Weekly Email Update 4.26.21

Weekly Email Update 4.26.21

“Our act of making art is our act of action. It’s a resistance.”
Jennifer Mack-Watkins
Artist and creator of Children of the Sun, an exhibit now at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center through June 13th, 2021

     April is National Volunteer Month and we would like to take a moment to thank each and every member of this WeCAN community for your hard work and dedication in supporting your neighbors here in Windham County and throughout Vermont. If you are thinking about volunteering and sharing your talents, we encourage you to go for it! Remember: "Volunteers don't necessarily have the time; they just have the heart". 

Here are a few socially distanced ways you can support organizations or people you believe in right now, as a volunteer:

  • Design templates, flyers, or social media graphics. Free sites like Canva.com make creating available to anyone with an internet connection. 

  • Make phone calls or text to check-in with the people you serve

  • Organize files or data, input data, craft outgoing messages, or respond to emails

  • Create a daily, weekly, or monthly email newsletter that is sent to those being served
  • Draft, edit, and/or proof documents

  • Use social media to market your organization to your community and utilize guerrilla marketing techniques for free
  • Launch a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for your organization

  • Help with research

  • Coordinate volunteers

Would you like to be matched with a local organization as a volunteer?
Do you need volunteers for your group or organization?

Email WeCAN Editor Joanna at [email protected] and let's chat! 

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HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, APRIL 25th, 2021

Weekly Community Conversation with Rep. Emilie Kornheiser
Sunday, April 25th, 2021, Online. 11am.
Please sign up in advance for this meeting and we’ll send you an email with the zoom link. https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtce-grD4rGNxo9FEE3R8zKpRSj_qBTz03
Emilie Kornheiser, State Representative for Windham 2-1, invites you to join her weekly community conversations: every Sunday at 11am. We’ll talk about what’s happening in the legislature and in our town. Open conversation format-- come for the full hour or just stop by for a few minutes to share a particular concern or question.

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Outside of Windham County
Voices of Black Men in Vermont: A Virtual Forum
sponsored by Second Congregational Church Mission Team, Greater Bennington Interfaith Council, Greater Bennington Peace and Justice Center, and the Bennington Performing Arts Center
Sunday, April 25th, 2021, Online. 2pm-4pm.
Stream the live event HERE.
Black men are especially vulnerable to traffic stops and interactions that can lead to arrest and sometimes death in police custody. The events of the past few years leading to George Floyd’s death and, recently, an active-duty soldier’s arrest ignited a conversation about police treatment of black men. Similarly, the rate of incarceration is significantly higher among black men compared to their white peers. Vermont’s overall incarceration rate is among the lowest in the country, but its rate of incarceration for Black men is among the highest. 
Please join us for a virtual forum on Sunday, April 25 at 2. The event will feature the lived experiences of four Black men in Vermont, Jason “Jayk” Brown, Shawn Pratt, Marion “Ghost” Russell, and Raymond “Tee Tee” Moore. Panelists will discuss their experiences with policing and incarceration. This event is the first of a mini-series.

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Putney Anti-Racism Book Group: Stamped
hosted by the Putney Central School Leadership Council and the Putney Public Library
Sunday, April 25th, 2021, Online. 7pm-9pm.

For zoom info to join or for more information, contact [email protected] or 603.504.2906 -- you can also send a message through FB messenger.
Please join the Putney Central School Leadership Council and the Putney Public Library for a continuation of an anti-racism book group for all Putney families and community members.
Join us for a discussion of Stamped-Racism, Antiracism and You, written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

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For the Love of Baskets: Spring Fundraiser for the United Way of Windham County
Sunday, April 18th, 2021-Sunday, April 25th, 2021, Online at www.32auctions.com/fortheloveofbaskets.

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, APRIL 26th, 2021-SUNDAY, MAY 2nd, 2021

Everyone Eats! 
Monday, April 26th, 2021-Thursday, April 29th, 2021 at the C.F Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm. Masks required. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY.  If you have any questions visit https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/ or contact Frances Huntley [email protected]. 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.

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Community Meeting to Rename Negro Brook with facilitation by Steffen Gillom
cosponsored by Windham County NAACP, Peace & Justice Center, and Rename Negro Brook Alliance
Monday, April 26th, 2021, Online. 6pm-8pm.
Registration is required. Please register below: https://secure.lglforms.com/form.../s/z5i8dQTHryIRtt0uIJjcPw Please join us to learn more and get involved in this effort regarding a brook that runs through Townsend State Park. 
From the Rename Negro Brook Alliance:
We came to the name "Susanna Toby Brook" through working with Dr. Elise Guyette, a historical researcher and author of Discovering Black Vermont, who's been helping us research the history of early Black Vermonters in and around Townshend. Unfortunately, the origins of the brook's name are unknown, but historically, race-based place names across the U.S. have almost always originated from a relationship that a particular racial or ethnic group had with the associated land. Therefore, we are committed to centering an early Black Vermonter from the area in the renaming, and so of the 3 Black families living in the area in the early 19th century we chose to honor the Huzzys (Susanna's married name). As Dr. Guyette uncovered Susanna's story, and that of her courageous husband James, we believed that her story deserved to be told and that she is the most fitting candidate to rename Negro Brook after.
We invite you to watch or listen to a short video from Elise about Susanna and the Huzzy family: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1oPvMd2jcI.
Fast forward: After countless conversations, tons of outreach from farmer's markets to the Black Experience march on July 4th, hundreds of pages of primary source material submissions, hundreds of signatures from across 7 of Vermont's 14 counties, we submitted our petition to the Board of Libraries Geographic Renaming Committee in late 2020 and had our first hearing on December 8th. During that hearing, some questions and differences of opinion came up, and so we, as the petitioners, are seeking to bring some of these questions to the community and hear their input. We want to hear your feelings, perspectives, desires, and reflections so that we can integrate them into decisions surrounding our petition's future.

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Seeing and Disrupting Racism
hosted by the Peace and Justice Center
Monday, April 26th, 2021, Online. 6pm-8pm.
Registration is required https://secure.lglforms.com/form.../s/S5zjD8Rln--4uAQXGUgFxg
Suggested donation $25 for residents of Vermont, $30 for those outside of Vermont, no one turned away for lack of funds. Not sure if you should pay less, nothing, or more? Check our Sliding Scale document for guidance. If you cannot donate, put 0. If you have any questions please contact Arima Minard [email protected] or 802.863.2345 x105.
This introductory-level workshop defines racism and white fragility, explores how white fragility perpetuates racism and its harmful impacts on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and challenges participants to consider what steps they can take to disrupt racism at every level. This workshop was developed for predominantly white audiences, but all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Space is limited, registration is required (register below). These workshops are not recorded.

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Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holliday by Angela Y. Davis
presented by the Pioneer Valley Project Racial Justice Book Group
Monday, April 26th, 2021, Online. 7pm-8:30pm.
The book group is free for PVP members. We request a $25 donation (or other amount that works for you) from non-members. Please register here: https://forms.gle/ihScrVQ3Ydjh5ZNm6.
We invite you to join this multi-racial and anti-racist, liberty filled space to learn, share and build community. "From one of this country's most important intellectuals comes a brilliant analysis of the blues tradition that examines the careers of three crucial black women blues singers through a feminist lens. Angela Davis provides the historical, social, and political contexts with which to reinterpret the performances and lyrics of Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday as powerful articulations of an alternative consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American culture."

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Outside Windham County
Know Your Rights Training
sponsored by The Rutland Area NAACP
Tuesday, April 27th, 2021, Online. 6pm.
Pre-registration required. Register for this event HERE. More info at naacprutland.org.
The Aspiring NAACP Chapter at Castleton, in collaboration with the Rutland-Area Branch NAACP, has coordinated a Know Your Rights presentation. This session, facilitated by the Vermont ACLU, will provide tools for young Vermont residents to deal with police traffic stops and offer guidance to be a good witness in tenuous situations.

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White People & Defunding Police: A Webinar with Showing Up for Racial Justice and Mariame Kaba
Tuesday, April 27th, 2021, Online. 8pm-9:30pm.
To register, click HERE.
For many of us, defunding the police is a new idea. Most white people in our lives have beliefs about policing that are shaped by our racist culture, not reality or history. How do we help more people in our lives understand what defund means and move them to a place of supporting this powerful demand? How can those of us who are new to this demand deepen our understanding of what frontline organizers are calling for?
Join SURJ and Mariame Kaba-- organizer, writer and leader in the transformative justice and abolition movement-- as we explore what we mean when we talk about abolition, what abolition actually looks like on the ground, and how you can plug in to the work! If the webinar is full, we will be live steaming on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ShowingUpForRacialJustice. We will update this page once we confirm our live ASL interpreters and live captioning.

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Outside Windham County
Helping Youth Thrive: Health Kids, Healthy Farms, Healthy Communities
with Betsy Rosenbluth, Project Director of Vermont FEED at Shelburne Farms

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021, Online. 1pm-2:30pm.
Questions? Email [email protected] or call (802) 371-3448
A virtual symposium focusing on the benefits of local agriculture and sustainable food systems in promoting the physical and emotional well-being of our youth and families.
This virtual symposium continues our focus on Vermont organizations that are “Caring for Our Kids” and keeping them emotionally and physically strong during this unprecedented time.
Food security is an often overlooked but critical aspect of health care. A sustainable food system gives everyone access to nutritious, healthy, affordable foods and opportunities to produce it. Students who are well-fed with nutritious foods are more engaged and successful in their learning. The Farm to School model gives students the knowledge, skills and confidence to make healthy choices for themselves and their communities.
The conversation will include the perspectives of high school students who have been active in promoting Farm to School efforts in their local community.

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Food Works Sheet Mulching with Edible Brattleboro
Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 at FoodWorks (141 Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 2pm-5pm.
Email Marilyn if you are interested.
We’ll be installing a new vegetable bed at FoodWorks, 141 Canal Street. Come learn the sheet mulching (AKA lasagna method) as we build a new help-yourself garden. We will start at 2pm and continue until we're done, no later than 5pm.

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Building Power Happy Hour: Building a Strong Democracy 2021-2022 Kick-Off
hosted by Lean Left Vermont
Wednesday, April 28th, Online. 4:30pm-6pm. 
Join Lean Left Vermont for a Happy Hour kick-off to 2021/2022. Together, we’ll share our thoughts about our work in 2020, and the Lean Left Team will lay out the 2021/2022 strategy for building power and strengthening our democracy.
Bring your favorite beverage and join us on zoom for a toast to YOUR work!
Make your reservation here!

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Holding Space: Reflections on Children of the Sun
presented by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
Wednesday, April 28th, 2021, Online. 7pm.
Register here for this free online event: https://www.brattleboromuseum.org/2021/04/07/holding-space-reflections-on-children-of-the-sun/
This event will take place via Zoom and Facebook Live. A recording will be made available afterwards. Free.
In her debut solo museum exhibition, Jennifer Mack-Watkins explores history, recalls childhood memories, imagines joy, and acknowledges the importance of positive representation of African Americans. As a printmaker, parent, and educator, Mack-Watkins also shares how she examines her artistic process as a form of resistance against the erasure and invisibility of African American culture. Join Mack-Watkins, Daricia Mia DeMarr of Black Women in Visual Arts, and Novella Ford of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for a spirited conversation about CHILDREN OF THE SUN, holding space for our own narratives, and what we can learn from the archives.
About the Participants
-Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Jennifer Mack-Watkins lives and works in New York and New Jersey. She earned her B.A. in Studio Art from Morris Brown College, her M.A.T. in Art Education from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and her M.F.A. in Printmaking from the Pratt Institute. Mack-Watkins’s artwork investigates societal conventions that isolate and confine individuals into predefined identities.
-Daricia Mia DeMarr is co-founder of Black Women in Visual Arts. She served as assistant director at the NYU Kimmel Center Galleries, curated “Respectfully Yours” at the Queens Museum, Bulova Center, and founded Pi Arts Projects. DeMarr is currently gallery manager at Peg Alston Fine Arts and serves as an independent curator, arts administrator, and consultant.
-Novella Ford is the Associate Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research division of The New York Public Library. She connects diverse audiences to the archives and engages history through dialogue, performance, literature, and visual arts.

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Marlboro Community Food Share
hosted by the Marlboro Community Center
Thursday, April 29th, 2021, 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 802-258-3030 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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Guilford Cares Food Pantry
Thursday, April 29th, 2021 (and every Thursday) at the Guilford Fairgrounds (163 Fairground Rd, Guilford, VT 05301). 5pm-6pm.
If you have questions, concerns or would like to donate groceries or monetary gifts please contact Pat Haine 802-257-0626. For additional questions or more information call 802 579 1350 or email [email protected].
Guilford Cares Food Pantry has moved! The Pantry has moved to the First Aid building at the Guilford Fairgrounds. We will be fully stocked with all our usual grocery items.
The Fairgrounds are on Fairground Road, just off Weatherhead Hollow Road. From Guilford Center Road turn onto Weatherhead Hollow Road. Travel 1.7 miles down the road. The Fairgrounds are on the left and there will be a sign directing you up the hill for about .2 miles. The red building is on the left with a sign out in front. Please remain in your car; we’ll greet you,  and give you a shopping list as we have been doing for the past year.
If the Pantry will be closed for any unexpected reason, the closure will be announced on WKVT, WTSA, and Front Porch Forum.
If you cannot come to the Pantry due to illness or high risk, you can call also call Pat to arrange for food delivery by a volunteer.
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.

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Critical Mass Bicycle Ride
hosted by 350 Brattleboro and VBike
Friday, April 30th, 2021 at the Brattleboro Common (Park Place, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-6:30pm. Questions? Email [email protected]
Image credit: Hugh D'Andrade
We're restarting our Critical Mass Rides! We will adhere to physical distancing recommendations and masks are required.
Kids and families welcome! Critical (and "Kidical") Mass rides have a unique way of energizing folks around bike mobility, transportation solutions, and amplifying our collective ability and power to begin reclaiming our streets and communities. We need this, and we need YOU!
Agenda:
5:30pm: We'll be starting AND ending at the Brattleboro Common. We'll begin by getting organized, signing in, decorating bikes, and going over our route.
6:00pm: Begin Critical Mass ride. This will be a high-visibility downtown route!
6:30pm: End ride back at the Brattleboro Common.

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Flow: For the Love of Water: A Virtual Film + Discussion Event
Friday, April 30th, 2021, Online. 7pm.

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84021455483. Sign up here if you want an email reminder before the event!  
Join the Spark Teacher Education Institute for our Solidarity Film Series. This month we will be watching and discussing the documentary, Flow: For the Love of Water. Nearly two million people die each year from water-borne diseases worldwide, caused by overproduction, chemicals and privatization. Can anyone really own water? A case against the growing privatization of the world's dwindling water supply. What can be done to fight back?  

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Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week
presented by the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum
Saturday, May 1st, 2021 at 12am-Sunday, May 9th, 2021 at 11:30pm
For tickets, please click HERE.
The Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center (VIHC)  presents an all-encompassing online film festival during Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week; May 1-9, 2021.  They will take you on a startling journey through 12,000 years -- of old, new, mundane and extravagant stories and realities of the ancient, historical and modern Abenakis and their Neighbors.  Our settler partner, the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum is helping the VIHC to make the festival available to the Public.
This event will provide 20+ hours of instruction in Abenaki History, culture, and ecology.
You will be sent a link via email the day before the festival begins. The Link will take you to a private website which will contain all of the videos, watch some, watch them all! The site will be taken down on May 9th.

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Green Up Day Brattleboro
Saturday, May 1st, 2021. 8am-12pm.
A Vermont tradition. All are welcome! Please wear masks and gloves. Please practice social distancing.
Bags are available at:
Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main St)
Brattleboro Suburu (Putney Rd)
Turning Point (Elm and Flat St)
West Brattleboro Fire Station (16 South Street)
Brown and Roberts (Main St)
Chamber of Commerce (Main St)

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Putney Foodshelf Weekly Open Hours
Saturday, May 1st, 2021, at 10 Christian Square, Putney, VT, 05346. 9am-11am.
Message us on our FB page HERE, call 802.387.8551, or email [email protected] with questions. www.putneyfoodshelf.org.
Curbside Open Hours. All are welcome - we just ask you to provide your town of residence and number in household for our data tracking purposes.
Stay in your car, please. Volunteers will take your order and bring out boxes of food, including nonperishable items, fresh produce, paper goods, meat, and dairy products.

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Outside Windham County
May Day Worker Solidarity Rally & Milk with Dignity Action/ ¡Acción Primero de Mayo!
hosted by Rights & Democracy, Vermont AFL-CIO, Vermont-NEA, 350 VT, Migrant Justice, the Black Perspective, VT Workers' Center, and the Champlain Valley and Central Vermont DSA Chapters
Saturday, May 1st, 2021, at the Vermont State House (115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633). 12pm-3pm.
RSVP to receive event updates and reminders! https://www.mobilize.us/rightsdemocracy/event/383716/
(abajo en español)
Join a coalition of labor, community, and environmental organizations as we rally on May Day in solidarity with Vermont Workers!
We are standing with farmworkers, essential workers, teachers, state employees, and ALL Vermont workers to protect workers' rights and public pensions, and to call for a jobs guarantee and healthcare for all.
12pm-1:30pm -- Solidarity Rally at the Montpelier State House
1:30pm-2pm -- Drive to Hannaford Supermarket (456 S. Barre Rd., Barre, VT) 
2pm -- Action to support dairy workers' Milk with Dignity campaign in front of Hannaford
Workers milking cows on Vermont's dairy farms are still fighting for basic labor rights and protections that others take for granted: a minimum wage, one day off per week, basic health and safety protections, and protection against retaliation. You can support Migrant Justice's campaign calling on Hannaford to protect the rights of the workers behind their store-brand milk by joining the Milk with Dignity Program.
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Este primero de mayo, una coalición de organizaciones laborales, comunitarias, y del medio ambiente se unen para tomar acción en solidaridad con lxs trabajadores de Vermont!
Luchemos por lxs trabajadores agrícolas, esenciales, maestrxs, empleadxs públicos... toda la clase trabajadora en Vermont. Tomemos acción para proteger los derechos laborales y las pensiones y para demandar trabajos dignos para todxs y salud universal.
12pm-1:30pm -- Manifestación en frente del capitolio en Montpelier
1:30pm-2pm -- Manejar a Hannaford Supermarket (456 S. Barre Rd., Barre, VT) 
2pm -- Acción en frente de la tienda de Hannaford para exigir Leche con Dignidad
La comunidad de trabajadores ordeñando vacas en Vermont sigue luchando por derechos y protecciones básicos: un sueldo mínimo, un día libre, protecciones de salud y seguridad, y protección contra represalias. Hannaford tiene que tomar responsabilidad por los derechos de lxs trabajadores en su cadena de abastecimiento!
El evento está patrocinado por: Rights & Democracy, Vermont AFL-CIO, Vermont-NEA, 350 VT, Justicia Migrante, the Black Perspective, VT Workers' Center, and the Champlain Valley and Central Vermont DSA Chapters.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Vermont Food Bank’s Veggie Van Go Upcoming Schedule
The First and Third Mondays of Every Month in the parking lot across the street from the main entrance to Brattleboro Union High School (131 Fairground Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-11:30am. 
Veggie Van Go is a program through the Vermont Foodbank that gives out free produce and local food for people to take home.
Monday, May 3rd, 2021
Monday, May 17th, 2021
Monday, June 7th, 2021
Monday, June 21st, 2021

Important information:

  • Drive through model- please stay in your vehicles
  • If you are walking there: see a Vermont Foodbank associate but please make sure to stay 6 feet back.
  • There are no income requirements, registration or paperwork to participate
  • You do not need to be present to get food: you may ask someone to pick up on your family's behalf.

For questions, please contact the WSESU VVG Program Coordinator:
Kira Sawyer-Hartigan, WSESU
53 Green Street
Brattleboro, VT 
[email protected]
(802)254-3730

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Joint Public Hearing on Vermont's Unemployment Insurance System
Tuesday, May 4th, 2021, Online. 5pm-7pm.
To register as a speaker at the hearing, please sign up here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/.../public-hearing... Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and testimony time will be limited to two minutes per person.
To submit written testimony, please email an MS Word or PDF file to [email protected] The hearing will be live streamed on the Legislature’s Joint Committees YouTube channel here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/.../shared-joint-committees
The failures of our unemployment insurance system to meet the immediate needs of Vermonters over the last year is one of the most pressing issues our state government is facing. Please spread the word. 
On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the House Committee on Commerce and
Economic Development and the House Committee on Government Operations will hold a joint public hearing to listen to employees and employers in Vermont about the issues faced with unemployment insurance during the COVID pandemic. 

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Black Representation in Children’s Literature
Tuesday, May 4th, 2021, Online. 7pm.
For more information go to www.brattleboromuseum.org. This event will take place via Zoom and Facebook Live. Register for this free online event: https://www.brattleboromuseum.org/.../black.../
Rio Cortez is the New York Times bestselling author of "The ABCs of Black Histor"y (Workman, 2020) and" I Have Learned to Define a Field as a Space Between Mountains" (Jai Alai Books, 2015). She is a Pushcart-nominated poet who has received fellowships from Poet’s House, Cave Canem, and Canto Mundo Foundations. Rio has been the recipient of the Sarah Lawrence College Lucy Grealy Prize in Poetry, the Poets & Writers Amy Award, and a Jerome Foundation grant. She was a finalist for the 2018 June Jordan Fellowship at Columbia University. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, she now lives, writes, and works in Harlem.
Daniel Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. Minter works in varied media – canvas, wood, metal, paper. twine, rocks, nails, paint. This cross-fertilization strongly informs his artistic sensibility. His carvings become assemblages. His paintings are often sculptural. Minter has illustrated over a dozen children’s books, including "Going Down Home with Daddy," which won a 2020 Caldecott Honor, and "Ellen’s Broom," which won a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. He was also commissioned in both 2004 and 2011 to create Kwanzaa stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.
Javaka Steptoe is a Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Illustrator award-winning artist, designer, and illustrator. His debut picture book, "In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall," won the Coretta Scott King Award, and "Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow" (written by Gary Golio) received a Coretta Scott King Honor. He has also illustrated "Do You Know What I’ll Do?" by Charlotte Zolotow, "A Pocketful of Poems" by Nikki Grimes, "Amiri and Odette: A Love Story" by Walter Dean Myers, "Rain Play" by Cynthia Cotten, and "Hot Day on Abbott Avenue" by Karen English, which received the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. He is also the author and illustrator of "The Jones Family Express," as well as the Caldecott Award-winning "Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat." 

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Singalong Concert with Annie Patterson and Peter Blood to Benefit the Community Asylum Seekers Project (CASP)
Saturday, May 8th, 2021, Online. 7pm. Admission is by freewill offering, with suggested donations of $10, $20 (supporter) or $50 (patron). Concertgoers can register on line at https://www.riseupandsing.org/events/repairing-breach-brattleboro and will be sent a Zoom link and a song sheet to sing along with Patterson and Blood. Further information about the concert is available by contacting Ursula Nadolny at [email protected]
BRATTLEBORO – Songs to repair the breach and support asylum seekers is the focus of an online singalong concert by Annie Patterson and Peter Blood Saturday, May 8 at 7p.m. 
   The benefit concert will support the work of the Windham county-based Community Asylum Seekers Project (CASP) and is part of a tour that encourages the pursuit of social justice and charity within communities. A song sheet will be provided to participants so that they can sing along with performers from home. Tickets can be purchased at www.riseupandsing.org/events. 
   According to Patterson and Blood, Repairing the Breach, Songs for the Journey is inspired by the Rev. Dr. William Barber II and the Poor People’s Campaign and will focus on the specific theme of immigrants and asylum seekers among us, using music as a path to justice, spreading hope and putting a spotlight on the value of working together for a better world. 
   Patterson is an accomplished folk performer, recording artist and jazz vocalist, and a member of the swing band Girls from Mars. She performs regularly with The O-Tones and at folk venues in the U.S. and abroad. She carries with her a suitcase of incredible song knowledge and a repertoire that includes more than 2400 songs from many genres, including Americana, contemporary folk, ballads, gospel, country and jazz. She is a master song interpreter, accompanying herself on guitar and banjo. 
  Blood was publications director of Sing Out, the nonprofit publisher of Sing Out! Magazine, from 1988 to 1993. He edited Pete Seeger’s autobiography, Where Have All the Flowers Gone: A Singalong Memoir. He currently divides his time doing songbook, social justice, and interfaith work. 
   The duo has played a central role in creating a singing movement in North America and abroad with their songbooks Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. Together, have led hundreds of singalong concerts and workshops across North America, New Zealand and the UK, and have made it their lifelong mission to help create change for peace and justice through song. They accompany their songs with guitars, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, African drum and pennywhistle.
CASP provides basic needs and a supportive community for those in the process of seeking asylum in the U.S., including local host homes, financial support, legal aid, and other daily needs. Its largely volunteer-based network assists seekers while they navigate the asylum claim process and make the necessary connections to settle into the community.
   More information about CASP is available by contacting them online at caspvt.org or [email protected]

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Outside Windham County
Black is the Body: Book Club
presented by The Rutland Area NAACP and Emily Bernard
Wednesday, May 12th, 2021, Online. 6:30pm.
To register, please click HERE.
We are relaunching our book club with UVM professor Emily Bernard’s wonderful book Black is the Body. This series of interconnected essays follow Dr. Bernard’s life, from growing up in the South to adopting her daughters in Ethiopia to teaching at majority-white schools like UVM. With insights on American culture, parenthood, marriage, and—of course—race, the book is an engrossing memoir and meditation on the world we live in.
Emily Bernard is the author of Black is the Body: Stories from My Mother’s Time and Mine, which was named one of the best books of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews and National Public Radio. Black is the Body won the 2020 Los Angeles Times Christopher Isherwood Prize for autobiographical prose. Emily’s previous works include: Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and Some of My Best Friends: Writings on Interracial Friendship, which was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Book for the Teen Age; and, with Deborah Willis, Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs, which received a 2010 NAACP Image Award. Her work has appeared in: O the Oprah Magazine, Harper’s, The New Republic, newyorker.comBest American Essays, Best African American Essays, and Best of Creative Nonfiction. She has received fellowships from the Alphonse A. Fletcher Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Arts Council, and the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. Emily was the James Weldon Johnson Senior Research Fellow in African American Studies at Yale University. She is the Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont, and a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Emily lives in South Burlington, Vermont with her husband and twin daughters.

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Camp for a Cause with Groundworks Collaborative
Friday, May 21st, 2021, Online. 7pm.
Contact Julianne Mills, Development Coordinator, with any questions or for offline registration: 802.257.5415 x1002 or [email protected]
Groundworks Collaborative's Our 9th annual Camp for a Cause will be a virtual event (again) this year.
Register here: https://groundworks.rallybound.org/camp2021
Camp out in a location of your choice, send us an update and/or a photo of your campsite, and we’ll post it along with our fundraising progress.
Ready to get outside?
Sleep out on a porch, in your garage, in your front or backyard, in your car, on a couch, or wherever makes the most sense to you and your teammates.
There is no fundraising minimum. ANY AMOUNT YOU RAISE IS HUGELY APPRECIATED and will go directly to work supporting Groundworks’ housing and shelter programming. All contributions are tax deductible.
REGISTER at the link above and make your own fundraising page to help Groundworks raise critical funds we need to continue working to end homelessness in our community.
CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO DONATE—make a tax deductible contribution to support the fundraising efforts of a participating camper.

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Red Cross Blood Drive at the Winston Prouty Campus
Saturday, May 22nd, 2021
Saturday, June 26th, 2021
Saturday, July 24th, 2021
Saturday, August 28th, 2021
Saturday, September 25th, 2021
Saturday, October 23rd, 2021
Saturday, November 27th, 2021
Saturday, December 18th, 2021 at the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development (Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-3pm.
To help make these events possible by volunteering, please contact Lisa Whitney at [email protected]
Winston Prouty and the American Red Cross are hosting monthly blood drives throughout 2021.The Red Cross has over 135 years of experience providing humanitarian aid including more than 75 years of supplying blood to those in need. Each pint of blood we collect can help save up to three lives and will touch the lives of so many more. What a great way to pay it forward and make an impact on people in our community and across the country.
You can participate by donating blood or by volunteering to help support the event (set-up/clean-up, registration, parking, etc).
Sign up to DONATE blood here:
https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=

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Putney Anti-Racism Book Group: White Rage
hosted by the Putney Central School Leadership Council and the Putney Public Library
Sunday, May 23rd, 2021, Online. 7pm-9pm.
For Zoom info to join or for more information, contact [email protected] or 603.504.2906 -- you can also send a message through FB messenger.
Please join the Putney Central School Leadership Council and the Putney Public Library for a continuation of an anti-racism book group for all Putney families and community members.
Join us for a discussion of White Rage-The unspoken truth of our racial divide, written by Carol Anderson.

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Black is the Body: Author Q&A
presented by The Rutland Area NAACP and Emily Bernard
Wednesday, May 26th, 2021, Online. 6:30pm.
To register, please click HERE.
We are delighted to be bringing Dr. Bernard to a virtual Q&A to wrap up our book club discussion! Please join us! All are welcome, but preregistration is required.
Emily Bernard is the author of Black is the Body: Stories from My Mother’s Time and Mine, which was named one of the best books of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews and National Public Radio. Black is the Body won the 2020 Los Angeles Times Christopher Isherwood Prize for autobiographical prose. 

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Vermont Food Bank Food Drop
hosted by the Putney Foodshelf
Thursday, May 27th, 2021
Thursday, June 24th, 2021 at Putney Meadows (17 Carol Brown Way, Putney, VT 05346). 9:30am-10:15am.
Everyone is welcome. No questions asked!
The Vermont Foodbank will be bringing food to Putney. There will be lots of produce along with other nonperishable food. The Vermont Foodbank truck will park on the side of the road in the big U (Alice Holway Drive).
Drivers: Shoppers will stay in their cars until called. Until further notice, shoppers can pick up for no more than two households.
Walkers: Stay tuned for instructions.
If you have never participated in this before, volunteers will be available to explain how it works!

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Putney Anti-Racism Book Group: Caste
hosted by the Putney Central School Leadership Council and the Putney Public Library
Sunday, June 20th, 2021, Online. 7pm-9pm.
For Zoom info to join or for more information, contact [email protected] or 603.504.2906 -- you can also send a message through FB messenger.
Please join the Putney Central School Leadership Council and the Putney Public Library for a continuation of an anti-racism book group for all Putney families and community members.
Join us for a discussion of Caste-The Origins of Our Discontents, written by Isabel Wilkerson.

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Groundworks Collaborative Drop Boxes
This month, the Windham County Democrats are supporting the Groundworks Collaborative with drop boxes for collecting toiletries and personal hygiene items. These items are always in continual demand and our goal is to provide a small stockpile of these necessities. For the week of Sunday, April 25th, 2021 - Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 we will have drop boxes located in the following businesses:
-Village Square Booksellers
in Bellows Falls
-D&K's Jamaica Grocery
in Jamaica
-Everyone's Books
in Brattleboro
Please review the below list and help us fill our boxes:
Bandanas
Shampoo & Conditioner
Tampons
Deodorant
Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
Shaving Cream & Razors
Benadryl / Antihistamines
Cold Medicines
Pain Relievers (esp. Ibuprofen)
Melatonin
Wired and/or wireless earbuds / headphones
Various sizes and styles of adult underwear (esp. men's)
$20 Gas Cards
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Vermont Prison System Vaccinations
1 minute action to make a difference: Please call Governor Scott at (802) 828 3333 and ask that Prisoners in Vermont's system get vaccinated NOW. These folks are in a congregate system, many have underlying conditions with little to no control over their environment. Save a life today and make the call please. You can also email him HERE

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COVID 19 RESOURCES: VERMONT

CURRENT COVID19 CASE INFORMATION as of 12pm, April 23rd, 2021

New cases: 89 (22,416)
Currently Hospitalized: 26 
Hospitalized in ICU: 5
Hospitalized Under Investigation: 2
Deaths: 243 (+1 since last week!)

Vaccine Data
Total received one dose: 
305,123
Total received both doses: 210,256

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Part-time Vermont residents, including out-of-state college students, can make vaccination appointments starting April 29

On April 29, vaccine registration will open to college students who are residents of another state and do not intend to stay in Vermont for the summer, as well as to people who live part of the year in Vermont. This opportunity will be based on the vaccine supply we receive from the federal government.
Visit healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine to create an account and to get all the information you need to register starting April 29!

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Covid 19 Pop-Up Testing

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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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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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, [email protected] 
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 [email protected] if you are able to help.

Guilford Food Pantry 
Every Thursday at the Guilford Fairgrounds. 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.

Everyone Eats! at the C.F Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm. Masks required. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY.  If you have any questions visit https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/ or contact Frances Huntley [email protected]. 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, Monday-Thursday through June 2021. 
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.

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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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Until next week, WeCAN Family...

Your Friendly WeCAN Admins,

Joanna and Sam

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