobility Act.

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College Democrats

Student Leader: Essence Perry ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: James Mahon

College Democrats wants to mobilize students at Williams to participate in the political process outside of just 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.

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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: Solly Kasab
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Paula Consolini

EphVotes is a new student group seeking to promote voter registration, turnout, and civic engagement on the Williams campus. By bringing together students, faculty, staff, and administrators in a nonpartisan manner, EphVotes hopes to increase campus registration and voting rates and make it as easy as possible for every Eph to vote. Check out the EphVotes website to see the services they provide. Whether an experienced community organizer or someone new to the concept, we’re welcoming everyone into our big tent.

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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

No Lost Generation

Student Leaders: Emma Lezberg( [email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Colin Ovitsky

No Lost Generation – Williams College (NLG) is the campus chapter of a national group supporting and advocating for refugees and immigrants. Our current focus is working with schools and local organizations to educate our campus and community about the global refugee crisis and migration. We also work closely with the Berkshire Immigrant Center (BIC) and run a Translation Project to help BIC clients.

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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

Sisterhood

Student Leaders: Sonia Nyarko ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Shawna Patterson-Stephens

The purpose of Sisterhood is to empower its members by instilling a sense of camaraderie amongst black/POC women and by supporting black/POC women as they navigate the world as a double minority. A primary goal of the organization will be to instill a sense of unity and community amongst black/POC women and to help support those who identify as a black/POC woman in the outside community. Sisterhood aims to provide black/POC women students with a solid platform to address issues that are both undetected and overlooked. Sisterhood embodies self-awareness, self-care, self-confidence, and self-love.

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: Hannah Goldstein ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Bilal Ansari

We foster dialogue surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We want this conversation to be approachable for all – not just those who are educated on the subject. Our group does not have any political affiliation or focus on a particular perspective. We try and bring in all perspectives to better understand the context and contemporary happenings of the conflict.

Students for Justice in Palestine

Student Leaders: Joseph Moore ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Joy James

We advocate for the disenfranchised in Israel/Palestine–predominantly through educational events like teach-ins, movie screenings and guest lectures.

Williams College Law Society

Student Leaders: Max Chayet ([email protected])
Faculty/Staff Adviser: Anthony Pernell-McGee

The Williams College Law Society brings together students interested in law, provides them an avenue to express their interest in law, and seeks to promote a familiarity and understanding of the law and legal profession among students. Members will have an opportunity to learn about the field of law, participate in Mock Trial or Moot Court Competitions, and learn how to prepare themselves for a further study or a potential career in law.

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.

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]