Our monthly General Meetings often feature presentations on topics that support our mission and nay be of interest to the general public.  These presentations are recorded and made available for future reference

February 2024

Colorism 101 Language

The NAACP, Berkshire County Branch hosted Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Williams, Dr. VaNatta S. Ford for Colorism 101.

During this presentation Dr. Ford discussed the history of colorism, how it functions, and strategies to resist colorist behaviors and practices.

Colorism has been defined as the privileging of light skin tone over dark skin tone. The stigma of colorism continues to produce discord, distrust, discrimination, and cultural disconnects between Black and White individuals as well as within the Black American family and community.

Share this engaging presentation with your family and friends.

April 2022


On Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 the Redlining in Pittsfield Massachusetts – A Case Study of the Westside Neighborhood report was presented to the public. We are now making it available for all to watch here.

The report was commissioned by Greylock Federal Credit Union with the support of Berkshire Bank, the NAACP, Berkshire County Branch, and the MCLA Foundation. Kelli Newby, Emmanuelle Copeland, Rebecca Park, Aaron Bienek, and Nicholas Russo; with assistance from the Local History Department of the Berkshire Athenaeum.

What is Redlining?

In the United States, the practice of redlining is a discriminatory practice in which services are withheld from potential customers who reside in neighborhoods classified as ‘hazardous’ to investment; these neighborhoods have significant numbers of racial and ethnic minorities and low-income residents.

This project researched whether housing discrimination in the Berkshires matched what was happening in larger urban areas in the twentieth century. We used Pittsfield as a case study because of the high population of Blacks who migrated to the area during the 1920s-30s and because our research showed that the discriminatory New Deal policies were, indeed, implemented in Berkshire County.

The report sought to answer three questions.

– Was there redlining in Berkshire County?

– If so, what are the ongoing effects on the Black population?

– What can be done to alleviate its effects?

You can also read or download a “primer” of this study below: