2020 Annual Meeting

POSTPONED UNTIL AUGUST 18TH! Please see below:

Please join us Tuesday, August 18th at 6:00 PM for the Annual Meetings of the Berkshire Community Land Trust and Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires and a conversation about the role of a community land trust in the Berkshires.

If you had registered for the original event scheduled for August 4th, you may still access the Arc of Justice film through August 5th. Instructions have been emailed to the address provided. Even if you were unable to watch the film, we invite you to participate in a conversation about the role of community land trusts in furthering economic and social justice at our annual meeting on August 18th. If you have questions, please email us at office@berkshirecommunitylandtrust.org.

Please use this link to RSVP.

We invite you to become a member of the Berkshire Community Land Trust – a commitment of $10 or 10 BerkShares per household per year. Your donation funds our education programs and the acquisition of land. Members are invited to our Annual Meeting and elect our Board of Trustees. Members may receive notification by postal mail when homes on our land become available for sale, and may have the opportunity to purchase the property before the sale is open to the general public. If you would like to become a member, please send membership dues to Berkshire Community Land Trust, P.O. Box 276, Great Barrington, MA 01230 or submit it online here.

About the Film

Arc of Justice traces the remarkable journey of New Communities, Inc. (NCI) in southwest Georgia, a story of racial justice, community organizing, and perseverance in the face of enormous obstacles.

NCI was created in 1969 in Albany, Georgia by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including the late Congressman John Lewis, and Charles and Shirley Sherrod, to help secure economic independence for African American families. For 15 years, NCI cooperatively farmed nearly 6,000 acres, the largest tract of land in the United States owned by African Americans at the time, but racist opposition prevented them from implementing plans to build 500 affordable homes as part of their community land trust.

Unable to secure government loans to cope with the impact of successive years of drought, NCI lost the land to foreclosure in 1985. But 25 years later it was given new life as a result of a successful class action lawsuit brought by hundreds of African American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for loan discrimination. With the settlement, the original founders purchased a 1,600-acre plantation once owned by the largest slave owner and richest man in Georgia. NCI is now growing pecans and using the antebellum mansion on the property as a retreat and training center, still committed to its original mission of promoting racial justice and economic development.

Annual Meeting Agenda
August 18, 2020
6 PM on Zoom

Harry Conklin, Advisory Board Member
Financial Report
Bill Allen, Treasurer
Election of Board Members
Harry Conklin, Advisory Board Member
Organization Update
John Fülöp, Board President
The Year Ahead
Sam VanSant, Vice President
Discussion of Film
Sam VanSant, Vice President

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