The NAACP's Social Justice Action Committee has organized a community conversation in Pittsfield about what it means for a business to be truly “open to all.” The discussion is open to everyone and will take place at the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 8 at 6pm. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of the Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield's public library, located at 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield.

In a press release from NAACP branch president, Dennis Powell, participating businesses will include representatives of Circa; Greylock Federal Credit Union; Hotel on North; Jan Perry Realty; and Otto’s Kitchen and Comfort. The conversation will be moderated by NAACP Executive Committee Member and Past President Will Singleton.

According to the release, the impetus for this conversation came from several incidents in Berkshire County reported in the press in which persons of color had legitimate complaints of being treated disrespectfully in Berkshire establishments.

The local NAACP branch is hopeful that the community conversation will provide a voice for those who may feel unwelcome in business establishments and identify some concrete action steps for those businesses who seek to create a welcoming environment.

The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. For more information about the Berkshire County branch of the NAACP, please visit: www.naacpberkshires.org.