Non-Partisan Four Freedoms Coalition to March on Jan. 7

Non-Partisan Four Freedoms Coalition Plans March Jan. 7:
U.S. Senator Ed Markey and FDR grandson James Roosevelt among the speakers

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – On Saturday, Jan, 7, hundreds of people are planning to march and rally in downtown Pittsfield in support of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four freedoms and against bigotry and prejudice. The four freedoms are freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's legendary "Four Freedoms" speech was given on Jan. 6, 1941, and the march will also commemorate the speech's 76th anniversary.

The Four Freedoms March and Rally is being organized by the newly formed non-partisan Four Freedoms Coalition, led by the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP, the Berkshire Central Labor Council, and the Berkshire Brigades. In less than a month, the coalition has garnered the support of over 80 community partners, including the City of Pittsfield, faith communities, cultural organizations, local businesses and more, and over 20 elected officials, including both Massachusetts senators, Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and both Berkshire County mayors, Linda Tyer of Pittsfield and Richard Alcombright of North Adams.

The Four Freedoms March and Rally will be held 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. Participants are invited to gather beginning at 12:30 p.m. in front of St. Joseph’s Church at 414 North St. in downtown Pittsfield.  At 1 p.m. the march will begin and travel down North Street to First Church of Christ on Park Square at 27 East St. 

At approximately 1:30 p.m. an indoor rally will be held in the First Church of Christ, where Eleanor Roosevelt once spoke. Speakers include U.S. Senator Edward Markey and James Roosevelt, grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women; Dennis Powell, President of the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP; Elizabeth Recko-Morrison, 2015 Berkshire Labor Person of the Year; Eleanore Velez, Berkshire Community College’s Multicultural Center director; Ethan Zuckerman, Director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media; and spoken word poets from Miss Hall's School. The Rev. Sheila Sholes-Ross of First Baptist Church in Pittsfield will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies.

Afterwards an open house will be held, also at First Church, featuring information tables set up by an array of Four Freedoms partners so attendees can learn more about local volunteer opportunities and sign up to help out on specific issues and challenges.

Four Freedom Coalition partners (as of 12/31/16):

Lead Partners:
Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP
Berkshire Central Labor Council
Berkshire Brigades

Community Partners:

City of Pittsfield
350Mass - Berkshires
Austen Riggs Center
Bagels Too
Barrington Stage Company
Becket Democratic Committee
Berkshire Center for Justice
Berkshire Children & Families
Berkshire Citizens for Peace & Justice
Berkshire Community College
Berkshire County Arc
The Berkshire Edge
Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)
Berkshire Family YMCA
Berkshire Immigrant Center
Berkshire Magazine
Berkshire Museum
Berkshire On Stage
Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition
Berkshire Theatre Group
Berkshire Training & Employment, Inc.
Berryman Professional Building
The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Cafe Palestina of the Southern Berkshires
The Christian Center
Community Access to the Arts (CATA)
Congregation Ahavath Sholom
Counseling Center in the Berkshires
Elegant Stitches
Elizabeth Freeman Center
First Church of Christ on Park Square
First Congregational Church of Williamstown
First United Methodist Church of Pittsfield
Flavours of Malaysia
Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, Inc.
Go Pittsfield
Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires
Great Barrington Democratic Committee
The Greylock Glass
Heirlooms Jewelry
IS183 Art School of the Berkshires
Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
Knesset Israel
Lanesborough Democratic Town Committee
League of Women Voters of Williamstown
Lift Ev'ry Voice
Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County
Living the Change Berkshires
Louison House
MadJacks BBQ
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Manos Unidas
Martin Luther King Committee of Northern Berkshire
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Massachusetts Teachers Association
Morningside Neighborhood Initiative
Multicultural BRIDGE
Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires
North Adams Chamber of Commerce
Ordinary Cycles
Out in the Berkshires
Paul Rich & Sons Home Furnishings
Pediatric Development Center
Pittsfield Democratic Committee
Progressive Democrats of America
Railroad Street Youth Project
Rites of Passage & Empowerment (R.O.P.E.)
Sheffield Democratic Committee
Sheffield Historical Society
Temple Anshe Amunim
Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire - Social Justice Committee
United Africans of the Berkshires
United Educators of Pittsfield
WAM Theatre
West Stockbridge Democratic Committee
The White Rose Party
Western Massachusetts Young Democrats (WMYD)
Williamstown Democratic Committee
Windsor Democratic Committee
Women of Color Giving Circle
WordXWord
Youth Alive

Elected Officials:
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
U.S. Senator Edward Markey
State Auditor Suzanne Bump
State Senator Benjamin Downing
State Senator-elect Adam Hinds
Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless
Berkshire County Sheriff Tom Bowler
State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier
State Rep. Paul Mark
State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli
State Rep. Gail Cariddi
Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer
North Adams Mayor Dick Alcombright
Central Berkshire Registrar of Deeds Patsy Harris
Registrar of Probate Fran Marinaro
Newton Mayor Setti Warren
Pittsfield City Council President Peter Marchetti
Pittsfield City Council VP John Krol
Pittsfield City Councilor At-Large Peter White
North Adams City Council President Benjamin Lamb
North Adams City Councilor Lisa Blackmer

The Four Freedoms Coalition is a new, non-partisan, diverse coalition of community organizations and individuals working together to unite the community, oppose bigotry and prejudice, and reaffirm our true American values, as outlined in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's landmark Four Freedoms speech.  For more information, including joining the email list or volunteering, or if your organization, group or business would like to be listed as a partner, email 4freedomscoalition@gmail.com or visit 4freedomscoalition.org.