“Study the past if you would define the future.”
We hope you all have a purposeful and proactive start to March, WeCAN Readers! This week, we would like to bring your attention to a specific ACLU action that concerns Vermont. Customs and Border Protection is adding new surveillance towers in Vermont and, for a short time, are opening up public comments. If you would like your voice to be heard, please consider contacting your local and state representatives through the ACLU website. Details are below.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED:
SAY NO TO BORDER PATROL SURVEILLANCE IN VERMONT COMMUNITIES:
Write Your Representatives Now and Tell Border Patrol We Don’t Need Surveillance Towers in Our Communities
Border Patrol has been and remains a notorious, rogue agency – with a toxic internal culture, a track record of heinous human rights abuses, and no meaningful oversight or accountability.
In just the past few years, we’ve seen Border Patrol agents abducting protesters off of American streets, forcibly separating thousands of children from their parents, and routinely violating the rights and liberties of countless travelers.
Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is planning to build eight surveillance towers in northern Vermont, at sites across the towns of Derby, Franklin, Highgate, Richford, and Troy, along with two sites in Champlain, New York.
Make no mistake, these surveillance towers would accelerate the militarization of our region and threaten the privacy, civil liberties, and safety of countless local residents.
CBP is accepting public comments and needs to hear from Vermonters that we value civil liberties and that we reject this proposal. Make your voice heard HERE. Please note: this action is time sensitive so do not delay in visiting the ACLU site if you are able. Thank you.
TOWN MEETING DAY
REMINDER: TOWN MEETING DAY IS TUESDAY, MARCH 2nd. PLEASE REMEMBER TO RETURN ABSENTEE BALLOTS TO YOUR TOWN CLERK OR VOTE IN PERSON IF YOU ARE ABLE. THANK YOU!
HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH, 2021
Community Conversations with Representative Emilie Kornheiser
Sunday, February 28th, 2021, Online. 10am.
Please register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtce-grD4rGNxo9FEE3R8zKpRSj_qBTz03 . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Emilie Kornheiser, State Representative for Windham 2-1, invites you to join her weekly office hours: Sundays at 11am. We’ll talk about what’s happening in the legislature and in our town. Open conversation format-- come for the full hour or just stop by for a few minutes to share a particular concern or question.
"Service is the rent that you pay for room on this Earth."
American politician, educator, and author
New additions to this week's Weekly Email Update include a Youth 4 Change event, the VT House Speaker's Soiree, information on VT Town Meeting Day, and a vigil for Fukushima, ten years later. Take a moment to scroll through to the end to see how you can be a part of positive change here in Windham County. Until next week...
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd, 2021-SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28th, 2021
Monday, February 22nd, 2021-Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at the C.F Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm. Masks required. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY. If you have any questions visit https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/ or contact Frances Huntley [email protected]. Organizational ordering information is listed under our Free and Nutritious Food in Windham County section further along in this email.
Everyone Eats! is a program which will distribute meals from Brattleboro restaurants to anyone in need who lives in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, or Vernon, free of charge, through December 11th. There will be 850+ meals/day available Monday through Thursday to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pick up for individuals will be at the C.F. Church Building at 80 Flat St in Brattleboro and group/institution orders can be picked up at Mama Sezz in West Brattleboro. All meals are available Monday-Thursday between 4pm and 6pm until supplies run out.
If you have extra produce from your garden, there will be a wheelbarrow you can drop it off in on your way out of the pickup site. Participating restaurants will use the donated produce in making more meals.
The meals are free, but if you would like to make a monetary contribution to help make more meals possible for others, it will be gratefully received. The base cost of each meal is $10 but any amount will be appreciated.
Each restaurant will contribute meals two or more days a week. You will receive one individually packaged cold ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinner for each person you request a meal for. Meals will be distributed cold, so if you are driving a distance, delivering to other households, or distributing through your organization, consider bringing a cooler if you can.
Everyone Eats in Putney
hosted by Putney Mutual Aid
Monday, February 22nd, 2021 at Putney Community Center (10 Christian Square, Putney, VT 05346). 5pm-5:30pm.
UPDATED TIME FOR DISTRIBUTION!! Putney Mutual Aid brings Everyone Eats meals to Putney! You can come to the Putney Community Center to pick up a meal from 5:00-5:30 on Monday evenings. If you need delivery in Putney, that can be arranged. For more information about Everyone Eats (and to learn about how to access meals on other days of the week in Brattleboro), check their website: https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/
"When the world demanded that I be meek and small in silence, I chose to wield my voice."
Award winning Black trans diversity advocate, communications professional, and public speaker
Welcome to the Weekly Email Update, Friends! As usual, there are more than a few new additions to this week's offerings, so grab your calendar and start saving those dates!
This week's look into Black History and BIPOC lives in Vermont takes us to the Brown 'n Out Podcast with Vermont resident Reggie Condra. Condra interviews Black and Brown LGBTQ+ Vermonters and talks about the lives and interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and trans people of color in the Green Mountains. These stories have long been unexplored and this podcast seeks to shine light on valuable information that may otherwise go unheard.
Guests on the “Brown ’n Out” Podcast typically answer two questions as conversation starters:
-What does black and brown queer culture in Vermont look like to you?
-When do you feel most brown ’n out?
Before the recorded interview, Condra likes to build a rapport with his subjects by sharing conversation over a cup of coffee. His episodes typically begin with a funny snippet embedded in the conversation and move on to more serious subject matter from there. “I never just want to ask, you know, a person kind of blanketly about their identity,” he says. “I want them to talk to me about things that they’re interested in.”
When asked what being brown ’n out meant to Condra, he replied, "It means self-advocating a lot. It means not always being able to find someone to stand up for you and taking it upon yourself to claim your existence. It looks like — when you do finally find community — the best feeling ever.”*
Condra’s interviews are full of such pivots and swerves, which keep the often-lengthy podcasts fresh and interesting. And, though race, gender and sexuality aren’t always on the table, he is clear that the podcast is for queer people of color, as its name indicates. “Brown ‘n Out” underscores the importance of giving voice to people who are often doubly discriminated against. “A main goal of the podcast,” Condra says, “is to illustrate to everyone how much we are more than our identities.”+
We hope that you will take a few moments to give this important podcast a listen and learn about LGBTQIA+ BIPOC Vermonters, in their own words, from the comfort of your own home.
HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH, 2021
Valentine’s Day Candlelight Vigil for Health Care Workers and Patients
sponsored by Vermont Workers’ Center
Sunday, February 14th, 2021, at Springfield Health and Rehabilitation (105 Chester Road, Springfield, VT). 4:30pm-5:30pm. Can't make it in-person? Show your appreciation by changing your profile picture on Valentine's Day to a candle in a window. For more information call 802-257-4436 or e-mail [email protected]
Show appreciation for the residents and staff at Springfield Health & Rehab, 105 Chester Rd., Springfield VT. Six out of 10 Covid-19 deaths in Vermont have taken place at nursing homes, which even before COVID were understaffed. Springfield Health & Rehab is owned by the for-profit Genesis chain, and is in the process of being sold to new investors.
"If we don’t make students feel that history matters and matters profoundly, we are missing the essence of what we are doing."
Gerda Lerner b.1920 d.2013
Austrian-born American historian and woman's history author. In addition to her numerous scholarly publications, she wrote poetry, fiction, theatre pieces, screenplays, and an autobiography. She served as president of the Organization of American Historians
It's the second week of February already, WeCAN readers, and the date on the calendar means we are putting out the call for March and April event submissions from our truly incredible leaders, organizers, and neighbors. This includes Save the Dates for future events, updates on any on-going projects, and updated group meeting times and Zoom links.
February also means that it is Black History Month and to celebrate Black Culture, Black Lives, and Black History, we will be sharing some unique, local-to-Vermont African American resources that have been curated just for you. We hope you will take a few moments to educate and enlighten yourself. Please feel free to share this information with your networks as well.
Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburgh, 1790-1890 by Elise A. Guyette
Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburgh, 1790–1890 by Elise A. Guyette tells the story of three generations of free African Americans trying to build a life and community in northern Vermont in the years following statehood. By piecing together fragments of the history of free blacks in Vermont—tax and estate records, journals, diaries, and the like—the author recovers what is essentially a lost world, establishing a framework for using primary sources to document a forgotten past. The book is an invaluable resource for those conducting local history research and will serve as inspiration for high school and college students and their teachers. Originally published in 2010 by the University of Vermont and University Press, it has been reprinted in 2020 by the Vermont Historical Society.
About the Author
Elise A. Guyette is a historian, author, and educator. Dr. Guyette is a former public school teacher and museum educator, who works as a consultant on ethnohistory, social sciences, and curriculum development for schools, theaters, television, and museums. She has a passion for discovering and teaching about stories that were lost because of the traditional telling of history from the point of view of the powerful. She co-founded the Burlington Edible History Tour, which tells the stories of various Burlington immigrant groups along with their food traditions and food businesses. Discovering Black Vermont was awarded the 2010 Richard O. Hathaway prize from the Vermont Historical Society for the year’s outstanding contribution to the field of Vermont history.