The non-partisan Four Freedoms Coalition, made up of over 150 non-profits, businesses and elected officials, invites the public to attend their fifth annual gathering this afternoon, (Jan. 24) at 2pm. As reported in a press release, due to pandemic restrictions, it will be held online via Zoom. The program features inspiring speakers and performers, including U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who will be the keynote speaker. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP and receive the link, click here.

Since its formation in Dec. 2016, the Four Freedoms Coalition has organized an annual gathering in January to bring together the Berkshires community to stand up against bigotry and prejudice, and for the four freedoms outlined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They are freedom from want; freedom from fear; freedom of religion; and freedom of speech.

Featured speakers and performers include Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, Williams College chaplain Imam Sharif Rosen, State Senator Adam Hinds, singer Wanda Houston, youth activist Sadiya Quetti-Goodson, Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch of Temple Anshe Amunim, drummer Jerome Edgerton, Berkshires NAACP president Dennis Powell and musicians Jason Ennis and Natalia Bernal.

The first Four Freedoms Coalition event was held Jan. 7, 2017, and was attended by over 2,000 people, beginning with a march down North Street in Pittsfield to the First Congregational Church. Inside the church the speakers included President Roosevelt’s grandson, James Roosevelt; Senator Edward Markey; Representative Richard Neal; immigrant advocate Eleanore Velez; union leader Liz Recko-Morrison; NAACP president Dennis Powell; and others. Since then the Coalition has organized three free days of learning featuring a wide variety of civic participation workshops in Pittsfield, North Adams and Great Barrington, and has sponsored or co-sponsored demonstrations and rallies in support of immigrant rights, affordable healthcare, gun reform and other issues.

For more information about today's event and the Four Freedoms Coalition, and to RSVP, click here.

(information sent to WSBS from the Four Freedoms Coalition for online and on-air use)

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

KEEP READING: See changes enacted since George Floyd’s death