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Zonta YWPA Award Winner for 2023

Selected from an impressive list of applications, Emma Puleri was selected as the 2023 YWPA award winner.  A resident of Lee, Emma attends Utica University (Utica, NY) with a goal of obtaining her doctorate in Physical Therapy.  As a high school student in Lee, she was president of the Student Government Association and President of the National Honor Society.  She has also volunteered as a youth basketball coach.  At college, she is an active member of her school’s Golden Z club.  They organized “Orange Week” to advocate and help sexual assault survivors.  Students and community members wore orange, conducted a hygiene drive, and raised awareness by creating a paper chain containing signatures of all on campus who support equality for women.   Her college partners with other universities to collect used bras for donation to sexual assault survivors.  We expect to invite Emma to be honored and presented with her award at our June meeting.

Celebrate the Women of the Berkshires 2023

Thank you – This event is closed, but we are well underway with planning the March 8th, 2024 event at the Berkshire Hills Country Club. Save the date!

The Zonta Club of Berkshire County is dedicating our March meeting to honoring women who are making a better world for women and girl in Berkshire County and beyond.

Tuesday, March 21st.  Door open for networking social time at 5:00 p.m. 

We have a fun and informative event planned at Mazzeo’s Ristorante on the Pittsfield Lenox Road.  We expect to hear from our honorees about their mission and ways we can help.  Following the tributes, there will be a buffet dinner: [Tossed Salad, Homemade Bread, Cavatelli Marinara, Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Francese, Italian Meatballs and a Chocolate Bomb for dessert].  We plan to honor all attendees in celebration of Women’s History Month and belatedly, Zonta’s Rose Day and International Women’s Day.

Cost is $30 per person, all are welcome. Advance Registration is Required.

Will bring Cash/check to the dinner



Cadillac Crew Performance: A story worth seeing.

Our theater friends at WAM Theatre (Where At Meets Activism) has asked for our help to promote this incredibly moving show about women, to benefit women.  Cadillac Crew is running for the next two weeks, October  (Thursday-Sunday).  Let’s ensure this incredible story about black women who refuse to be written out of history gets the audience it deserves. Together we can be part of the change by supporting the Cadillac Crew production.  WAM is proud to offer tickets for any seat in the theatre starting at $25 and $5 for EBT card holders, and we are also offering free childcare to enable parents/guardians to see Cadillac Crew.  Also, please remember that  in accordance with WAM’s mission, a portion of your ticket price will be donated to Arise Springfield and Fair Fight.  Critics are raving, and audiences thus far have been incredibly moved and motivated by their experience of taking in this powerful work.  We all have the ability to vote for the change we want to see in the world. We vote not just at the election box, but also every time we spend our time or money.  Grab a friend, buy tickets, and GO to support his wonderful endeavor.

CADILLAC CREW is presented at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse, 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA 01240.

Submit Your Cause for a Charitable Giving Grant

The new committee has not yet met because we have not received a donation request.  We fill as many as requests as possible that meet our mission each year. We do not necessarily donate to the same organizations each year, to help spread the generosity across the Berkshires and in support of women’s issues as much as possible. Our committee will review each request we receive and notify the contact for the donation that we are able to grant. Here is a link to a simple one page request form and ZI guidelines we use to help us chose donations. The form or questions can be emailed to Chair Debbie Dwyer for consideration.

Thursday, November 17th  Book Club @ Patrick’s

Eat, Drink and Talk about “Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement” by Tarana Burke. In her own words, “The story I’m going to tell is about how we got to those two simple yet infinitely powerful words: me too. The story of how empathy for others—without which the work of ‘me too’ doesn’t exist—starts with empathy for that dark place of shame where we keep our stories, where I kept mine. The courage that trickled out of a young Black girl in the Bronx … formed the massive ocean that this movement has become.” Please RSVP to Chris Haley so she can make reservations. Patrick’s Pub @ 5 p.m. Thursday, November 17th.

Climate Issues: Affecting Women and Minorites

Mary Knight of the Zonta Club of Quaboag submitted a fascinating summary of a session she attended that perfectly aligns with our mission, climate change and it’s impact on women (and minorities).  Nia Keith of Mass Audubon was the speaker:

Nia started out acknowledging that indigenous people were stewards of the earth, understood their dependency on the earth and its inhabitants, and looked to ensure abundance for the future.
She then defined climate change as a rapid change of global climate patterns that THREATEN HUMAN AND NATURAL SYSTEMS, caused by human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But, the effects of climate change can be mitigated through large-scale actions and policies that support (1) natural climate solutions, (2) reduce or eliminate greenhouse gases, and (3) ADDRESS SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DISPARITIES.

The impacts of climate change are NOT EQUAL.

Climate change disproportionately impacts individuals with MULTIPLE VULNERABLE IDENTITIES, for example, poor communities of color, or women of color. Intersectionality is a way of examining issues to understand how characteristics such as race, ability, age, gender, class, and geography intersect with each other and interact with power structures to create and reinforce power, privilege, disadvantage, and discrimination

Extraction and exploitation of natural systems result in SACRIFICE ZONES – communities in proximity to the pollution produced by intensive and concentrated industry. Due to redlining, low property values, and other social factors, these communities have historically consisted of low-income and/or minority populations.

PROJECT DRAWDOWN ( is an example of a paired climate solution and diversity movement:

(1) Support and protect nature
(2) Eliminate or reduce greenhouse gas emissions
(3) Create a just and equitable society – check out the Black Farmers Movement ( and the Sunrise Movement (

Climate activism is a spectrum, ranging from individual efforts to collective engagement.
1st level:  Educate yourself and have conversations (talk and social media) with friends, family, and an expanded network – people working in food security, public health, greenspace, transportation, clean energy, etc.

Idea: Host a Climate Cafe – invite people to learn about something – have snacks and conversation with cue cards or trivia – maybe at a brewery??

2nd level:  Climate Action – join an advocacy group, provide financial support, lobby elected officials, get involved in a local initiative.
Idea: Visit – what’s happening in YOUR community for planning and implementation of climate action

3rd level:  Frontline – organize a rally, support a strike or boycott, divest from polluting companies, etc.
Idea:  Become a  Climate Championship  (

Nia Keith
Mass Audubon
208 South Great Road | Lincoln, MA 01773
Office: 781-259-2169

Sandy Carroll for Mary Knight

Prioritizing the advancement of women through rearch, policy and advocacy

My name is Shalaya West, Program and Research Director with the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Our organization prioritizes the advancement of women and girls in the Commonwealth through research, policy and advocacy. We invite you to join us at our hybrid public hearing next month!

MCSW Public Hearing, November 17th, 2022 5:00 pm -7:00 pm at the Berkshire Athenaeum 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

The hearing will be hybrid with an in-person option as well as a virtual option to attend. The MCSW would like to hear from you on issues that affect all women and girls in the Berkshires, including LGBTQ+ women, children, and families. This is an open hearing, meaning speakers can come to testify about anything that is an issue of concern for them and this region. We also are encouraging folks that cannot join us virtually or in person to submit written testimony for our records.

The testimony received directly informs our priorities for the upcoming Legislative session and our reporting on the status of women in the Commonwealth.  To register, please visit:  Also, you can always follow us on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or join our mailing list to receive updates on this event and other updates from the MCSW.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time!

We look forward to you joining us!

Shalaya West, MPP
Program & Research Director
Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
One Ashburton Place, 10th Floor, Suite 1018A, Boston, MA 02108
Mobile: 617-821-3963

Sandy Carroll for Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women

Zonta Says No in November

Climate Change ZontaSaysNo

Across the world, Zontians will be honoring 16 days of activism between November 25th – December 10th.  Locally, you can expect to see social media posts and outreach about our efforts to raise awareness about domestic violence and the resources available. if you have suggestions, please reach out to Melissa Mazzeo and Rosanne Frieri, the advocacy Co-Chairs.  There will also be a Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women Summit on Tuesday, 29 November CST Cost: US$10 or check out the Zonta International Toolkit for Action here

Sandy Carroll

Donations To Be Collected @ November Meeting

I have contacted both the Christian Center and Elizabeth Freeman concerning the donations.

Elizabeth Freeman is desperate need:

  • cleaning supplies, ie: windex, clorox, wipes, pine sol, etc.
  • anything you would need to clean a house.
  • laundry soap.

Christian Center needs:

  • non-perishable items, ie; soup, anything canned, cereal, pasta, mac and cheese, etc.
  • Winter coats and accessories for men and women.
  • Clothing items for free to anyone who need these.

This is a perfect time of year for everyone to go through their closet and clean out winter coats. I would also believe they could use other winter items such as gloves, hats, and scarfs. Members can either bring these items to the next meeting, or if needed we could pick them up at their homes. Both of these organizations do wonderful work helping those less fortunate and what ever us Zontians can do to help will be extremely appreciated.

Thanks, Jackie Benham

Jackie Benham