Weekly Update 11-20-17

Wampanoag Prayer
“…The Harvest moon has shined its brilliance over our home and now, as we store the harvest of our work, the creator gives sustenance. The Earth will now rest through the coming seasons, storing the energy needed to once again feed our people.”

This week we will gather with friends and family to celebrate a day of feasting and thanks, coming together to break bread with those we love and share a meal made with thought and care. Thanks to the Internet (and some kick butt, fact-finding historians) we now know the real story of Thanksgiving and the role New England played in it. What good is that knowledge, though, if we don't improve our traditions because of it? 

Here are some suggestions about how you can move your traditional Turkey Day celebration forward in thought and action:

1) Support our Local Community Thanksgiving -- Volunteers Needed (Clean-Up Crew Especially!)
Brattleboro’s 45th annual Community Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 at St. Michael’s School. Volunteers can sign up now for shifts between Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 through Thanksgiving Day. Please go online at www.volunteersignup.org/lpfap to sign up to: make desserts, prepare vegetables, help in the kitchen, serve food or drinks, wash dishes, deliver meals, transport food, and/or help clean up
Those who would like to request a meal delivered to their home on Thanksgiving Day should call Peter Wiles at 802-254-4687.
2)
 Share your Thanks: consider opening up your home during Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving and use your meal to raise money for the non-profit No Kid Hungry through their Friendsgiving For No Kid Hungry Program. 
3) 46 million turkeys are consumed in America every Thanksgiving, in addition to 22 million turkeys consumed during Christmas and 19 million turkeys  consumed during Easter. Give the meat a break and go meatless for the holidays. Use this Martha Stewart primer on Meatless Main Dishes for the Holidays to start planning your meat-free meal that will be anything but bland. 
4) Decolonize Thanksgiving through food. Rename the holiday "Indigenous Foods Day" and strive to eat food that is indigenous (native) to your geographic area. From Native American Chef Nephi Craig: "The first step is to be able to identify which foods are indigenous to the Americas. Then, identify which foods are indigenous to the region you live in. When talking about the Americas, think every single strain of corn, beans, squash, potatoes, chiles, chocolate, and all of these dishes that we fortunately can easily eat all the time... For Native Americans and the indigenous, decolonization is a journey of healing from our historical trauma narrative. We shouldn't be offended by our truth."


Brattleboro’s 45th Annual Community Thanksgiving
Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 at St. Michael’s Catholic School (48 Walnut St., Brattleboro). 12pm-5pm.
All are welcome!



Have a happy, healthy, and thankful November 23rd, no matter what you choose to call it or how you choose to celebrate it. We here at WeCAN are SO thankful for you and all that you do!

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HAPPENING TODAY SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19th, 2017

Forum: Gun Regulation
Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church (16 Bradley Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am. 
In the wake of recent massacres in Las Vegas and Texas, many of us are asking what can be done. WeCAN's very own Ann Braden, founder and former president of GunSense Vermont, will talk about gun laws, the successful campaign in 2015 to regulate at the state level, and how we move forward. She will also introduce the new acting Executive Director of GunSense Vermont, Clai Lasher-Sommers, who will speak about her experience as a gun violence survivor and long-time advocate for sensible gun laws.


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Love Brigade Write-In AND the Brattleboro Women's Chorus Concert "Singing in the Light of Love"
Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at 118 Elliot (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12:30pm-3:30pm. The Brattleboro Women's Chorus Concert begins at 4:00pm.
Join the Local Love Brigade! Come by 118 Elliot St and make postcards to send out in an avalanche of love to support victims of hate. There will be plenty of materials provided, and no artistic experience is required. All are welcome. Together we can let those who are suffering know that they are not alone and that we're standing with them.
Afterwards, join other others to head to the First Baptist Church (190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301) for a 4pm performance of the Brattleboro Women's Chorus: "Singing in the Light of Love." Tickets are $12 regular adult, $20 generous donation. $10 student and senior tickets will be available at BrownPaperTickets.com (starting in November) or at the door. For information email us or call 802-254-8994.It will be a powerful afternoon! https://www.facebook.com/events/1263035343842642/.



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The Putney Huddle and Women Marching Forward Joint Meeting
Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT, 05346). 1:30pm-3:30pm. All are welcome. Click HERE to RSVP through the Facebook listing.
The Putney Huddle will join forces with Women Marching Forward to hear from...
-Windham County Delegate to the Vermont Dems and Putney Delegate, Sarah Levine who will share notes from the state committee meeting.
-Laura Chapman, who will present some takeaways from her time at the Women's March Convention. 
-Speaker of the Vermont House, Mitzi Johnson who will also join us for discussion.


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HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20th-SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26th, 2017


Forum: Strategies to Address Racial Disparities Within State Systems
Hosted by the Vermont Attorney General and Vermont Human Rights Commission
Monday, November 20th, 2017 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm.
At the request of the Brattleboro-based Community Equity Collaborative, the Vermont Attorney General and the Vermont Human Rights Commission will hold a public forum in Brattleboro on Monday, November 20th, 2017. The focus of the forum is to gain input on a report proposing strategies to address racial disparities within Vermont state systems. Specifically, it will focus on identifying key indicators and performance measures that we could, as a State, track to provide accountability and progress towards the goal of eliminating and/or mitigating existing racial disparities across our state systems of education, healthcare, housing, labor and economic development. December 15, 2017 is the deadline for the Vermont Human Rights Commission to submit the report, and your input is needed. Please join us!


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Weekly Update 11-13-17

"I don't attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”
Danica Roem 
-when asked about her opponent, Robert G. Marshall (who proudly referred to himself as Virginia's "chief homophobe”) after her state legislature win- 
 


Happy Sunday, WeCAN family. We have a lot going on this week so let's dive right in:


HAPPENING TODAY SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12th, 2017

Looking at the 2nd Amendment: Politics of Disarmament
Sunday, November 12th, 2017 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church (16 Bradley Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am. 
This Forum will be led by Meg Mott, Professor of Politics, Marlboro College. The November 12 Forum on the Second Amendment is the first of two related forums; the November 19 Forum on gun regulation will be led by Ann Braden, founder of GunSense Vermont. Important enough to be given almost top billing, the right to bear arms has always played a central role in the American system of justice. Without a robust militia in the states, argued the Framers, the Federal Government could easily lean towards tyranny. While the current Supreme Court has not worried so loudly about tyranny, it has started to read this constitutional right as a fundamental liberty of individuals. What does it mean when a bulwark against tyranny becomes an individual right?


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HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13th, 2017-SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19th, 2017

Fossil Free Windham County Launch Party
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 6pm-8pm. The Root is fragrance and nut free. 
In conjunction with 350.org, join 350 Brattleboro for a Fossil Free campaign launch party. Working together, we will end the use of fossil fuels and transition our world to 100% renewable energy for all. Find out what you can do in your town to begin the Fossil Free future we need and connect with other activists equally passionate about this work. Pizza and snacks provided. Contact: brattleboro@350vt.org for more information.



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Weekly Email Update 11.6.17

“The goal of real healthcare reform must be high-quality, universal coverage in a cost-effective way.”
Senator Bernie Sanders



Happy Sunday, weCAN Family! We'd like to take this opportunity to relay some important information about Vermont Health Connect's Open Enrollment as information about the Affordable Care Act may be (intentionally) hard to come by this year.
2018 Open Enrollment for Vermont Health Connect is open NOW through December 15th, 2017During this time individuals and families can sign up for new healthcare coverage or make a change to existing coverage.

Who is Vermont Health Connect for?

•  Vermonters without health insurance.
•  Vermonters who purchase insurance for themselves.
•  Vermonters who qualify for Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur, whether or not they are also offered insurance from a job.
•  Vermonters who are offered “unaffordable” coverage by their employers.

Through the Vermont Health Connect portal you can:

Do you need a Healthcare Advocate or Legal Aid?

The Office of the Healthcare Advocate may be able to help. Call 1-800-917-7787(8:30am-4:30pmMonday-Friday, except holidays) to speak with a health care advocate, or fill out our Help Request Form. The Office of the Health Care Advocate is not an insurance company and is not part of Vermont state government. It is a special project within Vermont Legal Aid, an independent non-profit law firm.

Vermont’s HCA HelpLine is a free resource available to help all Vermonters solve problems related to health care. We:

•answer questions
•help you solve problems with Vermont Health Connect and other health coverage
•tell you what free and lower-cost programs you may be eligible for
•help you apply for and get free and lower-cost health coverage
•find out what your health plan covers
•provide advice about how to solve billing problems and make complaints 
•work for fair treatment and affordable health services for everyone

Here are some additional Vermont Health Connect basics you should be aware of, thanks to Stowe Today (a local newspaper out of Stowe, VT): 

  • The Department of Vermont Health Access is offering an open enrollment webinar with representatives from all three insurance carriers on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 for people who’d like further assistance navigating Vermont Health Connect. Sign up at here. Recordings of the webinars will be posted at vermonthealthconnect.gov.
  • the open enrollment period is halved this year to only six weeks instead of three months so Vermonters will have less time to navigate their health care
  • The enrollment period began this week and runs through Dec. 15th, 2017
  • Most Vermonters will find 24 options for qualified health plans – including four new bronze plans – from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP, as well as dental plans from Northeast Delta Dental.
  • Every plan offers the same basic services, including preventive care, emergency care, mental health services and prescriptions.
  • For Blue Cross, the Green Mountain Care Board approved an average 9.2 percent increase in premiums for the upcoming year. For MVP, the board approved an average 3.5 percent increase.
  • The penalty for not having insurance has gone up to 2.5 percent of a household’s income or $695 per uninsured adult and $385 per uninsured child. That’s up from $295 per adult and $147.50 per child. There are some exceptions to this requirement, including individuals who 1) have an income that is low enough that they do not file income taxes (this equals an annual income of about $10,000 for an individual), 2) have specific religious beliefs, or 3) are unable to find an affordable plan.  You must apply to the federal government directly for an exemption. Learn more about the individual mandate on healthcare.gov.
  • Vermonters who miss the Dec. 15 deadline could have to wait until January 2019 to start health coverage, although those who qualify for Medicaid can sign up throughout the year and those who qualify for a special enrollment period due to a change in employment, loss of health coverage, getting married, having a baby or adopting a child generally have 60 days to sign up.
  • Existing members who want to stay in the same plan can simply continue to pay their bills on time and will automatically be renewed into the 2018 version of their current plan.

 

We hope this helps you to navigate the Vermont Healthcare enrollment period a little bit better. If you have additional questions please seek out assistance before the enrollment deadline to ensure you have coverage in 2018. Thank you and Be Well!

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Weekly Update 10-23-17

“Those closest to the problem are also closest to the solution.” 
Glenn E. Martin, Founder of Just Leadership USA



Thank you, WeCAN Family, for your support at last week's WeCAN Cafe event! We were so pleased to see see so many familiar (and unfamiliar!) faces last Thursday evening and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this Activist Cafe a huge success.

Now that you've had an opportunity to recharge, here are a few ways* you can meaningfully support (or continue to support) Social Justice where you live:

-Educate yourself on a particular movement or cause: read up on mission statements, look to see what kind of programs their donations fund, etc.
-Work on your own habits and beliefs: eliminate words from your vocabulary, learn to be a better ally, be an activist regularly.
-Take action in your community: Use your knowledge of your community to determine where your time might best be spent. Speak with your friends and neighbors to get a sense of the injustices affecting those around you and seek out a group or organization that may directly help your community grow and flourish. Write or call your elected officials  regularly to let them know you support or disagree with them. Use your voice whenever you can for as long as you can. 
-Go to a protest, vigil, or demonstration
Practice active resistance in your own community. Make signs, chant, march, and sing for justice with like-minded people. Be aware of your surroundings, follow a permitted route, stay on the sidewalk, and follow these safety tips
-Volunteer your time:
This is a simple one: donate your time without expecting compensation in return. 

* http://mashable.com/2016/03/26/social-justice-get-involved/#IA4vx7aDaGqY, accessed 10.21.17. 

Now, on to this week's events...
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HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, OCTOBER 23rd, 2017-SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29th, 2017

Divest the Globe Vigil & Speak Out
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions & 99th Monkey Affinity Group
Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 
Holding Vigil: 9am-4pm
Speaking Out: 4pm-5pm. BRING SIGNS!
We will be holding vigil all day, calling upon TD to divest itself of its investments in tar sands and fossil fuel infrastructure and to the rest of us who do business with the bank to end our relationship. Please join us at any time during the day, and especially during the Speak Out portion to express your feelings on how important it is to get banks and other financial institutions out of the business of investing in fossil fuels.
Indigenous leaders from Mazaska Talks are calling on climate justice activists throughout the world to take action for Divest the Globe. They are asking allies and activists everywhere to target the banks that are funding projects that “desecrate Mother Earth” - pipelines, tar sands extraction, fracking. In Vermont, TD Bank is our target, and actions will be happening in multiple locations: Burlington, Bennington, Manchester, Brattleboro, and more. TD Bank has long been a funder of tar sands extraction in Alberta, and they currently extend multi-billion dollar lines of credit to TransCanada - the company that wants to bring the Keystone XL pipeline back from the dead. A recent report shows that TD also financed over 3 billion dollars to companies engaging in extreme fossil fuel activities, from 2014-2016. TD Bank has many branches in Vermont, and up until this summer, held banking contracts with the state of Vermont. Recently, TD Bank lost its contract with Vermont, in part due to our demands! Now it’s time to boot TD out of Vermont completely.

 

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Progressive Party Windham County Caucus Organizing Meeting 
Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at The Root Center for Social Justice (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts,  28 Williams St., Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 6:30pm.  
The Progressive Party is, steadfastly, the progressive agenda. Vermont has the strongest Progressive Party organization in the country.  We have seven House and three Senate seats in the state legislature and two state offices, David Zuckerman, Lieutenant Governor, and Doug Hoffer, Auditor.   There are also progressives scattered among city councils and Select Boards. Most of the progressive legislation in Vermont is either introduced or heavily sponsored by Progressives.  If you're ready to enlist in the political life of your democracy, where it counts, in the Statehouse or the local municipal arena, please join us.

 

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Climate Change Café
a project of Post Oil Solutions presents
International Climate Expert Calls for Agents of Sustainability
Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Main Room at 6pm. Free. Light Refreshments Available
Note: It is strongly recommended that you make a reservation for this talk. Please email bereal@vermontel.net to place a reservation. 
The Climate Café is honored to host Dr. Edward Cameron, an international climate expert, and one of the architects of the Paris Climate Accord. Dr. Cameron will focus his presentation on three areas: individuals adopting low carbon lifestyles; communities building resilience in the face of the growing climate impacts; and states like Vermont creating economic opportunities. Cameron is also acutely sensitive to climate justice, a consciousness that was undoubtedly enhanced during his time working for the government of the Maldives, where he was responsible for their public diplomacy and climate change, as well as the World Bank where he worked on human rights and climate change. “It’s no accident,” he states, “that people of color and low income populations are the people who are hit first and hardest by these events. They don’t have the necessary resources to prepare and rebound from an extreme weather event.” Ultimately, Dr. Cameron states, individual responsibility is essential to reducing emissions and building resilience. “I would like people to think about how they can become agents of sustainability in their own right. What type of action can they take on their own, that includes taking a closer look at their choices as a consumer.”

 

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Weekly Update 10-16-17

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for (their) own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.”
Marie Curie


Welcome to this week's Weekly Email Update, WeCAN family! We have lots of new listings this week, so take your time and give this email a careful read. 
We hope to see many of you this Thursday, October 19th at the WeCAN Cafe starting at 7pm (you can find more information below in the email) and are excited to connect with you amongst friends as we recharge our activist spirits. 

Have a productive, positive week and THANK YOU for all that you continue to do for our community. Your presence at events makes all the difference. 


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HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15th, 2017

The Putney Huddle Regular Monthly Meeting
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 at The Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT 05346). 1pm-3:30pm. To RSVP via Facebook click HERE.
This meeting will include working group updates, a discussion on fundraising for the Vermont Democrats, and guest speaker Bari Shamas talking "Sex and Politics".
Schedule
1pm-2pm: Updates and Dems
2pm-3:30pm: Bari Shamas


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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, OCTOBER 16th, 2017-SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22nd, 2017


Youth4Change Group Meeting
Monday, October 16th, 2017 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 5:30pm-8pm. For more information please email youth4changeaction@gmail.com.
Youth4Change is a project of the Root that meets every 1st and 3rd Mondays. It is for youth 12-22, particularly those from historically disenfranchised groups who want to use education, art, and action to address racial and intersectional justice. The October 16th meeting is an organizing meeting to set a timeline and tasks toward local campaigns
Schedule:
5:30pm: Space opens for art and hanging out.
6:00pm: Food!
6:30pm-8:00pm: Group meeting/training/strategy session.


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Women’s Action Team Meeting
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at the Prouty Center (20 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm.
Calling all flavors of women! We’ll have light refreshments, nuanced conversation, and of course, bada$$ feminist action. This month we’ll focus on reproductive justice ACTION and more political art. We’ll admire the bomb ‘zine made by our Vermont ERA research team and plan for  the upcoming screening of our "Break the Silence: Reproductive + Sexual Health Histories" video project (created by Willow O’Feral), a fundraiser at the Latchis on Oct 29th. Hope to see you there!


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Weekly Email Update 10-9-17

“You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.” 
Hillary Clinton



There are lots of events to choose to participate in from this week, WeCAN Family. Let's get right to it:


HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 2017

Civil Rights for All Banner Raising
Sunday, October 8th, 2017 on Main Street in Brattleboro, VT. 8am-9am. 
Let's Fly the "We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All" banner over Main Street in Brattleboro!

The Trump administration is holding an endless nation-wide "hate rally". We believe what the civil rights organization The Southern Poverty Law Center says about fighting hate: "Every act of hate should be met with an equal act of love". Otherwise hate will spread until it takes over the whole country, the way it did under Hitler in Germany. The result would be horrible for all of us. We firmly believe that "democracy/love versus tyranny/hate" is our winning battlefield. We must hold a nation-wide "love rally" to stand up to the Trump administration. Taken together all our small positive nonviolent public actions add up to a huge "love rally".  The "We Celebrate Democracy/ Civil Rights For All" banner says "I love you" to all people.  The banner raising is just a small part of our "love rally", but every part is an essential  part.   We need to be in the streets standing up for loving,  caring, sharing and helping, in a massive way. Unite! We can only win this together. Stand with the banner! Stand up to hate! Please help us by making a small donation to cover the $600 banner raising fee (sixty $10 donations) as we fly the "We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All" banner over Main Street on Indigenous Peoples’ Day weekend. To donate via check please donate to "We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All" (WCD/CRFA), 1196 Lower Dover Rd, Brattleboro VT 05301 or visit our GoFundMe site here.



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VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED!!


Share the Harvest
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, October 8th, 2017 at the Park on Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT. 11am-1pm.
We hope to be able to keep our Share the Harvest stand operating for the remainder of this month, but we NEED volunteers. Presently all we have are two volunteers who will be operating the stand this coming Sunday. In order to make that happen, we need two volunteers for this Saturday to collect donations from our incredibly generous farmers at the Farmers’ Market.
Then we will need 4 volunteers for each of the remaining three weekends in October, or we will have to close earlier than anticipated. If you are new to volunteering with us, don’t worry. We will pair you up with an experienced person and provide very detailed instructions as well. It’s actually fun and very rewarding to know that you are helping people enjoy the wonderful bounty from our local gardens and farms.
Here is a link to our sign up site. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call.

Signing up is real easy. Just click here: http://signup.com/go/GmYCbae.




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HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 2017-SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15th, 2017


AMERICA IN TRANSITION : Forging Families That Work for Us
A screening and workshop with filmmaker Andre Perez
Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 at the Marlboro College Graduate Center (28 Vernon St, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 6pm-8pm. Free. Trans folk and allies are welcome. 
America in Transition is a web series, interactive documentary, and community engagement campaign taking a real look at social change from the perspective of trans people in marginalized communities. Each episode explores one person’s story in depth, tackling intersectional issues such as HIV criminalization in Arkansas, black trans masculine (in)visibility in the media, and barriers facing trans Latina immigrants. Forging Families Workshop: Many trans folks have conflicted relationships with our families of origin. There are often layers of trauma, misunderstanding, and frustration. Some choose to craft chosen families of our own design. How much should we change for our families and how much can we expect them to change for us? In this interactive workshop, we share personal experiences and strategize about how to navigate the complexity of family in order to build a network of supportive relationships that will nourish us. 


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Weekly Email Update 10-2-17

"I'm continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you're uncomfortable, it means you're growing."
Ashton Kutcher



Happy Sunday, WeCAN family. Let's get right to it: 


HAPPENING TODAY SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1st, 2017


Share the Harvest Stand 
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 at the Elliott Street Park (on Elliot Street in Brattleboro, VT, 05301) from 11am-1pm.
You are invited to participate in Edible Brattleboro’s Share the Harvest stand where we will be sharing produce from our gardens as well as donated produce from local farmers and gardeners. The stand is set up at the Elliot Street Park every Sunday from 11am - 1pm; rain location - in front of Experienced Goods / Transportation Center on Flat Street. Everything is available to the community at no cost. 
We are happy to accept your donations from your garden - please drop off your surplus to our stand on Sundays as close to 11amas possible. We also need volunteers to keep this going throughout the season. Please visit http://signup.com/go/GmYCbae to sign up for a spot. It’s real easy to sign up, and your contact information is never shared. We need teams of two to glean at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays or to operate the stand on Sundays. Brief descriptions of the tasks are on the sign-up site, and complete directions are provided via email. Brattleboro Time Traders can earn hours, too!
URGENT CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: If we do not have sufficient volunteers in the coming weeks, we will not be able to continue to offer fresh produce every Sunday through October. I urge you to look over the schedule online and commit to offering several hours in the coming weeks so we can continue to provide this much appreciated service. We're using SignUp.com to organize our upcoming SignUps.'
Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.comhttp://signup.com/go/GmYCbae
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.
Come Grow and Share with Us!


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Islam 101: An Educational Forum
Sunday, October 1st, 2017 at the Congregational Church of Westminster West (44 Church Street, Westminster West, Vermont 05346). 4pm-7pm. Free, donations appreciated. 
This Fall, the church will host an educational forum entitled "Islam 101," with special guest presenters Imam Sami A. Aziz and Margaret Robbins (bios below). Our congregation believes that interfaith dialogue and friendship is critical to establishing world peace, and we know that the first step to forming relationships with people of other faiths is to understand more about their beliefs and culture. We encourage our neighbors (of any or no faith) to join us for the educational event Sunday October 1, beginning at 4 p.m. After the presentation, we'll break bread together with a potluck supper. There is no admission fee for this event, but donations will be accepted. Here's a bit of background on our two presenters: Imam/Chaplain Sami A. Aziz is a public educator and spiritual peacemaker. He is the founder of Common Ground Institute & Services (www.CommonGroundServices.org), an Islamic consulting firm dedicated to educating the public on Islam and collaborating for peace. He also serves as the Chaplain for Wesleyan University as well as the Imam for Bloomfield Muslim Community Center. In the virtual world he is an Imam for PrayerSpark.com, a global interfaith prayer service as well as the founder and/or maintainer of many websites & Facebook pages including; Philly Muslims, Connecticut Muslims, and Lighthouse for Humanity and to name a few. In his capacity as Imam he represents the Muslim community at the Bloomfield Interfaith Association and the Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Committee of which he is a founding member. He is a graduate of the Master’s in Islamic Chaplaincy program at Hartford Seminary. Imam Aziz has been on an educational campaign since 2015 to fight against ignorance, hate, and fear of Muslims, while creating peace between faith communities. He has visited institutions across America to spread the message of peace, which is the core of Islam. Margaret Robbins has lived in West West for 40 years. She was raised in a Jewish family, and started becoming exploring various spiritual teachings in her mid-twenties. She engaged in Islam after becoming involved with Western Sufism (the mystical dimension of Islam). She has presented basic Islam to some churches in Vermont and has joined in training with Sami Aziz who has founded the Common Ground Institute. She is the coordinator for creating talks and discussion on Islam, Isis and Islamophobia in VT and NH. She works as a therapist in Bellows Falls.


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ACLU’s People Power Launch: Let People Vote
sponsored by Brattleboro’s Indivisible Chapter 
Sunday, October 1st, 2017 at the Oak Meadow School (132 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301) in the Conference Room. 7pm. 
Join us for a live stream training that will cover everything needed to immediately get to work in our state and county as well as make a plan to take action together to protect our voting rights. Please use this form to sign up: https://go.peoplepower.org/event/voting_rights/10272?source=map&akid=. We look forward to seeing you there!


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The Gathering Series Live Stream: Ecological Devastation with Rev. Dr. William Barber
Sunday, Oct. 1st, 2017 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301).  First Floor. 5:30pm-8:30pm.The Root is nut-free and fragrance-free.
The Vermont Workers’ Center and Justice for all are are sponsoring live streams of a program called “The Gathering,” which is being presented by Rev. Dr. William Barber. Dr. Barber, as president of the North Carolina NAACP, was a prime leader of the North Carolina Moral Monday movement. He is now leading the new Poor People’s Campaign for Moral Revival, which is reviving the vision and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was working with other activists on the original Poor People’s Campaign when he was assassinated. We’ll be live streaming the fifth in The Gathering series which Dr. Barber has been leading with Repairers of the Breach, an ecumenical organization that is part of the new Poor People’s Campaign. They describe their mission as building “a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square. Repairers will bring together clergy and lay people from different faith traditions with people without a spiritual practice but who share the moral principles at the heart of the great moral teachings.” The topic for this month is Ecological Devastation presented in partnership with 350.org, Appalachian Voices, and Our Children’s Trust. We will hear from people affected by ecological devastation around the world on how we can join the fight for climate justice. With millions of people struggling at this moment to recover from the extreme effects of ecological devastation, this topic could not be more timely.For more information: eschwa1@myfairpoint.net or (802) 257-4436.

 
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HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, OCTOBER 2nd, 2017 - SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2017


Youth4Change Group Meeting
Monday, October 2nd, 2017 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-8pm.
For more information please email youth4changeaction@gmail.com.
Youth4Change is a project of the Root that meets every 1st and 3rd Mondays. It is for youth 12-22, particularly those from historically disenfranchised groups, who want to use education, art, and action to address racial and intersectional justice. The October 2nd meeting is an organizing meeting for local campaigns, and coming to hang out with us is Madina Haji from the Civil Rights Program of the U.S. Dist. Atty. for the Vermont region.
5:30pm: Space opens for art and hanging out.
6:00pm: Food!
6:30pm-8:00pm: Group meeting/training/strategy session.

 

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Girl Power Fall Book Talks: Chapter Books and Middle Grade Books
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main St, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301) in the Children’s Room. 6:30pm-7:30pm.

Join us at Brooks Memorial for an hour of fast-paced book talks from three local book superheroes: Local Author Ann Braden, Everyone's Books Owner, Nancy Braus, and Youth Services Librarian, Lindsay Bellville. For this book talk, the second in our three part series, we will go over books with strong, female characters that would be perfect reads or read alouds for kids in grades 1-8. For more information call the Children's Room (802)-254-5290 x110.


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Weekly Email Update 9-25-17

"A higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent."
John P. Kotter


Happy Autumn fellow WeCANners! As we enter a new season we'd like to offer some tips and tricks that may help you deal with anxiety or stress that can arise due to global current events, Seasonal Affective Disorder*, or every day hurdles.

A few questions to ask yourself when feeling anxious or unsure include:(+)
1) If the event or circumstance were to happen in the future, how would worrying about it now help? 
2) What is the difference between cautious, fearful, and worried? How do you define each of these terms for yourself? Which do you most want to feel in this situation? What action(s) will help you achieve the desired feeling?
3) What is the information that is being presented to you and how valid is the resource delivering the information? Is it from a first person boots-on-the-ground perspective? Is it second hand accounts? Is it third person conjecture? What qualifications does the person, expert, or pundit giving you the information hold in the field in which they are speaking? How are they compensated for their opinions or what are they trying to gain from the conversation? 

Whatever your answers may be to the above questions  please know that you're not alone in the experience of anxiety or uncertainty. Don't be afraid to seek comfort in others (your community!) who feel the same way. Stay connected with the people you care about and reach out to those who give you support. 

* For more information please visit: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml. For 24/7 help call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264).
(+) For more information please click here

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HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th, 2017

Share the Harvest Stand 
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 at the Elliott Street Park (on Elliot Street in Brattleboro, VT, 05301) from 11am-1pm.
You are invited to participate in Edible Brattleboro’s Share the Harvest stand where we will be sharing produce from our gardens as well as donated produce from local farmers and gardeners. The stand is set up at the Elliot Street Park every Sunday from 11am - 1pm; rain location - in front of Experienced Goods / Transportation Center on Flat Street. Everything is available to the community at no cost. 
We are happy to accept your donations from your garden - please drop off your surplus to our stand on Sundays as close to 11amas possible. We also need volunteers to keep this going throughout the season. Please visit http://signup.com/go/GmYCbae to sign up for a spot. It’s real easy to sign up, and your contact information is never shared. We need teams of two to glean at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays or to operate the stand on Sundays. Brief descriptions of the tasks are on the sign-up site, and complete directions are provided via email. Brattleboro Time Traders can earn hours, too!
URGENT CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: If we do not have sufficient volunteers in the coming weeks, we will not be able to continue to offer fresh produce every Sunday through October. I urge you to look over the schedule online and commit to offering several hours in the coming weeks so we can continue to provide this much appreciated service. We're using SignUp.com to organize our upcoming SignUps.'
Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.comhttp://signup.com/go/GmYCbae
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.
Come Grow and Share with Us!




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HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th, 2017-MONDAY, OCTOBER 2nd, 2017




Town of Brattleboro Democratic Reorganization Meeting
Monday, September 25th, 2017 at the Winston Prouty Center, Holton Hall, Top Floor, at 130 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT. 6pm (Before the Windham County Democratic Committee meeting at 7pm) 

The Agenda:

  1. Election of Town Committee
  2. Election of Officers by the Town Committee
  3. Election of County Committee Member
  4. New Business

The stronger an organization we have, the more prepared we'll be for the 2018 election. Come be part of the solution.



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Letters To Editors Drop-In Party for Healthcare Justice
Monday, September 25th, 2017 at the Putney Library (55 Main St., Putney, VT.)6pm-8:30pm. For more information please email Windham@workerscenter.org.
Drop-In space to come by and work out a letter to the media in support of implementing universal healthcare in Vermont. We need a steady drumbeat of public voices in the media, and local and state L.T.E. banks are building. Handy will be an LTE template based on personal stories, updates about Vermont healthcare initiatives and legislation, and folks to help work out the letter. 


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Weekly Email Update 9-18-17

“I am not here for your understanding of who I am. I am here for your understanding of who you are. I am your mirror. How you feel about me, what you see in me, the thoughts that arise from your encounter of me, the judgements you hold about me are all reflections of you. They have nothing to do with me.”
Emily Maroutain


There are a number of new entries this week, WeCAN Family, so please scroll through the listings with fresh eyes. We encourage you, too, to bring a friend or loved one to an event this week and start a conversation with them about how we can work to improve Justice in our towns, county, and state. We are truly reflections of each other and weCAN strive to be the best reflections we can possibly be, together. 


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HAPPENING TODAY SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th, 2017

VENUE CHANGE -- No Retreat- A Putney Huddle Mini Retreat - VENUE CHANGE!
Sunday, September 17th, 2017, at The Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT). 10am-2pm. 
The Putney Huddle presents a day of relaxed learning, fun, food, and connection. Whether you have been a part of the Huddle or are just interested in partaking, you are welcome to join us as we explore through listening and activity many aspects of being involved in local politics and activism, guided by those deep in the movements.
Featuring Vermont All Stars
-Poet, Activist, and Guilford Selectboard Member, Verandah Porche
-Senator Rebecca Balint
-Activist and Author, Ann Braden
-Environmental Activist and Contender for Governor James Ehlers
Along with representation from Rights and Democracy, Sister District, The Putney Democrats, The Local Love Brigade, and many more.
Chair Massages from Collin Leech, Tacos By Tito or brown bag lunch.

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Weekly Email Update 9-11-17

"Don’t just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything."
George Carlin


There's a lot of opportunities this week, WeCAN Friends, so let's get right to it:


HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th, 2017

Community Rights Awareness Workshop
presented by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and sponsored by Post Oil Solutions & Rights and Democracy
Sunday, September 10th, 2017 at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Room (please use the entrance at 7 Canal Street). 10am-1pm.  FREE, but registration required: bereal@vermontel.net. Refreshments will be provided. 
In this workshop, we take an in-depth look at how political and legal structures have been set up to protect the interests of an elite wealthy minority, at the expense of the majority of people and community self-government. We’ll look at how corporations have received more rights and protections than real people living in communities. Most importantly, we’ll look at how communities have pushed back against these oppressive structures to reclaim democratic self-government in their communities, and at the state level with a proposed Community Rights Amendment.


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Share the Harvest Stand 
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, September 10th, 2017 at the Elliott Street Park (on Elliot Street in Brattleboro, VT, 05301) from 11am-1pm.
You are invited to participate in Edible Brattleboro’s Share the Harvest stand where we will be sharing produce from our gardens as well as donated produce from local farmers and gardeners. The stand is set up at the Elliot Street Park every Sunday from 11am - 1pm; rain location - in front of Experienced Goods / Transportation Center on Flat Street. Everything is available to the community at no cost. 
We are happy to accept your donations from your garden - please drop off your surplus to our stand on Sundays as close to 11amas possible. We also need volunteers to keep this going throughout the season. Please visit http://signup.com/go/GmYCbae to sign up for a spot. It’s real easy to sign up, and your contact information is never shared. We need teams of two to glean at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays or to operate the stand on Sundays. Brief descriptions of the tasks are on the sign-up site, and complete directions are provided via email. Brattleboro Time Traders can earn hours, too!
URGENT CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: If we do not have sufficient volunteers in the coming weeks, we will not be able to continue to offer fresh produce every Sunday through October. I urge you to look over the schedule online and commit to offering several hours in the coming weeks so we can continue to provide this much appreciated service. We're using SignUp.com to organize our upcoming SignUps.
Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.comhttp://signup.com/go/GmYCbae
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.
Come Grow and Share with Us!


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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th, 2017-SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2017


Inclusion Center Activities
sponsored by the Inclusion Center 
Monday September 11th, 2017 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (16 Bradley Avenue, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 11:30am-3:30pm
Itinerary: 
11:30am  Lunch
12:00pm  Art
2:00pm    Discussion and Games
3:00pm    Hanging out

From the Inclusion Center:
We got together a few months ago and created this entertaining ad for Inclusion Center. We wrote it, performed, filmed and edited it. I know you'll enjoy it! Please share so others can smile and learn about Inclusion Center as well! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX8rk97_Lgs
 

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Windham County VT Workers' Center Organizing Committee
Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams St., Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 6pm-8pm. For more information please email Windham@workerscenter.org
We will review the Draft VWC 2017/2018 Campaign Plan -- to get Act 48, (VT universal healthcare), implemented with full and equitable funding -- and generate feedback for the state Coordinating Committee. Also, updates on trying to get expanded hours/services for the Brattleboro Free Clinic, and other projects. 


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