Weekly E-mail Update 4-2-17
Happy April fellow WeCANners! We hope you are recovering from the snow and looking forward to the warmer weather ahead this week.
This week's quote from Albert Einstein is a meditation that urges us to find simplicity in the intricate and harmony in discourse -- for in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
As many of us are beginning to Spring Clean, plan our gardens, and prepare our living spaces for Summer consider the following: are there opportunities within these cumbersome tasks where I can help my neighbor who has been affected by our current administration's policies?
-Are there extra clothes cluttering my closet that could perhaps help a new refugee be prepared for work?
-With the discourse of a busy work week making meals difficult, can I choose a female or immigrant owned restaurant to frequent when I need to eat out?
-When planning my garden, can I allocate a plot to grow vegetables that can be donated to local senior citizen meal programs?
Meditate, ruminate, and consider how Einstein's words can fit into your life. Then, send us an email ([email protected]) with how you implemented this quote into your daily life; your inspiring actions could be featured in an upcoming WeCAN Weekly Update. We look forward to hearing from you!
TODAY: Sunday, April 2nd, 2017
Non Violent Direct Action (NVDA) Training Classes
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 in the Brattleboro Food Co-op Community Room (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT ,05301). Enter on Canal Street. 9:30am-6:30pm. Prior registration is required. Contact Tim at [email protected] or 802.869.2141.
Trainers: Nelia Sargant, Eric Bachman, and Dorie Wilsnack.
While doing civil disobedience may not be something you are considering at present, NVDA training is nevertheless always a good thing to have done in case that day arrives when you might consider such an act (this is especially true in the Age of Trumpism).
Very few spots still available.
Local Love Brigade Postcard Making
Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301).
Be Part of the Local Love Brigade. Drop by BMAC and make postcards to send out in an avalanche of love to support victims of hate. You will be part of a movement that has begun to illuminate the power of fierce love. There will be refreshments and plenty of materials to make a card. All are welcome.
Facebook Event is here.
To find out more and see the heartfelt messages of support that local folks are sending out into the world, join the Local Love Brigade - Vermont Facebook Group.
Youth 4 Change
Monday, April 3rd, 2017 at the Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-8:30pm. First Floor. 5:30pm doors open, 6:30pm food is available, 7:00pm meeting/activity begins.
Youth 4 Change is a project of The Root Social Justice Center, where youth build their commitment to justice into effective and creative activism. Art and education join strategy to offer leadership training and action. The youth are currently taking stock of the various local and state campaigns around racial justice, and what actions are being taken or needed. For more information please contact [email protected].
Climate Change Café
presents a special screening of the classic film
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at the Marlboro Graduate Center (28 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Room 2 East. 6:00pm.
Free; Light refreshments will be provided.
Reservations strongly suggested due to limited seating.
For reservations please call 802.869.2141 or email [email protected].
On Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 almost 90 art house movie theaters across the country in 79 cities spanning 34 states will participate collectively in a national event screening of the film, “1984,”. In an effort to initiate a community conversation about what the film/book has to say about our present times, and how we deal with it. April 4th was chosen because it’s the day protagonist Winston Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary.
ATTN: DATE CHANGE!
Let Justice Roll Down
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 at the Guilford Community Church (38 Church Drive, Guilford, VT, 05301). 7:30pm.
Suggested donation $20 adult; $5 under 18.
This singalong concert will focus on racial justice issues. We will join together in songs that emphasize the struggles for equal rights and dignity and safety for people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and national origin.
Benefit for Black Lives Matter VT and The Root Social Justice Center.
Lea Gilmore - racial justice activist, outstanding blues/gospel/jazz singer from Baltimore, MD: www.leagilmore.com
Annie Patterson & Peter Blood - creators of the songbooks Rise Up Singing and Rise Again.
The Guilford Church Choir and House Band
Copies of the songbook Rise Again will be available to buy or borrow at the concert.
For advance tickets and information, please visit www.riseupandsing.org/events or email [email protected] or [email protected].
Public Hearing on the Sale of VT Yankee
Thursday, April 6th, 2017 at the Vernon Elementary School (381 Governor Hunt Rd, Vernon, VT, 05354).
Info session by the state starts at 6pm;
Public comments begin at 7pm.
The biggest environmental clean up in Vermont history will be at VT Yankee, the nuclear reactor in our own back yard. The current owners want to sell the nuke and its 900 tons of radioactive waste to a new decommissioning company, NorthStar. It sounds good on the surface; the nuke would be taken down in our lifetimes, rather than delayed for 50 years. But it is the first time NorthStar is buying a nuke and cleaning it up. NorthStar thinks it can make a profit decommissioning, and we are the guinea pigs.
On April 6, state regulators are coming to Vernon for a Public Hearing on the sale. We need to pack the room and tell the folks from Montpelier: don't let NorthStar cut corners to make a profit, and leave a radioactive, contaminated mess on the banks of the Connecticut River for future generations to clean up. They need to hear from the people of Windham County that we do not want our river, our environment and public health at risk for corporate profit. An informational presentation will be given at 6:00pm. The Public Service Board will begin hearing the people speak at 7:00pm. The hearing will be at Vernon Elementary School, on Governor Hunt Road (across the street from Vermont Yankee) in Vernon, VT.
For more background go to Safe and Green Campaign's Decommissioning Resources page or check out this blog post by Sandy Levine of the Conservation Law Foundation.
Contact Leslie Sullivan Sachs at [email protected] for more information.
Protest Vigils at TD Bank
Sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, April 7th, 2017 (and every Friday) in front of TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301). Noon-1pm. Signs will be provided.
Friday, April 7th, 2017 (and every Friday) in front of the TD Bank Bellows Falls (2 Church St, Bellows Falls, VT 05101). 1pm-2pm. Please bring your own signs.
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. The State of Vermont Keeps Most of Our Cash in TD.
What You Can You Do (besides attending the vigils):
· If you’re a TD depositor, change banks!
· If you’re a Vermonter, demand that state funds not be deposited with a bank investing in fossil fuels.
Contact your state legislators to support the bills in the House & Senate calling for a commission to explore the possibility of a State Bank.
Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society. For more information please contact [email protected] or call 802.869.2141.
Four Corners Flashmob
sponsored by the Brattleboro Love Project
Friday, April 7th, 2017 at the corner of Main Street and High Street in Downtown Brattleboro, VT, 05301.
Calling all Vermont-based activists! We, at The Brattleboro Love Project, invite you to join us in creating a large scale, visually impactful statement of dissent, solidarity, and most importantly LOVE. Our banner which states loudly and proudly “Hate Does Not Grow Well In The Rocky Soil Of Vermont” will be hanging during April’s GalleryWalk at the intersection of Main St and High St. We invite you to meet at the four corners and FLASHMOB!
When the signal is given (during a walk signal), all will take to the street. We will all meet in the square intersection and stand together, united in our fierce compassion and unwavering convictions under OUR banner- because this banner belongs to every person who raises their eyes to it and knows that they belong here, they are accepted and embraced here and that we will stand with them. A photographer will be ready. Meet us at the four corners.
Black Lives Matter VT Fundraiser & Membership Drive
Saturday, April 8th, 2017 at Hermit Thrush Brewery (29 High Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-9pm.
21+ to drink.
Music with Live DJs: OSC & Selector Singh
Order take out food to be delivered and stay a while.
BLM T-shirts, posters, stickers, buttons, and more for sale. Come on down and support Black Lives Matter Vermont!
Parenting 4 Social Justice Chat
Wednesday, April 12th, 2017at the Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 6pm-8pm.
This is the second in a series of 3 chats (March 8, Apr 12, May 10) where we will be focusing on race and racial justice. We will share helpful resources, support each other in practicing hard conversations with our kids, and we will make a plan for how to take action with our kids. There will be a break-out discussion group for parents of kids of color. Spread the word!
Free and open to the public. Light Refreshments. All children welcome. Childcare is provided for kids ages 3 and up. Please RSVP to reserve a spot for your kids. I heard a rumor there might be a pajama party in the works... kids are welcome to wear PJs!
Parenting for Social Justice Chats at the Brooks Memorial Library are three Wednesdays from 6:00pm-8:00pm: March 8th, April 12th, and May 10th. Come to one or all. This initial series will focus on race and racial justice. We will have a break-out discussion group for parents of kids of color.
Parenting is beautiful and it is challenging. One of the things we struggle with as parents is having hard conversations with our kids. Many of us are seeking support and ideas for how to have the hard conversations with our kids about racism and police brutality, about immigration, about discrimination against Muslims, and many other racial justice issues. And we are looking to turn those conversations into action. The goal of these conversations is to contribute to successful communities by equipping parents with tools for engaging their children on social justice topics. This group provides a much needed boost of warmth, creativity, forgiveness, accountability, and love for the hard work ahead.
We will highlight resources and books. We often work in small groups, where parents share the hard social justice conversations they would like support with. We often practice those conversations to get group feedback. We always make commitments to taking action.
As Angela Berkfield wrote in her recent blog post on the Power of Community - “By sharing my parenting for social justice struggles with the world it made me accountable to continue trying, even through the struggle. Because of the support I have received from community I have seen my family shift in some subtle, and some groundbreaking ways.”
You can read more at www.act4socialjustice.com/power-of-coming-together
For more information or to RSVP email [email protected] or call 802.254.3400.
People's Climate March Art Build
sponsored by 350Brattleboro
Friday, April 14th, 2017 at the Brattleboro Food Co-Op (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance for this event). 4pm-7pm.
Come join 350Brattleboro for an afternoon of activism. We'll be making signs and banners for the People's Climate March in Washington, D.C. that will take place on Saturday, April 29th. No artistic skills necessary (although if you are an awesome artist then we'd love to see you there). Pizza likely. Inspiration, positivity and community-building guaranteed!
Questions? Email [email protected]
Soil Carbon Restoration Gives Hope for Reversing Global Warming
Sponsored by Living Earth Action Group
April 14th, 2017 at the Congregational Church of Westminster West (44 Church Street, Westminster, VT, 05346).
Speakers Marilyn Chiarello and Marlene Everingham will present on “Soil Carbon Restoration Gives Hope for Reversing Global Warming”.
This is exciting new information on the ability of healthy soil microorganisms to take carbon out of the atmosphere, if we change harmful farming practices. Come find out about how it works, how you can make a difference and spread the word. For more information call 802-387-5779.
Tax Day March
sponsored by Women Marching Forward, The Action Pod, and the Family Solidarity Network
Saturday, April 15th, 2017 in Downtown Brattleboro from 1pm-2pm.
WE THE PEOPLE demand honesty, transparency, and integrity from our leaders, and we are calling on Donald Trump to release his tax returns. Without his returns, Americans are in the dark about Trump's conflicts of interest, his foreign entanglements, and whether he even pays any taxes at all.We are marching to remind Donald Trump: He works for us now.
There will also be a Tax Day March in Burlington at 1pm and marches all across the country. To find out more visit: www.taxmarch.org
For decades, presidential candidates have shared their tax returns with the public to demonstrate their freedom from financial conflicts of interest and fitness to represent America. Throughout the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Donald Trump promised the American people that he—like the other candidates— would release his tax returns to prove his independence from foreign and corporate interests. Despite intense public pressure, he has not yet done so. Because of his refusal, Americans have been denied the opportunity to vet his potential conflicts of interest, and have been left wondering why Mr. Trump is so intent on hiding his business dealings and financial ties.
Within days of his inauguration, over one million citizens called on President Trump to release his tax returns, signing a White House Petition that garnered more signatures than any other in history. The Trump Administration’s response? “People don’t care.”
On April 15, we are marching to show that we do care. Americans across the country will, once again, come together to send a clear message to Donald Trump: the President is accountable to the American people, and he must answer to us.
This Brattleboro March for Tax Day will stand in solidarity with all the other Tax Day marches happening around the country (they are listed here: www.taxmarch.org). Together we'll send a message about the importance of transparency, honesty, and integrity in our leaders and demand that Trump release his tax returns so that any conflicts of interest can be appropriately vetted.
For sponsorship opportunities, please email [email protected].
Rally for Science Brattleboro
sponsored by Positive Geek and presented in association with Patch of Sky Farm, the March for Science, and Latchis Arts.
Saturday, April 22nd at Positive Geek (12 Flat St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301).12pm-5pm. FREE, family friendly, and open to the public.
An official rally associated with The National March for Science, www.MarchForScience.com.
Homemade treats will be available.
Help Us Rally for Science and the Environment on Earth Day!
Celebrate the quest for Science and the one planet in our solar system which can harbor life as we know it.
Special events will include speakers and presentations highlighting our magnificent universe and the fragile planet on which we live.
350.org founder Bill McKibben will be addressing attendees of our Earth Day event in a special video presentation. McKibben, author of a dozen books about the environment, is one of the best-known names in the environmental movement in Vermont and around the country. Showings of his presentation will take place at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm at Positive Geek on Flat Street.
Patch of Sky Farm of Guilford (owned by WeCAN Admin Joanna Wilson Phillips) will be sponsoring the rally and Joanna will be giving a live presentation discussing how eating locally and organically benefits the environment.
Patch of Sky Farm will be providing refreshments and free seeds for attendees.
The Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (BEEC) will be also be participating in this year’s festivities. We welcome one of the area's greatest environmental groups!
Community College of Vermont will be also participating in the Rally for Science Brattleboro. Welcome!
“Symphony of the Soil”, a film screening
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro
Monday, April 17th, 2017. Co-op Community Room. 5:30pm-8:00pm
Snacks at 5:30pm, screening begins promptly at 5:45pm.
From the website (http://www.symphonyofthesoil.com):"Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issue of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.”
People’s Climate March on Washington
Saturday, April 29th, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The bus will leave Brattleboro at 6am on Friday, April 28th and return overnight after the March on Saturday. Seats are available on a sliding scale. and financial assistance maybe available.
The time is fast approaching for the second People's Climate March. Given the hostility of the administration in Washington DC to climate science, we absolutely need to flood the streets with passionate voices for bold climate action.
Click this link to book a seat on the bus (fill in your personal information first and then the details will follow on the next page).
The bus from Brattleboro will leave at 6 am on Friday April 28th and return overnight after the march on Saturday. Seats are available at a sliding scale and no-one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If you need financial assistance please contact us!
Major! Free Community Screening
sponsored by Green Mountain Crossroads
Saturday, April 29th, 2017 at the Latchis Theater (50 Main St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm.
This is the story of one woman’s journey, a community’s history, and how caring for each other can be a revolutionary act.
MAJOR! follows the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.
This is the first screening of Major! in Vermont! Through Major!’s “Major to the People” Program, we are thrilled to offer free admission to the film.
We will also be collecting donations to be shared with Miss Major’s Circle of Care (missmajorfilm.com/circle-of-care) as well as local groups, Green Mountain Crossroads (greenmountaincrossroads.org) and The Root Social Justice Center (therootsjc.org).
This screening is being brought to you through a collaboration between Green Mountain Crossroads and Lost River Racial Justice (LRRJ) as part of LRRJ’s racial justice film series. Huge thanks to The Latchis for making this wonderful community event possible!
Miss Major’s personal story and activism for transgender civil rights, from mobile outreach and AIDS prevention to fighting the prison industrial complex, intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today.
She is a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion and was incarcerated at Attica months after the 1971 Uprising. Most recently, Miss Major has served as the executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), a grassroots organization advocating for trans women of color in and outside of prison that is led by trans women of color.
Miss Major’s extraordinary life and personal story is one of resilience and celebration in a community that has been historically traumatized and marginalized. While mainstream gay rights and marriage equality dominate the headlines, Miss Major’s life is a testament to the fierce survivalism and every day concerns of transgender women of color, who so often live in the margin of the already marginalized.
May Day March for Dignity! / ¡Marcha para La Dignidad!
Monday, May 1st, 2017 at 259 N. Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT. 12pm - 1pm
Sponsored by the Vermont Human Rights Council: Migrant Justice, Vermont Worker's Center, 350VT, Green Mountain Self-Advocates, VT Center for Independent Living, VT Interfaith Action, UE, United Academics, Pride Center, Rising Tide Vermont, Green Mountain Central Labor Council
March to Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop to demand they implement the Milk With Dignity Program as promised nearly 2 years ago. A rally at the Federal Building to lift up Vermont voices and campaigns will follow.
Meet at the Migrant Justice/ VT Worker's Center at 12pm and we leave at 1pm sharp to march through the Old North End to Ben & Jerry's scoop shop to demand they implement the Milk with Dignity Program as promised nealry 2 years ago! (feel free to meet at us at 1:30 at UU Church if you can't join earlier). Then we march and rally at the Federal Building (next to post office) demonsrating our unity and dignity in the face of Trump's hate and divsion-- lifiting up Vermont voices and campaigns in resistence to Trump's attacks on our communities.
This is especially crucial in the face of ICE arrests of migrant workers in Vermont. Carpools or vans from Brattleboro may be available. For more info or to sign up for a carpool or van ride please email [email protected] or call
Cross Class Dialogue Circle
Sunday, May 7th, 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!
350Brattleboro Regular Meetings
Meeting Times / Locations: 1st Wednesdays (Public Forum), 6 - 8 pm, Brooks Memorial Library 2nd Floor Mtg Rm (Brattleboro); 3rd Wednesdays (Leadership Team), 6 - 8 pm, Location Varies.
Southeastern Vermont Community Action Community Event
May, 2017 (Date TBD)
This year we will be moving from Advocacy to Activism, and – much like the WeCAN: Spring Into Action Fair - we wish to highlight different groups in the Brattleboro area who are making their voices heard on so many important issues. More information (like the date!) will follow, but please consider yourselves warmly invited!
Once again, thank you for showing up every week and continuing to fight for a better country and a better world.
Your Friendly WeCAN Admins,
Ann and Joanna