The 84 Movement’s Kickoff in the Berkshire region was held on Saturday, April 28th at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Sixteen youth, who were new to The 84 Movement, participated in the three-hour training.
Massachusetts State Representatives Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Paul Mark greeted participants as they arrived. From there, the day was jam-packed with trainings that provided information about the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing strategies used to sell their products, and ways that youth can fight back against these tactics.
But the day’s agenda wasn’t all work and no play. Youth also participated in The 84 Expo where they enjoyed taking turns in the photo booth, video booth, and writing on the graffiti wall. They were asked to write messages to Big Tobacco on the graffiti wall- and they sure had a lot to say! One participant wrote, “Tobacco not only affects the smoker, but the smoker’s loved ones. Get it away!” Another took a more light-hearted approach, saying “You’re making everyone smell bad!” Throughout their posts, the message was clear; these teens were not going to let Big Tobacco trick them into using their products.
Overall, the day was a huge success. Since attending the training, two of the participant groups have formed their own Chapters of The 84 Movement! Taconic High School, who recently started their 84 Chapter benefited from the information shared during the kickoff as well. Attendees have already been actively participating in The 84 Movement through the Facebook page, and are excited to grow their Chapters during the coming school year.
Big thanks to Representatives Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Paul Mark for their support, Joan Rubel from Berkshire AHEC’s Tobacco-Free Community Partnership and Jim Wilusz from Tri-town Health Department for their collaboration to make this event possible, and all of the youth for their energy and passion in the fight against tobacco!