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Wait…What?! Civic Responsibilities in the Time of National Uprisings and Distress

December 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Wait…What?! Civic Responsibilities in the Time of National Uprisings and Distress

“Wait…What?!” is a bi-monthly discussion offering a chance for our community to convene in rich discussion of emerging issues we all face, albeit with varied challenges.

This panel discussion moderated by our Community Investments Manager, Nicole M. Young, will center Civic Responsibilities in the Time of National Uprisings and Distress. The scope of the discussion will range from issues local to national as panelists will discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, climate change, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our panelists represent various sectors and means of community engagement, from grassroots organizing to state legislation and municipality.

This discussion will include:

  • The local legislative landscape and the importance of getting involved locally
  • How social movements ignited or regressed during this time
  • Which voices were more motivated, supported, or suppressed
  • How racial equity intersects all of these issues
  • The recent deaths of iconic figures John Lewis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • And what voices can take the helm

Introducing the Panelists:

Tanisha Arena

Tanisha Arena is the executive director of ARISE for Social Justice, bringing an intersecting lens, a passion for social justice, and transparent, authentic leadership. She is the host of Unapologetic, a podcast bringing the hard truths of our social issues to the forefront. She is a guest commentator on Vaya Con Munoz, a weekly radio show airing on WHMP focusing on political issues, as well as a consultant for Growing A New Heart, facilitating Dialogues Across Difference, a training designed to teach ways we can have difficult conversations, facilitate learning and drive social change. Tanisha has focused her nonprofit career on LGBT specific issues and populations and prior to coming to Arise, Tanisha was the Western Mass Advocate for the Violence Recovery Program of Fenway Health, advocating for LGBTQ identified victims and survivors of violence and provided community training to raise awareness of how domestic violence and sexual assault manifests in LGBTQ communities. She was also a member of the governance committee of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). As an LGBTQ Program Specialist at Community Action Youth Programs, Tanisha developed a skillset around trauma-informed care and using a strengths-based program model to foster positive youth development. Prior to that, Tanisha worked in the private sector, during which time she was a mentor at True Colors, a support and advocacy organization for sexual minority youth in Hartford, CT. Tanisha holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University and a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from Bay Path University. She is a published author, public speaker, and freelance writer in her spare time.

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Tricia Farley-Bouvier is a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and three children. She began her career as a teacher, earning her B.A. in Special Education from Salve Regina University in 1986 and completing her M.A. in Education at the University of Connecticut in 1991. She taught students overseas in Belize and Uruguay and worked to support Berkshire County’s immigrant population as Director of the Literacy Network of South Berkshire.
After serving four years as a City Councilor, Representative Farley-Bouvier was elected to the state legislature in October 2011. Her priorities are to ensure the well-being of vulnerable populations including elders, those with disabilities, and those suffering from mental health and addiction issues. This involves securing funding for crucial services that allow seniors to age in place with dignity, ensuring that children get the best possible Pre-K though16 education, and advocating for the disabled and those with behavioral health issues to receive the services that will guarantee them a high quality of life.
Representative Farley-Bouvier serves as House Vice-Chair on the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, a member of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, and Joint Committee on Election Laws, and a member of the House Committee on Technology and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Lindsay Sabadosa

Lindsay Sabadosa is the State Representative from the 1st Hampshire district (Northampton, Southampton, Westhampton, Hatfield, and Montgomery). She was elected for the first time in 2018 and is the first woman to ever hold her seat. She is most active in health care policy and is the lead sponsor of the Medicare for All legislation in the MA House. She is passionate about equity, government transparency, health care as a right, affordable housing, reproductive justice, criminal justice reform, and truly addressing the climate emergency. She is proud to have co-founded the very first Medicare for All caucus in the MA State House.



Roxann Wedegartner

Roxann Wedegartner is the third mayor of Greenfield, MA, sworn into office on January 2, 2020. Before moving to Greenfield with her family in 1980, they lived in Warwick, MA. She served as a member of the Warwick (MA) and Pioneer Valley Regional School Committees, she learned that serving in local government can have a profound and positive impact on people’s lives. After moving to Greenfield where her children would attend Greenfield public schools, she vowed that at some point, even as a working mother, she would continue serving in local government in her new community. In 1992, she was elected to the Greenfield School Committee and elected again in 1995, and served as chairwoman from 1995 to 1998. She served as a member of the Greenfield Planning Board for 16 years and Chairwoman for fourteen years, leaving in 2016. While leading the Planning Board, she participated in most of the economic and residential development and also directed and participated in creating the Greenfield Sustainable Master plan of 2014, a living document that states how the city wants Greenfield to be economically, environmentally, educationally, and culturally by 2024. Mayor Wedegartner continues to work daily toward her goals of fostering job creation and balanced growth, along with supporting the cultural activities entrepreneurship that enriches and strengthen Greenfield, making it a great place to live, work, and play, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic of her first year in office.
Mayor Wedegartner is fond of quoting the former Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as her motivation for serving as Mayor of Greenfield, “I strongly believe being mayor is the public post in which you have the greatest opportunity to change people’s lives for the better.”
Her quest for the success of Greenfield can be summed up in one word: Onward!

Read our event policies page for information on weather cancellations, our no refund policy, substitution policy, media policy, or Zoom event policy (regarding recordings). *This event will be recorded and live-streamed on Facebook.


December 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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MA United States