Human Rights Commission honors youth at festival


AMHERST — Several area teens and elementary school students will receive Youth Human Rights Hero awards, for demonstrating compassion and concern for others, at an event co-sponsored by the Human Rights Commission on Saturday.

The day of music, food and community, known as the Julius Ford Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community Festival, begins at noon at Mill River Recreation Area in North Amherst. A basketball tournament will also be organized.

At a recent commission meeting, Debora Ferreira explained that the festival is an opportunity for attendees to speak out on local, national and global issues, and will feature food from black-owned restaurants, Indigenous people and people of color.

The festival is named after the late husband of multiracial and intergenerational organization Ferreira, a local social justice activist who died in 2009, co-founded with Gopi Krishna and Margit Galanter in 2007. The group focused on youth leadership and intergenerational conferences on social justice. and wellness, she says.

Ferreira said his son, joining Edgar Cancel’s daughter from Northampton, came up with the idea for the festival as a partnership between the city commission and the organization.

Jennifer Moyston, assistant director for Diversity, Ewuity and Inclusion, said those honored with awards, which are presented for the 16th time, include 10th graders Darius Cage and Neil Cunniffe, 7th grader Olive Paradis, sixth graders Aaliyah Hall, Keiko Hayashi and Michael Russel-LaRiccia and second grader Ava Hall. The Sunrise Amherst Group also receives an award.

Tree visit

The Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee is hosting a tree tour in downtown Amherst on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. in front of the Jones Library, 43 Amity St.

Committee member Henry Lappen said the hour-long tour begins with a discussion of the 260-year-old sycamore tree on the lawn of the Simeon Strong House, where the Amherst Historical Society is located. Funding was recently received for the preservation of this tree.

Layer Reader

A diaper drive for the Amherst Survival Center pantry is taking place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday on the Boltwood Avenue side of the Amherst Farmers’ Market.

Organizers will collect both adult and children’s diapers, with sizes 5 and 6 larger preferred. Statistics reveal that one in three families does not have sufficient resources to buy fresh, clean diapers for their children.

Open days

Seniors can attend an open house May 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Amherst Senior Center at the Bangs Community Center at 30 Boltwood Walk.

“We want to welcome seniors back to the Bangs Center and hope to encourage new faces to visit,” the center’s senior manager, Hayley Bolton, wrote in an email.

Various agencies are involved, including the North West District Attorney’s Office and Consumer Protection Unit, RSVP Volunteers and the Commonwealth Care Alliance. Refreshments will be served, raffles will take place and Nico and Friends, a live jazz trio, will perform.

Call the center at 259-3060 for more information and to RSVP.

In Hadley, the Hadley Public Library and the Hadley Senior Center are holding joint open houses at downtown sites Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CRESS speakers

The Town of Amherst announces the eight people who will work in the field for the new public safety service, Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service.

Those hired, who will be paid between $45,000 and $61,000, will respond to nonviolent community calls with an emphasis on approaching community members through an anti-racism and behavioral health lens, according to the job description. .

The publicity began after the city completed impact negotiations with Service Employees International 888, the union that represents those who will be hired. To view the ad, go to

Cleanup day success

More than 150 community volunteers joined city staff and elected members of the city council to clean up trash and debris from streets, parks and playgrounds in Amherst on April 30.

Participation in the first clean-up event in three days helped fill four large dumpsters and produced an assortment of items including tires, tire rims and cigarette butts.


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