Sunday September 9, 2012

Can you imagine deliberately doing something, as simple as just taking a step, which might lead to your spending a half year in a federal prison? Such a nonviolent act and its consequences are the subject of a FORUM program being of fered at BCC.

Some thoughtful reflections on this topic from a fellow human being with an amazing amount of courage and a re markably unusual background are being offered by Nancy Smith through a FORUM presentation entitled "Civil Disobedience and Prison" at the main campus of Berkshire Community College, in room 111 of the Koussevitzky Arts Center at 12:15 p. m. on Thurs day, Sept. 13.

Nancy Smith taught psychology and anthropology for 20 years at Columbia Green Com munity College. Subse quently she worked with international development agencies overseas for 15 years, much of that time in countries de stroyed by war (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos) or where fighting was still going on (Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan). She also worked in West Africa -- Ghana and Burkina Faso among the countries. Upon her return, Smith was director for 10 years of a small, rustic (no running water, no electricity, etc. ) retreat center on a modest mountain near Amherst. She is now back home in Claverack, N.Y. and active on a number of peace and social justice issues.

In 2011, with her unique set of lifetime experiences, Smith spent six months in a federal prison, having been found guilty of committing an act of civil disobedience.


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She will talk about the School of the Americas and the background for her decision to take the action which resulted in her imprisonment. Smith will describe her experience as a prisoner and then look at things we all should know about the prison system in the U.S. There will be time for questions and discussion.

All are welcome to the FORUM and there is no charge for the presentation.

DON LATHROP

Canaan, N.Y.