“The president can’t change the country on his own. But what can he do? He can give an example."
President Volodymyr Zelensky
President of Ukraine; former actor and screenwriter.
There are quite a few new entries this week, WeCAN readers, so please take a few moments of your time to scroll through this week's Update to see what's happening in Windham County and beyond. Make a plan to get involved and consider bringing friends or family members with you--your collective time and talents are so very needed!
Additionally, if you or your networks are planning events/fundraisers centered around helping the Ukrainian people, please send an email to [email protected] ASAP so that we can list your event and encourage WeCAN members, and our local community, to get involved. Thank you!
HAPPENING THIS WEEK:
MONDAY, MARCH 14th, 2022-SUNDAY, MARCH 20th, 2022
Let’s Talk About Masks: Supporting Inclusive and Equity Centered Conversations in School
hosted by the Education Justice Coalition of Vermont
Monday, March 14th, 2022, Online. 5pm-6:30pm.
Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/.../tZAvcOuprD4pHtS3b7JDm7l9...
On March 14th the mask recommendation is ending in VT schools. We want to honor this transition by naming the impact on vulnerable communities and continuing to center equity. We have special guests Deborah Lisi-Baker from the disability justice community and Anne Sosin from the health equity community to have this important discussion with us.
We will also discuss other equity issues regarding how COVID has impacted schools. In addition, we will be offering some resources to support you to have these conversations in your school in a way that centers health equity and builds a sense of community amongst individuals with different needs and choices.
"If we don't end war, war will end us."
Herbert George 'H.G.' Wells
English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. His work also included two books on recreational war games.
This week has been exhausting for many of us: we may be worried about those in harm's way around the world and wondering how the violence that is happening in Ukraine will affect us and our life here in Vermont. Often, finding ways to help those in need can ease our anxiety while creating tangible, positive change in disastrous situations. With that said, we want to relay a list of non-profits and charities that are currently accepting donations for those affected by war in Ukraine, in Poland, and in neighboring countries that have accepted refugees. This list, compiled by the Vermont Community Foundation, is by no means complete; if you have other organizations you'd like us to share in future emails, please send them to [email protected]
"The Community Foundation's philanthropic advising team has put together a list of resources for how you can support Ukraine during the current crisis. Please see below or reach out to Jane Kimble at [email protected]or (802) 388-3355 ext. 286 for more information on our philanthropic advising services.
The following international groups are already on the ground doing relief work in Ukraine:
- Doctors without Borders
- Hope for Ukraine
- Save the Children
- Mercy Corps
- Direct Relief
- World Central Kitchen
- International Red Cross
- International Medical Corps
- United Help Ukraine
To support Ukrainian refugees in Poland:
The following groups are working on human rights challenges in Ukraine, including supporting activists and journalists, as well as minority groups like LGBTQ+ individuals and other marginalized people:
Do you want to help, but making a donation isn't what you're looking for? Here are some other ways you can support the Ukrainian efforts.
Write to your Congressperson and Senator
You can use your zip code to find your local US representative here. Click on their image to find their contact information and voice your views on the Russian invasion. You can also contact the White House. You can contact your Senator using this directory tool, too.
Attend protests or volunteer
Here is a list of forthcoming demonstrations against the invasion, including many in the US. You are also welcome to add an upcoming planned protest to the growing number listed (are there any coming up in Windham County? Mail us at [email protected] and let us know!).
Support local Ukrainian journalism
You can support the English-language Kyiv Independent and the New Voice of Ukraine directly. There is also a GoFundMe page to support Ukrainian media more broadly as journalists risk their safety.
SUNDAY, MARCH 6th, 2022
CASP VT Reading Group
Starting Sunday, March 6th, 2022, Online. 6:30pm.
We are so excited to be launching a several weeks long reading group starting this Sunday, March 6th at 6:30pm.
Please sign up HERE to receive scheduling updates about the group. We'll be meeting on Zoom.
The Community Asylum Seekers Project is excited to be launching a several-weeks-long reading group for Vermonters who are tired of being stuck inside in the cold and NOT having a chance to dive deep into readings about asylum and its context. That ends now!
Please join us as we endeavor to develop a collective understanding of the historical roots of asylum and the current ‘border crisis,’ and how this ongoing history influences our work with CASP. We will be digging into issues of military intervention, the relationships between race, gender, and empire, and the connections between immigrant justice and class structure in the United States. Open to all! Please join us!
"At town meetings, you can see the shy folks, the ones who have trouble sounding off in public, leaning against the back wall or bending over their knitting. On talk radio, those people are invisible, but they're there. It's a mistake to think that (only those) who call in speak for the nation."
Donella Hager "Dana" Meadows b. 1941 d. 2001
An American environmental scientist, educator, and writer.
Town Meeting Day is upon us, friends, and we wanted to make sure you had some vital information at your fingertips for easy access and easy sharing. We wholeheartedly encourage all of our WeCAN community members to vote, first and foremost, and to read up on your local candidates before voting as well. We also urge you, if you are able, to check in on at least one neighbor and remind them to vote (if they haven't already). Our community thrives on word-of-mouth activism and it may take a gentle reminder to get more voters to the polls this year...we are calling on you to be that gentle reminder! Thank you!
1) Locate Your Vermont Polling Place
Click for a list of Town Meeting Polling Places. If you have any questions about this listing, please contact the clerk directly.
All polls in Vermont open between 6am and 10am and close at 7pm. Please be in line by 7pm to vote. Absentee ballots may be returned by closing time of the last day the clerk's office is open before the town meeting. Completed and sealed absentee ballots can also be returned to the voting staff on Town Meeting Day at your polling place. In addition, you may stop into your clerk's office on Monday, February 28th, 2022 to vote in person, but please call your clerk first to confirm they have the staff to assist you if you are unsure.
2) To find your polling place, check on your registration, or to request an absentee ballot for the next election (it is too late to request one for Town Meeting Day), please go here: https://sos.vermont.gov/elections/voters/.
3) To check up on all things relating to your voter registration and ballot submissions, go here: https://mvp.vermont.gov.
3) To find your town clerk information, please go here: https://outside.vermont.gov/dept/sos/Elections%20Division/voters/townclerkguide.pdf.
4) Vermont League of Cities and Towns has produced their first ever Town Meeting Day Preview guide. You can find it here: https://www.vlct.org/sites/default/files/TM2022_Preview.pdf.
5) Commons News Summery Town Meeting Day Agendas for Windham County Towns: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/sitenext/story.php?articleno=35125.
Action of the Week
Virtual Phone Bank: Organize New Hampshire Voter Protection
hosted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party
Monday, February 28th, 2022, Online. 5pm.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, Online. 5pm.
Saturday, March 5th, 2022, Online. 1pm.
Help get out the vote for NH Town Meeting Day elections!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27th, 2022
Snow Snake Competition
hosted by the Atowi Project
Sunday, February 27th, 2022 at the Retreat Farm (45 Townhouse Square, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-3pm.
The Elnu Abenaki Band and the Atowi Project would like to invite all community members to participate in a snow snake competition at the Retreat Farm in Brattleboro from noon to 3 pm on February 27, 2022. Snow snake is a traditional game played during the winter months featuring a slicked track, carved wooden snow snake, and a community of players. The snow snakes are thrown underhand down the track to see which one travels the farthest.
Refreshments and snacks will be provided. Snow snakes will be available for those that wish to participate. All are welcome to either play or enjoy the company at the gathering. Rules will be posted. All ages and abilities are welcome and the event is free. Another listing on the Retreat Farm calendar can be seen here: https://www.retreatfarm.org/gatherings/snowsnakecompetition
Fair and Impartial Policing Forum
hosted by Nader Hashim for Windham State Senate
Sunday, February 27th, 2022, Online. 5pm-6:30pm.
Please sign up to attend the Zoom session here ...https://forms.gle/PmyPaYh57WnFvEGe6
Judiciary Committee that created the Fair & Impartial Policing Bill. Both legislators will be available to walk through the bill, its creation, and will be able to answer questions to better guide voters on Town Meeting Day.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character; that is the goal of true education.”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This year marks the 5th anniversary of WeCAN: Windham County Action Network, friends (!), and occasionally we are asked to republish some resources that have been featured throughout the years. We got a lovely email from Jess in Brattleboro this past week asking us if we could repost a critical thinking cheat sheet we had posted a few years ago..turns out it was about 4.5 years ago, but we've got ya covered, Jess! Here it is:
From September 4th, 2017:
...(W)e wanted to share this great Critical Thinking resource from the Global Digital Citizen Foundation. The questions in this cheatsheet can be applied to any conversation or situation that requires thought and logic and is great for new topics or familiar ones you'd like to revisit with a more discerning eye. You can print out the PDF here.
How Does This Cheatsheet Work?
Critical thinking is thinking on purpose. It’s clear, rational, logical, and independent thinking. It’s about practicing mindful communication and problem-solving with freedom from bias or egocentric tendency. You can apply critical thinking to any kind of subject, problem, or situation you choose. We made the Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet for you with this in mind.
(Editor's Note: It appears that the Global Digital Citizen Foundation may no longer be active, but this resource readily available through a Google search or by clicking the PDF link above.)