Weekly E-mail Update 5-29-17

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."
Mark Twain

This Memorial Day Weekend we at WeCAN would like to take this opportunity to invite you to hold a moment of silence in honor of those that have given their all for this country. May we continue to strive to make them proud. 

Thank you.



A Vermont Climate Movement Strategy Retreat
Saturday, May 27th, 2017 - Sunday, May 28th, 2017 at Common Ground Retreat Center (473 Tatro RoadStarksboro, VT). 
If you need a ride, please click HERE.
We understand if you can’t make it, and of course may not belong to a social justice organization. Please fill out this survey whether you plan to come to the retreat or not.  We want to know where you see strategic opportunities for our movement.

We are asking people who are doing social justice and organizing work regularly, and who see climate to be a key issue,  to be the participants for the initial stages of strategy development. We apologize for the late invitation. We realized that we need to open this retreat up more broadly than originally intended. Childcare and lively conversation will be provided. Please come.

We will collectively identify opportunities to build a movement for justice and a stable climate.
The first day will be spent on goals, mapping projects, and discussing coordination structure. The second day will be spent building a plan to plug people and resources into each project, and into a structure that can keep our goals on track. We then expect to implement our strategy together, and to evaluate and renew it with allies at a set date in the future.
While critical dialog and analysis will be central to our time together, this is not an invite to a debate. We are asking people to help design cooperative plans and help execute them. We hope you or someone you work with can make it. Please register by filling out the survey.

To create a cooperative climate movement strategy for Vermont, growing the Vermont Climate Movement as a whole, and ideally building towards a broader, democratic mass social movement.

Movement Strategy
By movement strategy we mean mutually assessing the problem, setting clear goals for addressing it, and building a work plan for reaching those goals in a collaborative,  growing network. The climate justice organizing community must agree about goals, tactics, and a cooperative implementation plan or we undermine united struggle and fail to play to our key strength, our collective power.

Your Hosts
This invite is from an independent coordinating collective of organizers from Central Vermont Climate Action, 350VT, Rising Tide Vermont, Upper Valley Affinity Group, and the Make. We began this project out of our work with the Stop the Pipeline Coalition, which has spent the past four years fighting Phase 1 of the Addison County Pipeline. The coalition met this month to assess our work in the Phase 1 campaign, our collectively learned lessons, and our network of strong relationships. In designing a strategy retreat for our coalition, we recognized that we feel strongly that an effective strategy requires coordination with all potential partners.
Whether you are new to climate change and climate justice work or have been involved for a long time, we would appreciate your input.
Thanks for being in the fight with us!

In Solidarity,
The Strategy Coordinating Committee
Rebecca, Hambone, Lyndsay, Erok, Maeve, Brian, and Karen
Contact us at 123themake@gmail.com.



Unsung Hero Awards
Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12:00pm-1:30pm.
Please join us as the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative presents its second Brattleboro Area Unsung Hero Awards on Wednesday May 31 from Noon to 1:30pm at the River Garden on Main Street in Brattleboro. 
The recipients are:
Shela Linton, co-founder of the Root Social Justice Center, and
Jennifer Mazur, president of Marlboro Cares, former director of the Infant-Child Guidance Program
Both recipients have more than fulfilled the criteria for the award; selfless and valuable service to citizens of Brattleboro and/or surrounding towns; humility; and a lack of community awareness of these accomplishments.
The Facebook event is here. For questions or comments, please email interfaithinbrattleboro@gmail.com.


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Weekly Update 5-22-17

“Whenever I feel bad, I use that feeling to motivate me to work harder. I only allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself. When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.” 
Beyonce Knowles

This week we encourage you to take all the negativity you see in the press, on TV, on social media, and in your neighborhood and use it to fuel all the Good that you do in your own life. Take that pain and anxiety you feel for our country with you to an event this week and let it transform into productivity, camaraderie, and hope. Let the company and conversation with others calm your spirits and redirect your mind to problem solve and trouble shoot a failing justice system around us. We look forward to seeing you at an event this week. Let's get to work. 


Happening Today, Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Earth Gay Vermont!
sponsored by Green Mountain Crossroads and OUT for Sustainability
Sunday, May 21st, 2017 at Circle Mountain Farm (280 Lee Rd, Guilford, Vermont 05301) from 9am-1pm. Free Admission, kid friendly. 
Green Mountain Crossroads and Out for Sustainability invite you to Circle Mountain Farm for the third annual Earth Gay Vermont! Late May is a great time to see this queer owned and operated 2-acre, organic diversified vegetable farm as they transition from Spring to Summer. Come for a chance to join together as an LGBTQ community to demonstrate pride in our fabulous planet. Sign up for free today!
We'll have water and snacks on hand, you are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch as well as sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and bug stuff. 
We'll work until noonish, break for lunch, and then take a farm tour.

Question? Email HB Lozito HB@greenmountaincrossroads.org


Building Bridges - Local Love Brigade Meet-Up w/ Los Angeles Students
sponsored by the Local Love Brigade
Sunday, May 21st at the Marlboro Grad Center in Downtown Brattleboro (8 Vernon St, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301) in Room 1-E. 1:30pm-3:00pm.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1386542254737536/

Join us on Sunday, May 21st for a joint love postcard-making party with the students from Academia Avance in Los Angeles. We sent them love postcards in March after ICE detained one of the school's parents, and now they're looking forward to coming to Vermont to make love postcards with us as part of a cross-country trip for their college-bound seniors. 
Join us to build bridges and send out love together in a joint love postcard-making session! This is an event that's not to be missed.


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Weekly E-mail Update 5-14-2017

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The Constitution of the United States of America (1789), First Amendment  

This week we have seen some pretty crazy stuff in the news: from closed door White House meetings with Russia to Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes, it's been a wild one. To inspire you to keep supporting credible news outlets and journalists WeCAN has curated a collection of Journalism quotes and facts to keep you thinking forward and thinking critically. 

  • "News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising." Lord Northcliff
  • A good journalist provides what they believe are the key facts that the reader needs, while propaganda involves providing facts that advance the newspaper or media outlet's claims and views.
  • "There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil." Walter Lippmann
  • Freedom of the Press is described in the dictionary as "the right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to gather, publish and distribute ideas and information through newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter without government restriction."
  • “The media tends to report rumors, speculations, and projections as facts... How does the media do this? By quoting some "expert"... you can always find some expert who will say something hopelessly hopeless about anything.” Peter McWilliams
  • In 2010 there were 41,500 full time daily newspaper journalists in the United States. By 2015 that number dropped to 32,900. Of those 32,900 only 12.76% of those individuals are of a minority background.(+)
  • "Reporters are faced with the daily choice of painstakingly researching stories or writing whatever people tell them. Both approaches pay the same." Scott Adams
  • The three biggest ethical challenges facing reporters and journalists in 2017 are 1) how to report more responsibly on hate speech and intolerance, 2) the ethics behind publishing viral photographs of violence and death, and 3) dealing properly with sources and verifying online news. (*)

* https://ijnet.org/en/blog/top-3-ethical-challenges-journalists-will-face-2017
+ https://www.statista.com/topics/2096/journalism/


Happening This Week Monday, May 15th, 2017-Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Teaming with Microbes Seminar
Monday, May 15th, 2017- May 16th, 2017 at Lake Morey Resort (1 Clubhouse Rd, Fairlee, VT, 05045).
Eventbrite Link: 
New Zealand Agro-ecologist Nicole Masters is on a teaching tour throughout the US and Canada this Spring and we are lucky to have her for two full days in Vermont.
Its all about your underground livestock!
Farmers, gardeners, environmental policy makers, and conservation folks: take your understanding to the next level, with this dynamic soil class, taught byNicole Masters from Integrity Soils and Didi Pershouse from the Soil Carbon Coalition. Learn practical tools and concepts to maximize nutrient cycling whilst lifting soil, plant and/or animal performance. Learn soil's important role in climate resilience and public health.
We will spend the first day overlooking the beautiful Lake Morey, (swimming anyone?) and the second day getting our hands in the soil in a variety of settings to see these principles in action.

Day 1: The Hidden Life of Soils
•Deepen your understanding of soil health and soil microbes
•The vital role of soil microbes in building farm and climate resilience
•What do microbe groups do in the soil?
•How can you feed the good guys?
•Learn how to make a lacto-bacillus serum for your farm

Day 2: Field Day
•Visual assessments for health in a variety of management settings
•Keys that biologically mediated water, carbon and nitrogen cycles are working optimally.
•Learn how to "read your weeds" and take actions to reduce pressure from weeds.
•How to track changes and share successes in soil health with an open-source map databasehttps://atlasbiowork.com/

Cost $225. A wonderful warm lunch buffet is included on the first day. Spaces are limited.
It is strongly recommended to come for both days, but you may sign up for just one. (Day one alone is $165, Day two is $75.)
You can save us some hefty ticket fees by reserving through the mail. Send an email toecologyofcare@gmail.com to let us know you are coming and then send a check directly to Didi Pershouse, PO Box 277, Thetford Center, VT 05075, Please note that your space is not reserved until we receive payment.
Some scholarships may be available: Email ecologyofcare@gmail.com with a couple of sentences about your situation and how much you can afford to pay. We will let you know as funds become available.
We will have a few spaces available for sponsors/vendors to set up tables on Monday.

For questions, or to reserve a table as a sponsor/vendor, contact Didi at ecologyofcare@gmail.comand/or Taylor at hello@freeversestudio.com
For rooms at Lake Morey Resort call 800-423-1211, or email: reservations@lakemoreyresort.com

About the Presenters:

Nicole Masters is an agro-ecologist, educator and systems thinker with over 18 years’ extensive practical and theoretical experience in regenerative/holistic farming practices. She has been communicating these methods throughout Australasia and North America since 2003; helping to inspire and guide farmers in innovative ways to produce food.

Nicole has a commitment to finding win-win solutions for the wellbeing of landscapes and landmanagers. She has a proven record in supporting producers in meeting their goals through a holistic approach to soil and pasture management. As a seasoned consultant, Nicole excels at identifying and solving challenges through proactive management. Her passion for fostering the growth of these farming practices calls upon her skills in facilitation, conflict resolution, an understanding of behavioural change and science communication.

Didi Pershouse is a cross-pollinator, helping to connect the dots between soil health and human health. She is the author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities. As the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, she developed a practice and theoretical framework for systems-based ecological medicine—restoring health to people as well as the social and ecological systems around them. 

After 22 years of clinical work with patients, she is now working with the Soil Carbon Coalition on a large-scale citizen-science program that engages schools, conservation districts, farmers, and the public in understanding the intersections between soil, water, public health, and climate resiliency. She teaches workshops and develops learning resources on whole systems landscape function—in particular how to measure, understand, and work with the carbon and water cycles that make life on this planet possible. Her work models strategies to build resilient networks of mutual listening, learning, self-care, and support as a way to drive environmental and social change.


Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative (BAII) Monthly Gathering
Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 at the Centre Church (193 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Parlor. 12:00pm-1:30pm.
Questions/Contact: interfaithinbrattleboro@gmail.com
Please join us on May 17th for our monthly gathering where we will witness our dynamic religious and secular identities, explore broad issues, and encourage local action. We believe in seeking a balance between personal and group exploration and activity in the larger community. We discuss local issues as well as broader concerns and issues. 


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Weekly E-mail Update 5-8-17

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.” 

― Benjamin Rush
Founding Father of the United States of America, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Physician

If you're anything like your Friendly WeCAN Admins, you found this week's Healthcare news troubling at best. For many of us feelings of anxiety can be magnified because we don't know what next steps we can take in the face of such lunacy. Never fear! WeCAN has a few suggestions for actions you can take to help save or improve health care in our country:

1) Call Your Representative
 You can find your Representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.
Don't know what to say? Try this: "Hello, I am a constituent of [your representative's name.] I am very worried about efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which would lead to millions of Americans losing their health insurance or being denied coverage. This is a matter of life and death for millions of Americans, with and without preexisting conditions, and I urge the representative to oppose any repeal of the Affordable Care Act."
Note: If your Representative opposes repealing the ACA (yay!), consider choosing a nearby Right-leaning district and call their Representative's offices as a concerned neighbor. 

2) Talk about your ACA/Healthcare Experiences (If You're Comfortable)
Personal stories connect all of us and those connections can build a stronger, more resilient force for positive change. Keep talking, keep sharing, and (most importantly) keep listening. Public approval for the ACA is at an all time high (55%) and support for a Single-Payer System is growing steadily--we, as a nation, want our friends and neighbors to be insured regardless of preexisting conditions or income. That is a reassuring thought, indeed, that can be built on. 

3) Rally, March, and Protest
It's true: a show of support or of disagreement in large numbers can make an impact. Use resources like WeCAN, Our Revolution, and Facebook Groups to find out if local organizations are holding an event in your area. If you can't find a healthcare related Rally or March close to you consider spearheading one yourself! This Single-Payer Protest Tool-Kit is a great place to start and can be implemented as a Pro-Affordable Care Act resource as well. If you'd like to hold your event in Brattleboro, click here to request a permit for an open-air meeting. It's that easy! 

Do you have ideas on how to support Single-Payer Healthcare or the Affordable Care Act? We'd love to feature your suggestions in an upcoming weekly email! Please send your thoughts to admin@wecantogether.net. We look forward to hearing from you.


Happening Today May 7th, 2017

Cross Class Dialogue Circle
Sunday, May 7th, May 21st, and June 4th, 2017 (participation all 3 days is required) at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-3pm.
Childcare and transportation available, light refreshments provided, and wheelchair accessible. This event is fragrance free.
The dialogue circle is funded through a cost-sharing process. 
Cross-class dialogue circles are a powerful way for people across the class spectrum to come together to talk about their experiences with class, listen to each others’ stories and perspectives, better understand class as part of an economic system, and then to work together as change makers for economic justice. Sign-up today!



The Putney Huddle
Sunday, May 7th, 2017 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT 05346). 1:30pm-3:30pm. 


1:30pm-2:00pm The steering committee will share.  
2:00pm-2:30pm Faisal Gill, the chair for the Vermont Democratic party will speak and take questions. 
2:30pm-3:30pm Sister District leaders will hold an info and brainstorming session.

Please use our Facebook Event page to RSVP: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1868928896683659/?ti=cl or email Laura at theputneyhuddle@gmail.com.


Care Bags for the Homeless
Sponsored by the Brattleboro Love Project
Sunday, May 7th at 3:30pm at the Putney Library (55 Main St, Putney, VT 05346)

Join us at 3:30 pm at the Putney Library with the Putney Huddle to assemble care bags for the homeless! List of needed supplies below, or contact us to donate!

We have decided to embark on another project, this time to help the homeless population in town. In partnership with the Putney Huddle, we will be assembling baggies filled with greatly needed food and toiletry items. Suggested items include: peanut butter cracker packages, mints, clementines, applesauce, granola bars, mini shampoos, body wash, sunblock, sanitary napkins, condoms, etc. Along with these items, we welcome handwritten cards, notes, or drawings to put inside the baggies as a symbol of love and support.

We hope this project will directly help our neighbors in need. Want to help out and join the project? Grab a freezer-sized plastic zip bag and fill with items! You can either keep them in your car for when you see someone in need, or you can donate items to us so we can continue to help our community. 



Climate Change Café: A Community of Concerned Citizens 
SOS: Secret of the Seasons
(The Original Global Climate Change Co-Opera)
co-sponsored by Post Oil Solutions and Green Up SIT 
Sunday, May 7th, 2017 at the Brooks Memorial Library  (224 Main St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Main Room. 5:30pm. Free. Light refreshments available.

Based on songs written by SIT Professor John Ungerleider and Bill Conley, the SOS co-opera is a reflective, participatory musical journey that engages the audience with the external and internal challenges that global climate change is bringing to our lives. 
Audience dialogue between thought provoking songs is designed to move participants from Fear and Denial to Hope and Action in response to the threat of global warming.
The title song asks about the local impact of climate change:  “Will it still feel like my home, when the leaves don’t turn to red and gold, and the ice doesn’t cover the fishin’ hole?” 
More more information please call 802.869.2141 or email info@postoilsolutions.org.


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