“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”—B.B. King

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June 2022

Directors Note:

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Happy Pride Month Friends!

Pride is fully underway with celebrations all across the county! But that’s not all folks!! This month, we also celebrate the US Supreme Court removing state laws against interracial marriage on Loving day (June 12th) and also Juneteenth!

As we enjoy these holidays, we also mourn the loss of those who can no longer celebrate alongside us. In recent weeks, flags were lowered to half staff in honor of the victims of mass shootings in a grocery store in Buffalo, an elementary school in Uvalde, and another in a hospital in Tulsa. There were 13 additional mass shootings over this past weekend, bringing the number of these tragedies to nearly 250 in 2022 alone. Let’s keep their families and friends in our thoughts and prayers as we advocate for change.

In this last newsletter of the season, we invite you to learn ASL though song, say “thank you”, shake it, and spend some time building trails. We also highlight some upcoming events and opportunities. 

Read on!




Congratulations to the Class of 2022, and to the rest of the Williams community on completing another year! This time is especially bittersweet for me, as this marks my final contribution to Williams Signs. 

If you have enjoyed my little corner of The DC Times, I encourage you to continue to learn American Sign Language, to explore and celebrate D/deafness, and to connect with folks who will be studying it at Williams now that it is being offered through the Critical Language program. Learning from and building community with the Deaf community has been one of the honors and privileges of my life, and I’m so glad to know that opportunities for the Williams community to do so are expanding. 

For this final edition of Williams Signs, I encourage you to look up the ASL interpretation of CeeLo Green’s song, “Forget You,” which is the first song I learned to how to interpret, and which I performed during my senior year of high school for my classmates. It was a very popular song back then! Learning songs was one of the first ways I studied ASL, and when I started the Williams Signs club at Williams, one of our primary activities was to interpret songs sung by the Aristocows acapella group. It’s been a pleasure sharing this with you; please know I’m always here if you want to chat more about ASL!


Greetings, Ephs! I’m Aly, the Associate Director of the Davis Center. Each month I write a little about issues of identity and power in U.S. musical culture.

Y’all, we made it through the whole 2022-2023 academic year. I am not going to lie, it has been a rough year in many ways. But there has been and will continue to be joy. Like, get-out-of-your-seat (or stay-in-your-seat) joy that makes you wanna shake it. So, this week’s update–the final one for 2022-2023–is going to focus on what happens when the beat drops, with a brief tour through a few extremely danceable songs released since the 1990s. These tracks make it near-impossible not to move to the beat. 

   The year is 1996. Ginuwine’s Pony emerges onto the scene, and I dare you to try not to dance when the beat hits your body. Next up in 2008, TI and Rihanna sampled “Dragostea din Tei,” a Eurodance tune by the Moldovan group O-Zone, and dropped “Live Your Life” into our lives. We all know that the late 2010s would have been worse for everyone if Janelle Monáe hadn’t released the exquisitely queer emotion picture Dirty Computer in 2018. The whole thing is worth your time, but if you’re looking for one video to check out I suggest “Pynk.” And I’ll round out this little playlist with Lil Nas X’s 2020 hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” 

So listen and dance–alone, with friends, with perfect strangers, whomever. But don’t forget the pleasure that moving your body by yourself or with others can create.

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Did y'all know I had a period of my life as a trail builder?I built those long, steep, rocky trails that are built to last centuries. What a legacy!

Actually, at a few separate times in my life I have had the absolute GOOD FORTUNE to find myself doing trail work--and truly, truly: I recommend it or all--it is exhausting, deeply satisfying work. There are a multitude of organizations you can volunteer for, from local organizations like the Williamstown Rural Land Foundation, to a couple of my favorite organizations to volunteer for--the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and Trustees of the ReservationsNo matter what state you're in, there's a group of do-goodin' trail builders somewhere that would GENUINELY appreciate your help! Please do: trail folk are awesome!!

In this month's edition, I want to invite all readers to take/make the opportunity to check. out "MY" trail. The one that I broke my back (figuratively) and fingers (literally--also my ego--it was rough, I was deeply grounded with that butt-kicking situation, and thank goodness for that!) for: the Mahanna Cobble Trail. It is literally one of my greatest accomplishments: it's like 1) nice kids 2) Mahanna Cobble 3) Something else?? The Mahanna Cobble is part of the "Yokun Seat," which the BNRC extended so what was, when I built it, a decently steep to-and-back loop can now be made into a much bigger hike. 

One gets to it by parking at Bousquet Ski area in Pittsfield and following the trail signs--it's well signed and blazed. . It's full of wonderful forest creatures including lots of efts and other amphibians, oodles of mushrooms and just downright beautiful scenery. So please, go check out MY trail. And perhaps if enough students/staff are interested, I'll arrange a trip and can talk more about the processes involved in creating trails that will last centuries.....and best of luck graduates! If you're ever feeling dissatisfied, try trail work: it is good for what ails you. Here are a few pics from the trail building process:


ABOVE: Before

BELOW: After


ABOVE: how I regularly looked after a day in the field

BELOW: aside from literally crushing a couple fingers, swigning sledge hammers and other hand tools did quite the number on my hands--took months for my fingerprints to reappear!


If you are anything like me, and I think you are, you end most meetings with a parting, “thank you”. But saying ‘thank you’ is becoming a bit of a passing phrase, like the typical greeting ritual of, “hi, how are you” with a, “fine” in response because it’s not often a genuine question but just a way to say hello. What if in addition to saying “thank you” we identified what we were thankful for? Or, better yet, what if we started a meeting with “thank you”? Both of these practices lead to specificity, which shows that we really are thankful. Thank you for that thing you did for others. Thank you for the time you spent on xyz. Thank you for being there for me. I really appreciate your insight on abc. You get the gist. Everyone out there is having a pretty rough time and is still doing something to help you. Let them know that you appreciate them.

Want to go deeper? Find a way to thank someone in every conversation for a day (or longer!).

Want to learn more? Read this article gratitude boosting your mood with a list of easy exercises.

Want to talk about it?  I’d be happy to talk! Here’s the office hour calendar for The DC Team! Also consider creating your own self-care check in group.

Click here to learn more about the DC team including office hours



Summer time is a great time to visit Mass Moca!


Let’s Celebrate Pride!!

Hosted by MASS MoCA & the North Adams Pride Committee

Friday, June 24 6pm-9pm

Entertainment/DJ: Boxxa Vine

Special Guests: Vuronika Baked and Jackie Leggs

Courtyard A at MASS MoCA



Saturday, June 18 at 8pm

GRAMMY-winning zydeco all-star, educator, activist, and 8th-generation Louisiana Creole Terrance Simien brings his red-hot band back to MASS MoCA for a special night of music, storytelling, and joy on the eve of Juneteenth to celebrate the holiday.



 Sunday, June 26 at 4pm

Montréal-based Cirque Kalabanté combines breathtaking acrobatics with live music played on the traditional instruments of their native Guinea, including kora, djembe, and various kinds of percussion. This beautiful presentation of dazzling circus arts and cultural exploration is the perfect summer afternoon for the whole family.

Join us earlier in the day for the Opening Reception for the new Kidspace exhibition Defining Moments from 10am–1pm, free for all. Learn more here.



July 9 & 10 at 2pm

Armando Cortés activates his installation Castillos—on view in the exhibition Ceramics in the Expanded Field— with a performance exploring his Mexican roots, while using the traditional sport of cockfighting as a metaphor for the rituals of masculine bravado and the relationships between men.

Act quickly for this unique opportunity: BIPOC BEEKEEPER TRAINING in the Berkshires!

Learn more about the Berkshire Immigrant Center

Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system. We raise and distribute life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of our ancestors, we work to reclaim our collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system. We bring diverse communities together on this healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice. We are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination.

Our food sovereignty programs reach over 160,000 people each year, including farmer training for Black and Brown growers, reparations and land return initiatives for northeast farmers, food justice workshops for urban youth, home gardens for city-dwellers living under food apartheid, doorstep harvest delivery for food insecure households, and systems and policy education for public decision-makers.

Learn more about our work by reading our FAQ.

On Farm Opportunities

Each One, Teach One. Many Hands Make Light Work.

Volunteer at Soul Fire Farm to learn about some of our farming practices while supporting our work and getting your hands on the land.

Thank you SO MUCH for your help in advance. As you know, nearly all of the harvest of this land goes toward Solidarity Shares, a no-cost doorstep delivery food justice program.

There are man upcoming volunteer opportunities to help at Soul Fire Farm--which is just a few miles away from Williamstown (Grafton, NY).  Click here to learn more about how to pitch in and meet awesome folk!


Integrative Wellness Services (IWS)

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The Davis Center at Williams College

Bascom House

33 Stetson Court

Williamstown, MA 01267


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