Upcoming Events at Amherst College, April 14-15, 2016

Please join us at Amherst College for an important series of events centered around the visiting display of the Sing Our Rivers Red Earring Project 

Rise Up! Spoken Word Event featuring Dine’ (Navajo) poet Hannabah Blue

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Frost Library, Friendly Reading Room

Rise Up! is a spoken word event which seeks to raise awareness of the issues and experiences faced by Indigenous women and women of color. Our Amherst College campus event will feature Navajo poet and public health policy specialist Hannabah Blue, who has led Rise Up! events in Boston, Denver and at Harvard University. Rise Up! provides a space for poetry and other creative works, particularly by women of color, to be shared and heard. All members of the campus community and the general public will be able to participate in this exchange. This event will create an organized public space that is supportive of the voices of students of color, LGBTQ students and allies, as well as community members beyond this campus. Rise Up! will build community and foster listening, dialogue and understanding on campus, even as it draws participants and audience members from tribal and urban communities. Bring your poem or other creative work to share. Sign-up available at the event or you may contact Professor Lisa Brooks.

Sing Our Rivers Red Earring Project Display

2:00 pm on Apr 14, to 1:00 am on Apr 15 Frost Library, Freindly Reading Room

The “Sing Our Rivers Red” Earring Exhibit highlights the pressing transnational crisis regarding the many missing and murdered Indigenous women in the U.S. and Canada whose cases have not been heard. The Earring Exhibit includes over 3,406 donated earrings from families in six provinces in Canada and 45 U.S states.

The display will also include stories of some of the missing and murdered women, as well as a display of “Missing” an original artwork created by Nanibah “Nani” Chacon, a Dine (Navajo) and Chicana artist. Nani is most noted for her female figurative works which utilize bold colors and an illustrative format to create commentary Native , Chicana and American culture.

See these links for more information:



The Healing Fire Initiative for Survivors of Sexual Violence, their friends, families and allies.

Opening Ceremony 3:00 pm on April 14th

Fire will burn until 1:00pm on April 15th

People who come to the healing fire are welcome to make offerings to the fire.  Wooden shims and sharpies will be provided and you are welcome to bring letters and pictures of your own.  Amherst College honored to partner with Gedakina Inc. in an effort to provide a space for healing with our campus community.  In 2002 Gedakina cofounded the Healing Fire Initiative for Survivors of Sexual Violence. The purpose of the Healing Fire Initiative is to offer survivors of sexual violence a welcoming and comforting place to break the isolation they may feel, build community with other survivors, advocates, and supporters, and begin or continue their healing process. This program is now a regional initiative with organizations and colleges/universities across the United States adopting this award-winning program.  The Healing Fire will begin with an opening ceremony at 3:00 pm on the Freshman Quad (directly across from the Frost Library entrance.  The fire will be burning until 1:00pm on April 15th staffed by faculty, staff and crisis support center staff.  Please feel free to stay for any amount of time that feels right for you.  In respect for attendees we ask that no photography or social media include faces of people unless you have explicit permission.

“When I sit in the light of the Healing Fire, there are no voices that tell me I am to blame, that I am the only one, or that I deserve to be assaulted.  When I sit in the light of the Healing Fire, I see the many kind faces before me.  I hear their stories and feel the warmth and wisdom that we share.  There is a power hear tonight,  As this fire symbolizes the strength of survivors, it also symbolizes our passion, our righteous anger, our commitment and hope for a future where our children will be free  of abuse and violence.”- A quote from a Survivor who attended a Healing Fire in Burlington, Vermont