“Instead of waiting until the holiday season - when mail solicitations flood in from worthy organizations - and making a flurry of gifts because this is the time of year to give, sit down and take stock. Identify your passion, learn about it, and direct your time, mind, and dollars to aligned causes and organizations.”
American philanthropist and author
We'd like to wish you, our WeCAN Brothers, Sisters, and Friends, a very Happy and Joyous Christmas and Kwanzaa and a peaceful end to a very difficult year.
Please remember to send in your January and February events to email@example.com as soon as they are confirmed and we can't wait to see you at a meeting or event in the coming weeks.
"Ring out the false, ring in the true."
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Happy New Year, weCAN Friends! To acknowledge 2019's arrival we've put together 6 New Year Resolution ideas to help you enact social change in the coming year. Take on one of these concepts and apply it to your life for the entirety of 2019. Read on...
6 New Year Resolutions You Can Make to Enact Social Change*
1. Assume Responsibility for Your Participation
As global citizens, we participate in our immediate and broader communities — whether we mean to or not. Do you know who is making decisions on your behalf at the global and national levels? How about local levels? Do you like those decisions? As peace activist Paul Chappell says, “A democracy is as wise as its citizens.” Start by educating yourself about — and introducing yourself to — your local representatives. Next, consider running for office or closely supporting someone who is (and consider supporting a woman or a minority, if possible!). Understand that every contribution you make, every door you knock on, and every text you send from a text bank event has a direct impact and that you have some control over that impact because you participated.
2. Live Responsibly
Global citizens know that our lives affect others and that others’ lives affect ours. The local environment is made by us and, indeed, makes us. Do you know where your water comes from? What happens to your waste? Are you nourished by what you eat, and does the way in which it was grown nourish the environment? Is your meat sustainable? How far do your vegetables travel to get to you?
If you don’t already shop for produce at local farmers markets, consider using community supported agriculture (CSA) opportunities to empower small farmers. Signing up to support them with year-round funding — or a light volunteer commitment — in exchange for a weekly box of produce can be the difference between success and failure for them and you can help tip the odds in their favor. Eat seasonally, using cookbooks or websites that match seasonal markets. Consider buying clothes and housewares at a local thrift shop and repurposing old items for new uses in the New Year, too. Strive to create responsible shopping in your life, as well as responsible gifting by buying less "new" and more "loved".
3. Become What You Consume
If actions speak louder than words, how loud is money? Being an informed consumer can take many shapes. Visit Behind the Brands to find out who actually owns the brands you consume and how they rank on social justice issues — from women’s and workers’ rights to the protection of the environment and transparency. Let’s look at the other end of consumption: trashing compostable material should be — and in some countries is — a crime. Many areas, like Brattleboro, are banning plastic bags in grocery stores. But, what about using clean, drinkable water to flush our toilets? There is a better way.
4. Question What You Think You Know
…and then question it again.
Who is the authoring your news? Consider checking into alternative sources like Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, Unicorn Riot, and Human Rights Watch. Even reading news coverage of the same event from different parts of the globe can be illuminating.
Equally important: who is writing your history account? Hindsight isn’t always 20/20. Ask yourself: “Whose voice isn’t being heard?” It can be difficult but necessary to hear the other perspective of a scenario. Start with Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, and continue by following the work of activists like Rebecca Solnit, Eva Golinger, Nicholas Kristof, and countless more. Get inspired and dig in, especially in these cold months while parked in front of the fire place on the couch with a cup of tea.
5. Take Smart Action
Certainly everyone is equipped to contribute differently — whether through time, money, presence, expertise, or ideas. Most importantly, ask “how is my contribution best utilized?”. Then, find the network that resonates with you - like the countless international organizations such as Amnesty International or Oxfam. Alternately, scour your neighborhood for local, grassroots organizations working on issues you care about, like an action network (you did that when you found WeCAN!) or the local chapter of an organization you care about. Can you cook? Find an organization, like Southern VT Sister District, that includes cooking in their community work. Do you sew? Offer to mend garments for Groundworks Collaborative and their shelter system. Are you great with animals? Connect with a local activist or representative and offer to care for their pet while they out doing what they do best. ALL your talents are valued and needed; if you would like help connecting to a local organization, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you find a place to share your talents.
6. Accept Complexity
These problems didn’t appear overnight and the solutions require faith, ingenuity, and perseverance. As German poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote in a correspondence with a young, doubtful poet: “Try to love the questions themselves…perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” Take larger resolutions or goals and create smaller, attainable action steps to achieve success in those resolutions or goals. Above all, remember: your friends in Windham County are behind you every step of the way and if you need help or assistance you need only ask.
Happy New Year and may 2019 bring about real, positive, systemic change for all of us.Read more
Make New Year's goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living life in the year to come.
Melody Beattie, American author
We hope the first week of 2019 was manageable for you, WeCAN Friends. We have a few new entries this week so grab a cuppa coffee or tea, your January calendar, and scroll through this week's Weekly Email Update to find a new meeting or event to add to your schedule. As always, don't forget to email your Winter events to us at email@example.com. Have a wonderful week!
"We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited.
Alicia Keys, singer/song writer
during the Women's March on Washington, D.C. 2018
There are many new entries this week, WeCAN readers, so please take your time and scroll through this list mindfully. We look forward to seeing many of our Sisters and Brothers next weekend at one of the 2019 Women's Marches in our own state of Vermont or at the Women's March on Washington D.C. (details for multiple events are listed in the body of this email).
Here are some useful websites to help get you in the right mindset when planning on volunteering, gathering, rallying, and marching:
89 Bada*s Sign Ideas from the Women's March 2018
Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests (from the ACLU)
Women's March on D.C. 2019 FAQ Sheet
#Women'sWave Montpelier 2019 FAQ Sheet
#Women'sWave Montpelier Volunteer Sign Up
Find Your Local Sister March
How to Prepare and Stay Safe While You March
...and don't forget to send pictures of your signs and activism to us at firstname.lastname@example.org; we will feature your submissions in an upcoming newsletter!Read more