Weekly Email Update 12.21.20

“You do have a choice. You don’t have to be a part of the world of the lynchers. You can join the other America.”
Anne McCarty Braden b.1934 d.2006
an American civil rights activist, Louisville journalist, and educator dedicated to the cause of racial equality

 We hope you and your household are weathering December well, WeCAN friends, and enjoying the scents, sounds, and activism of the season. There are a few new entries this week, including a 2020 Virtual Abenaki Heritage event, a blood drive, a Homeless Memorial Day observation, and a historical look at American protests. Scroll down to the end to make sure you don't miss a single event. We hope to see you at a virtual gathering soon!

Showing Up for Racial Justice Georgia Senate Phone-Banking
     This week, we are once again featuring ways Vermonters can encourage Georgia residents to vote in the vital runoff Senate race happening in January. Since Friday, more than 1.1 million votes have been cast during early voting and some 24,000 people who did not vote in the November general election have cast ballots in the runoff! Wow! Let's keep that momentum going by staying involved during this vital holiday week.
     In the spotlight this week is the organization Showing Up for Racial Justice, which has a chapter right here in Vermont.
     Showing Up for Racial Justice is teaming up with Southern Crossroads to swing Georgia left in the upcoming Senate runoff elections. Several Lost River members have been involved in their phone banking efforts and report having a great experience. Here is what SURJ says about their work: "We are building the movement of long haul grassroots organizing for collective liberation in Georgia, and our next commitment is to show up big for the Jan. 5th Run-off election. During our campaign, we will be reaching out to the 300,000 white registered democratic voters in GA both on the phones and field canvassing through door knocking."
     There are opportunities for making phone calls, on the ground canvassing (share with friends in GA!), and making donations to support this work. Check out SURJ's GAining Ground page to register for any and all events happening between now and January 5th, 2021. Phone banks are running frequently for new and returning volunteers from now until January 5th as well. We hope to see you there!

 

HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, DECEMBER 21st, 2020-SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27th, 2020

2020 Virtual Abenaki Heritage “Weekend”
Monday, December 21st, 2020- Thursday, December 24th, 2020, Online. FREE, registration is required for all events. Events are limited to 50ppl each, on a first come first served basis. For more information and to register, please go to http://www.abenakiart.org/events/abenaki_heritage_weekend.
Join the Native American community for a virtual Abenaki Heritage “Weekend.” This special weekend, organized by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Abenaki Arts & Education Center, gives visitors an Abenaki perspective on life in the Champlain Valley.
The Native people at this event are experts in the living indigenous arts and traditions, which they come together to share with one another and with visitors. They have inherited, researched, reconstructed, or apprenticed to learn the techniques with which they create outstanding beadwork, quillwork, basketry, pottery, woodworking and other items for personal use on view. Tribal members will also share songs, drumming, dancing, games, and other skills.

Virtual Sessions
-On Winter Solstice, December 21st, 2020 at 7pm ET join the Native American community for a virtual celebration of Abenaki culture. In this virtual session, we welcome Jim Taylor (Elnu Abenaki Tribe in Southern Vermont), a talented graphic artist. He works in many traditional and contemporary media forms, including quillwork, carving and wampum. In this interview, he will discuss his art and the historical context of his work.
Registration for each session is limited to the first 50 viewers on a first-come, first-served basis.

-On Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 7pm ET, join the Native American community for a virtual Abenaki Heritage “Weekend.” In this virtual session, we welcome Sherry Gould. She will do a presentation about Abenaki basket makers. She is the Tribal Genealogist for the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, one of the lead organizers for the Abenaki Trials Project, and an Abenaki Basketmaker.
Registration for each session is limited to the first 50 viewers on a first-come, first-served basis.

-On Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 at 7pm ET, join the Native American community for a virtual Abenaki Heritage “Weekend.” In this virtual session, we welcome Jeanne Morningstar Kent, who has dedicated her life to the pursuit of Art. In addition to being an Abenaki Gourd artist, she holds a Batchelor of Fine Arts Degree and a Master in Art Education from the University of Hartford. Jeanne is also the author of Seeds of Inspiration and The Visual Language of Wabanaki Art.
Registration for each session is limited to the first 50 viewers on a first-come, first-served basis.

-We’d like to thank our partners and sponsors: The 2020 virtual Abenaki Heritage “Weekend” was made possible through the help of our friends at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and partial funding from the Vermont Humanities Council, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Foundation for the Arts, and private donors.

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Red Cross Blood Drive at NECCA
Monday, December 21st, 2020 at NECCA (10 Town Crier Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12:30pm-5pm.
Give the gift of life! It's easy and so worth while. There are lots of protocols in place to make sure it's very safe with limited appointments, required masks, and on-site temperature checks. Find more info and schedule a time here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time 

 

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Everyone Eats! EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 30th, 2020!! 
Monday, December 21st, 2020-Thursday December 24th, 2020 at the C.F Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm. Masks required. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY. You can pick up meals for up to three households including your own. If you have any questions visit https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/ or contact Frances Huntley frances@brattleboro.com. 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! Info From Putney Mutual Aid
Have you taken advantage of Everyone Eats? Here's how Putney folks can participate:
1. CURBSIDE PICKUP IN PUTNEY!!! We will be distributing meals in Putney for curbside pickup on Monday evening. Pick up at the Putney Community Center from 5-5:45. First come, first served. No need for advance reservations. (Be sure to drive up in your car and wait for instructions. We will bring the food to you.)
2. DELIVERY IN PUTNEY!!! Putney Mutual Aid volunteers can deliver a meal to you on Monday evenings -- PM us, comment here or email PutneyVTMutualAid@gmail.com to make arrangements
3. CURBSIDE PICKUP IN BRATT!! You can journey into Brattleboro (Mon-Thurs, 4-6) to pick up a meal. The program runs through mid-December. (more info in the link below).
4. VOLUNTEER!!! If you are interested in helping with delivery of meals as a volunteer with Putney Mutual Aid, contact us! Comment below, PM or PutneyVTMutualAid@gmail.com.
Just a reminder... this program is meant to be an economic stimulus as well as an innovative way to address food security. Please feel free to participate and grab a meal! It helps our local restaurants and gives us all delicious food. Putney Food Shelf https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/.

 

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Covid 19 Pop-Up Testing
Brattleboro:
Monday, December 21st, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-8pm.
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). FULL
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-12pm.
Thursday, December 24th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). CLOSED
Friday, December 25th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). CLOSED
Saturday, December 26th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-2pm.
Sunday, December 27th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-2pm.
Monday, December 28th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-8pm.
Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-8pm.
Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-2pm.
Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-2pm.
Stratton:
Monday, December 21st, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). FULL
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT 05155). FULL
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT 05155). CLOSED
Thursday, December 24th, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). CLOSED
Friday, December 25th, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). CLOSED
Saturday, December 26th, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). 9am-12pm.
Sunday, December 27th, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). 9am-12pm.
Monday, December 28th, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). 9am-12pm.
Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). 9am-12pm.
Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155). 9am-12pm.
Testing is available for all. 
If you need testing, there are a variety of options available to you: your primary care provider, pop-up test sites and pharmacies. The Test Site Finder below can help you find other testing near you.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT POP-UP TESTING LOCATIONS
Here are the steps to set up a testing appointment at a pop-up testing site:

  • Register to get an account
  • Receive an email with your patient ID and use that to confirm your account (check your spam folder if you don't see the email)
  • Log in with your patient ID
  • Set up an appointment

Register for Pop-Up Testing Here

 

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National Union of The Homeless’ Annual National Homeless Memorial Day
Monday, December 21st, 2020, Online. 7pm-9pm.

The National Union of the Homeless (NUH) is holding their Annual National Homeless Memorial Day on Dec. 21 from 7:00-9:00 p.m., streaming via YouTube and Facebook.
The NUH is partnering with the Freedom Church of the Poor to hold a Virtual Memorial Service and Political Educational Gathering on the longest night of the year, to honor those who die every year on the streets of the "richest country in the world.” The service will grant dignity in death to those who are not shown it in life, those who not only can't afford to live but also can't afford to die and who are buried in mass unmarked graves across this country: the nameless, the faceless, the many. 
REGISTER HERE:
https://actionnetwork.org/events/national-union-of-the-homeless-annual-national-homeless-memorial-day?source=direct_link&fbclid=IwAR3UEoreTNJWVw4ZtL-zxRAn3UgzBkdA-X2jxE7U-yiMq3OwqRrZEP8mKQk
This event will be live streamed on the NUH’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1209563262772182?active_tab=about
And on the NUH YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCg1sQ5ALv-Z3bLMsajHCkA/videos?view=0&view_as=subscriber&fbclid=IwAR03t-GZsa1b7nv-EXGGixp8z6rQbIqwocRvpLdV-Wyh6sT4yxyIbiJ_pMg

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Marlboro Community Food Share
hosted by the Marlboro Community Center
Thursday, December 24th, 2020, and every Thursday, at the Marlboro Community Center (524 South Road, Marlboro, VT, 05344). 4:30pm-5:30pm.
Every Thursday from 4:30pm-5:30pm the Marlboro Community Center invites you to fill a grocery bag with non-perishables and fresh local produce. No registration or eligibility required. This weekly opportunity is available for anyone who could use an extra bag of groceries or knows someone who does.
Food will be set up in the entry-way to the Marlboro Community Center. For proper social distancing, please enter one person at a time. Bring a grocery bag or use ours. Masks are required. Deliveries will be made through Marlboro Cares for those needing assistance. Please call Marlboro Cares at 258-3030 in advance to arrange a delivery.
To donate food:
Leave non-perishable food in the donation box at the Marlboro Post Office. It will be collected on a weekly-basis. (Please note that this box previously supplied the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry, which is now distributing food exclusively from VT Food Pantry) 
Gardeners and farmers are welcome to donate produce. Wear masks and wash hands when harvesting and handling food. Fresh produce can be dropped off at the Community Center on Thursday between 1pm and 4pm. (Any leftover produce will be taken to FoodWorks the following morning)

 

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Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, December 26th, 2020 (and every Saturday this Winter) at the C.F. Church Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-2pm.
Masks are required. COVID19 social distancing directives will be observed during pickup. 
We regret to inform you that the physical market will no longer be open for in-person shopping as of Saturday, November 26th, 2020 due to the increased risks associated with COVID19. We will, however, continue in a curbside pick up model at least through the holidays. At the start of the New Year we'll assess the possiblity of re-opening a "Shop "n Go" market. For the most up to date info on current market practices or other market information go to www.brattleborowinterfarmersmarket.org. 
Our order cycle opens each week at 8AM on the Tuesday morning before a market, and closes at 8PM on Thursday evening so our vendors can pick, pack, bake and make what you are looking for. Our orders will be ready for pick up between 11am-1pm. There will be a $1 fee added for processing debit or credit cards. Just as at the in-person market, this enables us to offer access for those using food benefits. 

Thanks to generous support from C & S grocers, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Brattleboro Savings & Loan and Post Oil Solutions, they will be adding a new match for customers using SNAP/EBT. Similar to the Crop Cash program, the "Boost your Bread" will help put more healthy local food on the tables of those who receive SNAP/EBT benefits, while supporting local farmers, bakers and other food producers at the winter market. With both Crop Cash and Boost your Bread, $10 will be triple your buying power, allowing you to purchase $30 worth of food at the market.
For more information, visit their website at https://www.brattleborowinterfarmersmarket.org

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Community Conversations with Representative Emilie Kornheiser
Saturday, December 26th, 2020, 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.
This Saturday I’ll be hosting my final community conversation of 2020. The Zoom room will open at 10am and I hope you can join. I’ll share priorities for the new year and listen for yours. We’ll discuss what matters for our community and the type of government that will best represent you and your needs. Open conversation format-- come for the full hour or just stop by for a few minutes to share a particular concern or question. 
The legislative session begins on January 6th and we’ll begin hosting weekly conversations again that Saturday (the 9th at 10am.)

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Coffee with Coffey
Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, Online. 3pm-4pm.
You can access the Zoom HERE. 
The legislative session begins on January 6th and if you live in my district please join me this Sunday, December 6th for "Coffee with Coffey" 3-4pm over Zoom. These monthly coffee hours (held on the first Sunday of each month) are as a way to stay connected with the issues and our neighbors. I will share my priorities for the coming session, answer questions and listen to your ideas and concerns. If you cannot make it to a coffee hour please don't hesitate to get in touch by phone or email. 
Hope to see you! Be well and take good care, 
Sara Coffey 
State Representative 
Windham-1/Guilford & Vernon 
email: SCoffey@leg.state.vt.us 
home phone: 802-257-0288

 

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Speaking Up: Histories of American Protest and Activism (Part of the 2021 Virtual Winter Lecture Series)
presented by Historic Deerfield
Sunday, January 24th, 2021 at 3pm
Sunday, February 28th, 2021 at 3pm
Sunday, March 28th, 2021 at 3pm
Gain access here: zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4eJ8JhtvSc2UsQkgsZ2M7g. Free, registration is required. This lecture series will be presented live via Zoom webinar. The link to the webinar will be sent to registrants prior to the event. Webinars will be recorded and available to registrants for viewing for two weeks after the live event.
Protest and dissent are an integral part of American political and cultural identity. Join us this winter for three virtual webinars devoted to exploring vibrant, lesser-known histories of American activism including the radical abolition movement of the 19th century, how women of color transformed the women’s suffrage movement, and the raucous electoral politics of the post-Civil War era.

 

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Inclusion Center December Newsletter

Inclusion Center's newest newsletter is now available and be found here: 

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Youth Essay Contest

Sanders Announces Eleventh Annual State of the Union Essay Contest
The deadline for student essay submissions is Jan. 12, 2021. More information can be found on Sanders’ Senate webpage at https://www.sanders.senate.gov/stateoftheunion or by calling (800) 339-9834.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has launched his eleventh annual State of the Union essay contest.
Each January, the President of the United States delivers the “State of the Union” address to a joint session of Congress, which outlines priorities for the coming year. Because Senator Sanders knows that great ideas can come from everyone – not just those in power – and wants to encourage young people to become engaged in the political process, he created the State of the Union Essay Contest.  The contest is an opportunity for Vermont high school students to describe a major issue facing our country and propose what they would do to solve it.
The 250-500 word essays can be on any issue of national importance. A volunteer panel of Vermont teachers will judge the essays on the students’ ability to articulate an issue and propose a solution, without regard to the students’ political views. Senator Sanders will enter the essays of the ten finalists into the Congressional Record – the official archive of the U.S. Congress.
“I started this essay contest 11 years ago to help our students be actively engaged, no matter where they stand on the issues,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee. “This year, our state and nation face a health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a renewed fight for racial justice. Many of you have seen family members struggle because of lost wages or health concerns, you have been asked to learn online, and you face a future that may feel uncertain. To my mind, the unprecedented nature of this time makes it more important than ever to hear perspectives and innovative ideas from you, our young people.”
More than 4,600 students from high schools throughout Vermont have written essays in the past ten years about critically important issues, including climate change, access to mental health care, the rising cost of college, and much, much more. Last year, Isabelle Hiller from Woodstock Union High School was selected as the winner from 536 submissions for her essay on criminal justice reform.

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

LGTBQIA+ Resources via Out in the Open

Out in the Open is offering a lot of resources & virtual spaces for rural LGBTQ folks in this time, friends. The full list and calendar is on our website hereWe have a Community Care Offers & Asks list, and a list of Rural New England Mutual Aid opportunities, with specific resource links for LGBTQ and QTPOC folks. Out in the Open also has a Slack channel for rural LGBTQ folks to share resources and connect outside of social media. Email info@weareoutintheopen.org for more information.

 

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The Root Social Justice Center Year End Activities
The Root is seeking volunteers to help with their year-end fundraising, phone-banking, and other events. Tasks include:

  • Phone-thanking (1:1 calls, reading a prepared script)
  • Postcards (writing/mailing to donors and members)
  • Phone-banking (outreach to yearly and major donors)
  • Co-facilitation or Tech support during our Virtual Gratitude Event (December)
  • Marketing & Outreach for our Virtual Gratitude Event (December)
  • Communication (Assisting the Development Director in scheduling and coordinating other volunteers)

If you are able to help please fill out this sign up sheet.

 

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Help Brattleboro Rewrite the Hazard Mitigation Plan
Brattleboro is re-writing its Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan looks at what natural risks we face and how we can reduce natural hazards.
You can learn more and contribute your thoughts HERE

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DACA is Back: How to Prepare
DACA is back in full and DHS is accepting first time applicants again. If you’re an undocumented youth (or not so young anymore) and don’t know if you qualify to receive this protection, you can figure it out using the DACA application checklist.
But first, whether you find that you qualify or not, you should still consult a trusted lawyer or legal representative when deciding whether to apply and to review your application. This DACA application checklist is only meant as a guide and not as the final word on your qualification as an applicant. You can find the checklist and more information HERE. 

 

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120 Birge Street Collective
The 120 Birge St.  collective is a group of local artist/musician/poets/builders etc that have been sharing a collective art/music space in one of the old Estey buildings. It has been a wild year; Winter is on it's way and although there are so many causes we all need to be giving to in this world, we could definitely use a bit of help to keep our space alive and come out the other side of this all ready to host and promote and foster and keep the lights and heat on! People can donate via Venmo @minions. Thanks for your consideration/support!

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Social Justice Resources

ROOT SOCIAL JUSTICE CENTER MUTUAL AID & SUPPORTIVE NETWORK
The Root Social Justice Center is collecting a list of contacts and resources to help support and assist with the needs of their Root community members. Join if you are in need or are able to help.

RURAL RACIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZING STUDY GROUP TOOLKIT FROM LOST RIVER RACIAL JUSTICE AND OUT IN THE OPEN
     Exciting new resource available to rural communities and beyond who are fighting for racial justice. Lost River Racial Justice and Out in the Open have put together this Rural Racial Justice Organizing Study Group Toolkit to support communities in running their own study groups.
Find the full toolkit on our website here: weareoutintheopen.org/zines--toolkits, link to PDF HERE.
     This toolkit was crafted and created in 2018 and revised after our 2019 Rural Racial Justice Organizing Study Group. The toolkit was created as an act of love by many individuals within our community and in collaboration with The Root Social Justice Center.
    We are releasing this resource now, in early Fall 2020, after years in the making, fueled from the global uprisings for Black Lives Matter and a global pandemic raging across the globe, which disproportionately impacts Black and Brown people. We continue to mourn the murders of Black trans folks, cis Black women, and cis Black men. We build on the collective outrage, and inspiration of global uprisings for Black Lives with the release of this toolkit to support continued organizing in rural communities and all communities.
     This is the long haul work. This Toolkit and Study Group are intended to take time and intention. In a moment where there is the call to action, for white people to do work in dismantling white supremacy, this Toolkit allows a framework for deep learning, conversation, and commitment to engage in rural racial justice work for the long haul, not just in a specific moment.
     We are sharing this widely as an invitation to use this toolkit as a framework and guideline for supporting the development organizing and continued education opportunities within your rural communities.

 

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COVID 19 RESOURCES: VERMONT

NEW COVID 19 STATEWIDE GUIDELINES  Effective Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at 10pm.

-
December 18th, 2020 Update from Gov Scott

Officials give vaccination update, urge Vermonters to stay safe for the holidays.
Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said at Friday’s press conference that all hospitals have now received their allocation of COVID-19 vaccine for the first week and have been busy vaccinating their higher risk healthcare staff.
Meanwhile, our pharmacy partners — CVS, Walgreens and HealthDirect/Kinney Drugs — are scheduled to begin clinics at long-term care facilities next week.
“We need to be patient as we wait to make sure those at highest risk are protected right now,” Dr. Levine said. “While we won’t get to watch all the vaccinations that continue over the coming months like we saw the very first one, we can keep this in mind: every time a Vermonter gets vaccinated, all of us benefit.”
Before finalizing the next priority group for vaccination, we are awaiting recommendations from ACIP, which will be meeting this weekend, and our own Vaccine Implementation Advisory Group which met today.
As important as the vaccine is, we must stay focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Levine said, especially with the holidays that begin next week.
“The guidance that is currently in place still calls for us to avoid social gatherings, and the CDC has also said: the safest way to celebrate is to celebrate at home with the people you live with,” Dr. Levine said.
We need to remind anyone who does get together with others, to keep gatherings as small as possible, wear masks, keep a 6-foot distance, go outside if you can. And always stay away from others if you’re sick.
Plan ahead to get tested — right afterward, and seven days later. And if you gather or travel, plan to quarantine — stay home and away from others, either for 14 days or seven days with your negative test result (as long as you don’t have symptoms).
“The fact is, we need to acknowledge that some people will choose these higher risk activities, but if we can encourage them to take these steps, we can still help protect our communities from further spread,” Dr. Levine said. “And please strongly reconsider any gathering that involves a person with underlying medical conditions or an older person.”

 

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CURRENT COVID19 CASE INFORMATION

New cases: 86 (6243 total) (-27 from last week) 
Currently Hospitalized: 27 (+1)
Hospitalized in ICU: 10 (+5)
Hospitalized Under Investigation: 2 (+2)
Deaths: 107 (+14)

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COVID 19 VACCINE INFORMATION

Identifying Priority Groups

Based on what we know now, it is likely that the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine will be limited, and will be distributed to states in phases, with early vaccine going to certain groups of people. Those groups may include:

  • people who provide direct care to others (for example, health care professionals)
  • people who are critical to the COVID-19 response (for example, people who work at COVID-19 testing sites, people who process COVID-19 specimens at laboratories)
  • people who are essential to maintaining a functional society (for example, first responders) 
  • older adults and people who have chronic illnesses and are at the highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19

We will look to recommendations from the National Academies(link is external) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices(link is external), and gather input from organizations and partners across Vermont, to determine what these groups will be in Vermont. 

Ensuring Equitable Access

When a COVID-19 vaccine is more widely available, we will work closely with the health care providers, pharmacies, and others who will provide the vaccine in Vermont, to ensure access across the state. We will also collaborate with community organizations and other partners to make sure people who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including Black, Indigenous and people of color, have equitable access to the vaccine.   

Sharing Information with Vermonters

We are committed to sharing ongoing updates with Vermonters as we make plans for vaccine distribution, and as we learn more about strategies at the national level. Below you will find our draft interim COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for Vermont. For a quick look at the plan, read the executive summary. 

READ THE DRAFT INTERIM PLAN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

READ THE FULL DRAFT INTERIM PLAN

 

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Free In-Home Covid19 Testing
sponsored by United Way of Windham County
People who are in need of a covid test and do not have transportation should call VT Public Transit at 802-442-0629 or toll free at 1-833-387-7200. VT Transit will contact your provider to confirm and get necessary info. They are using an ambulance service thru VT Department of Health which will do FREE IN-HOME testing and then transport your specimen to a local lab. VT Transit takes initial info and contacts the local EMS and VDH.

 

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School and Child Care Guidance
Strong and Healthy Start: Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools
Mental Health: A Strong and Healthy Start: Social, Emotional and Mental Health Supports During COVID-19
Child care: Health Guidance for Child Care and Out of School Care

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES, DURING COVID 19:

What if you are isolated (or quarantined) with your abuser? Reach out for the help you need. Law enforcement is continuing to respond to calls. Hotlines and shelters will remain open. Contact the Vermont Network for more information about your local organization.

  • Vermont Network(link is external)
  • Vermont Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-228-7395
  • Vermont Sexual Violence Hotline: 800-489-7273
  • LGBTQ+ Survivor Support-line: 802-863-0003
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
  • If you’re unable to speak safely: Log onto thehotline.org(link is external) or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • If you are in an emergency situation: Call 911

 

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Statewide Mutual Aid
organized by Brenda for Vermont
Localized Mutual Aid has been organized in Brattleboro and Putney and hyper local neighborhoods in Marlboro.  If your community does not have mutual aid or you can't find it, please sign up to volunteer or if you are in need of help.  All of us will likely be on the side of being able to help and needing help at times.  Please don't hesitate to ask for help.
Sign up here if you would like to help your neighbors or are in need of help:https://www.brendaforvermont.com/cms/help-your-neighbor/
The links below will take you directly to the mutual aid forms. 
To Volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfkRnbDKtNX_SacVaHWPyIAnsSXDGLsDMZE8vys25nzTgUo5A/viewform
If You Need Help: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfw7gg12KNq6n4s7SDUxf1ghMx-0MD3S0RCWQtxqmPTJQI8QA/viewform

 

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Online Religious Services

All Souls U.U. Sunday Services
Sunday Mornings at 10am. 
To get the current information on an upcoming service or vespers check the All Souls web page at www.ascvt.org.

 

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FREE HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD IN WINDHAM COUNTY

Brigid’s Kitchen, St. Michael’s Church, 47 Walnut Street, Brattleboro 802-254-6800 or 802-558-6072 
Grab-and-go lunches and fruit/nuts on Mon, Weds, Thus, and Sat, 11:30am-12:20pm.

Loaves and Fishes, Centre Congregational Church 193 Main Street, Brattleboro (802) 254-4730
Grab-and-go lunches on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12pm.

VT Foodbank and Veggie Van Go
will be at Brattleboro Union High School (Fairground Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the parking lot, on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month, from 10am-11:30am. Drive up, touchless pickup. Walkers welcome, too. Call VT 211 for more information. 

Foodworks, the food shelf program of the Groundworks Collaborative https://groundworksvt.org (802) 490-2412, ccolascione@GroundworksVT.org 
Households in need of food are asked to call or email to coordinate delivery. There is an urgent need for volunteers, and Foodworks has set up protocols to keep staff, volunteers, and clients as safe as possible. Please email us at volunteer@GroundworksVT.org if you are able to help.

Guilford Food Pantry 
Every Thursday at the BBCC (3940 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT, 05301). 5pm-6pm.
We know that supplemental food can make such a big difference in one's budget. That is why we are stocking our shelves for our neighbors. All are welcome to come and take home fresh produce, staples, meat, dairy. Guilford Cares welcomes anyone in need of supplemental food for themselves or their families.

NEW: “Everyone Eats!” Food Relief Program Information

If you have questions, contact Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com
What is this? Everyone Eats!, a food relief pilot program in Brattleboro, leverages federal relief funds to engage local restaurants in making to-go meals for anyone in Brattleboro, Guilford, Vernon, Dummerston, or Putney whose food security has been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and other financial challenges. With eight Brattleboro restaurants, Monday through Thursday, through December 30th, 2020.
When? Monday – Thursday 4pm-6pm
Where?  Individuals/households will be able to pick up meals in the parking lot of the Church Building on Flat Street on a first-come-first-served basis. Organizations will be able to pick up pre-ordered meals at Mama Sezz in West Brattleboro.
Who is eligible? Anyone whose food security has been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and other challenges to well-being who would get relief from receiving meals may participate.
For Individuals
When and where can I receive meals? Meal distribution for individuals is first-come-first-served. Pickup is from 4-6pm on weekdays Monday through Thursday in downtown Brattleboro (location TBA).
Is it free? All who would benefit from a meal are welcome to participate.
Can I give something back to help the program? There is no obligation to pay it back or forward. If what you have to offer in return is your thanks, that’s enough. But if you can share veggies from your garden, there will be a drop-off location on site for bagged or boxed contributions; as much as possible will be used in future meals. And 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. Touch-free options for donation include Venmo, Paypal, mailing a check, or providing a donation at the time of pickup.
What will I receive? You will receive one individually packaged cold ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinner for each person you request a meal for.
Do you have vegetarian or vegan/GF options? Yes, you will request your meal choice at the time of pickup.
Is there a limit to how many meals I can get? You can request one meal per person per day for each person in your household. Please note that there is a limit to how many meals will be produced each day. We hope to serve everyone who makes a request but we cannot guarantee it. Meals will be first-come-first-served.
Can I pick up meals for another household? Yes, you can pick up meals for up to three households including your own.
Will my meals be hot or cold? 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.
For Organizations
As a representative of an organization, can I request meals on behalf of my clients? Yes. We invite organizations to do bulk pickups for distribution to those they serve.
Is there a limit to how many meals I can pick up? No, but you will need to reserve meals in advance each week using this form.
What will I receive? You will receive individually packaged COLD ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinners for each person you are willing to distribute a meal to.
What options are available? You will choose how many of each type of meal (omnivore, vegetarian, vegan/GF) and which days you will pick up meals for distribution.
Who will be making the food? These meals are being made by independently-owned local restaurants.
Will I need to pick up our meals, or will you deliver to my location? You will need to pick up your requested meals and distribute them to your clients. We cannot deliver them to you.
When and where do I pick up my meals? Pickup for organizations is from 4pm-6pm on weekdays Monday through Thursday in West Brattleboro at Mama Sezz, 127 Marlboro Rd.
How do I request meals for bulk pickup? Organizations must submit their request forms two weeks before the first distribution week and one week before the second, third, and fourth distribution weeks. To get more information about participating and request a form for the first week, contact Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com.
Will I receive a confirmation? After your meal request form is received, you will receive an automated email via Google Forms.
When do you need my form by? Meal request forms must be submitted by the Thursday prior to the week they are for (except for the first week, which must be submitted two weeks prior). You will need to submit a new form each week. If you have already received meals in a prior week, you will receive an email reminder for later weeks.

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Food Discount Programs

Food Resources at Brattleboro Food Coop 
Our Shareholder Assistance Grant supports community members who could not otherwise afford to be a Shareholder at the Co-op. It covers $60 of the $80 cost of a Brattleboro Co-op Share. By joining the Co-op and paying the remaining $20 over the course of a year, a community member can enjoy all the benefits of being a Co-op Shareholder and qualify for our 10% Food for All discount. https://www.brattleborofoodcoop.coop/join/become-a-shareholder/shareholder-assistance-grant/

Food for All is our needs-based discount program. It gives eligible Shareholders a 10% discount on all food at the Co-op, with a few exceptions (such as alcohol). Food for All can apply to anyone that fits the criteria - WIC, 3 Squares Vermont, SSI, EBT, referral letter from a local organization. https://www.brattleborofoodcoop.coop/shop/food-for-all-program/ 

Contact the Shareholder Services department at the Brattleboro Food Co-op for assistance at 802-246-2821 or Shareholders@brattleborofoodcoop.coop

 

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Vermont WIC is Responding to Covid 19
We are moving to phone appointments to align with social distancing efforts. If you have opted in to email and text notifications, you will receive important program updates, including information about local office hours and changes in operations. Our website will be kept up-to-date as well. Contact your local office with any questions about breastfeeding, nutrition or shopping. Call 1-800-649-4357 or email WIC@Vermont.gov with any questions about WIC nutrition services and enrollment.

P-EBT (Pandemic EBT) is Available in VT
Many families in Vermont were notified that they would be receiving a food benefit called Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT). P-EBT is loaded on a card and can be used to purchase the groceries at many grocers and farmers markets. If you have school-aged kids, contact your school district to apply for free school meals. If approved, you'll automatically receive P-EBT. 
If you’ve already received P-EBT and also participate in WIC, use your WIC benefits first, as WIC benefits do not rollover month-to-month. dcf.vermont.gov/press-releases/P-EBT

 

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ADDITIONAL COVID 19 RESOURCES CAN BE FOUND AT THEIR PERMANENT HOME ON OUR WEBSITE, HERE: https://www.wecantogether.net/covid19_resources

 

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RESOURCE FOR WeCAN

Rapid Response Text Alert System

When WeCAN began, Song & Solidarity set up a Rapid Response Text Alert System for WeCAN Groups. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.

  

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM. To stream live, visit: www.wvew.org 
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections! IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353

 

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We'd like to take this moment to wish everyone a very happy Winter Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and a very happy holiday season to all members of the WeCAN Community. Until next week....

Your Friendly WeCAN Admins,

Joanna and Sam