Weekly Email Update 5.17.21

Weekly Email Update 5.17.21

"This is not a worker shortage, this is a wage shortage. The restaurant business, inherently and pre-Covid, was a toxic workplace. You had an enormous wage gap between the back of the house and front of the house; rampant alcohol and drug problems; harassment issues; you've got people living in or near poverty working hourly jobs with no guarantees.”
Saru Jayaraman,
director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California-Berkeley and president of One Fair Wage, an advocacy group pushing to raise the subminimum wage for tipped workers.

   There are more than a few new entries in this week's Weekly Email Update, WeCAN readers...so let's get right to it! We hope to see you at an event or meeting soon. 
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HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, MAY 16th, 2021

Weekly Community Conversation with Rep. Emilie Kornheiser
Sunday, May 16th, 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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Watch Party: “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street”
hosted by Windham County Democrats
Sunday, May 16th, 2021, Online. 7:30pm-10pm.
Registration for this event is at https://events.democrats.org/event/386698/?force_banner=true&share_context=event_details&share_medium=copy_link
Join the Windham County Democrats at Building Bridges for America as we explore the urgent issues in our world through watching a documentary and having a great discussion afterwards. Our discussions are lead by a guest and our volunteers. 
May’s viewing is "Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street", a documentary that explores issues of race and equality and how PBS and Sesame Street played a role in the growing discussion and how it continues to open conversations with parents and children today.

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, MAY 17th, 2021-SUNDAY, MAY 23rd, 2021

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 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]dvt.org
(802)254-3730

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Everyone Eats! 
Monday, May 17th, 2021-Thursday, May 20th, 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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The Traverse: Healthcare Justice with Ady Barkan and Becca Balint
hosted by Rights and Democracy Institute
Tuesday, May 18th, 2021, Online. 6pm-7pm.
Online, with Facebook Live. More information can be found
HERE.
Our healthcare system is an ongoing crisis. This is nothing new or even surprising, but healthcare is a critical area that was put to the test during the pandemic and it failed us profoundly.
Public health is not a business. It is clear we need a single payer healthcare program, but how do we get there? Where do we begin?
In this month's Traverse, we will look at healthcare in two parts: the fight for Medicare for All at the federal level, its history and what lies ahead, and then we will turn closer to home to discuss what is happening in Vermont and New Hampshire to build support for and expand healthcare, and how you can get involved.
Join host James Haslam in conversation with healthcare activists, political leaders, and organizers including Ady Barkan, Founder of Be A Hero, Becca Balint, Vermont State Senator, and more!
The Traverse is Rights & Democracy Institute’s live conversation series where we explore everything from navigating the daily peaks and valleys of the movement to how we think about liberation.

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You Belong: Speaking Out Against Anti-Asian Violence
Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 at Plaza Park (1 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm-8pm.
For more information contact Tracy Donahue at [email protected] or Eesha Williams at [email protected] or (802) 254-2531. This phone is a landline so no text messages please. If you have the opportunity to make and bring a sign, please bring one or multiple extra signs with the phrase "YOU BELONG". The sign(s) can be small or medium size.
On May 6, the New York Times published an article headlined, “Daylight Attack on 2 Asian Women in San Francisco Increases Fears.” The article began, “A stabbing this week and other attacks have caused some older Asian-American residents in the
Bay Area to fear going outdoors, community leaders said.”
In the past few months, there has been a spate of assaults on Asian Americans across the USA. The response by local, state, and federal politicians has been inadequate.
Join us in Brattleboro in speaking out against the anti-Asian violence that has impacted Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic, creating great fear and anxiety in the community. There will be a rally on Tuesday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at Plaza Park. That's the park between the Brattleboro Food Co-op and the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.
We are joining the Asian American Federation (www.aafederation.org) to urge stronger action rooted in community to address the anti-Asian racism and ensure greater, more immediate safety for all Asian Americans.
Emma Allen, a University of Vermont student from the Brattleboro area, will speak. More speakers are to-be-announced. 

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Using Your Anger to Write Multi-Layered Realistic Fiction with Ann Braden and Nancy Paulsen
presented by The Writing Barn
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, Online. 2pm-3:30pm EDT.
Tickets: $25. Please click HERE to register.
Join author Ann Braden and top-editor Nancy Paulsen for an intimate webinar.
Ann Braden’s advice for writing multi-layered realistic fiction: Start With Something That Makes You Angry.
Ann Braden‘s The Benefits of Being an Octopus against all odds, and numerous publishing challenges became a must-read because of Ann’s passion and deep character work. Now, she releases The Flight of the Puffin, the first of two novels with top-editor Nancy Paulsen.  In this webinar, with both author and editor (Nancy will be joining for the Q&A) Ann will discuss how she takes the big topics that make her want to throw up her hands in frustration and turns them into concepts to explore in a story. From there, she shows us how she uses that theme as the seed to grow an entire story, through characters, setting, and plot.

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A Silent Vigil of Loving Kindness
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 at Wells Fountain (298-250 VT-30, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 4:30pm-5:30pm. Please mask and observe social distancing. For further information and to be on the mailing list for future Loving Kindness vigils, please contact Tim Stevenson [email protected]
For a few minutes or the entire hour, we welcome everyone to join us in extending loving kindness to family and friends, neighbors and strangers, kindred spirits and adversaries, human and non-human beings, alike. And to ourselves, as well.
Standing, kneeling, or sitting in a chair that you bring, we are a silent, meditative presence under a banner that reads “Holding a Space of Loving Kindness for All Living Beings” .

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Meet Delegate Lashrecse Aird
hosted by Lean Left Vermont
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, Online. 6pm-7pm.
To access the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89665083579
VA is the model for why states matter, regardless of who is in charge in DC. VA became a blue trifecta in 2019. As a result, VA has created generational change in 18 months.
Join Lean Left VT and Southern VT Sister District on May 19th, to meet Del. Lashrecse Aird who has been part of this sea change in VA. We will also talk about Lean Left's effort to keep VA blue and how you can help!

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The People’s Law School
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, Online. 6pm-7:30pm.
Register for this free webinar here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ERYhLBVQSWuDtvhWT5pR2w
Come learn about Vermont’s benefit programs—food assistance, housing, health insurance, and more! On Wednesday, May 19th from 6:00-7:30 PM, experts on these benefits will explain how to access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as 3SquaresVT (food assistance), emergency housing, and health insurance. The presentation will also provide an overview of the steps to take when denied benefits.
This session of The People's Law School will feature experts from:
Vermont Foodbank
• 3SquaresVT
• Dept of Vermont Health Access (DVHA)
• General Assistance (GA) Housing Program
The People's Law School is a series of free, virtual presentations on contemporary legal topics impacting the lives of Vermonters. It is a partnership of the Attorney General's Office, AALV.Inc., Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, the Vermont Institute for Community and International Involvement (VICII), and The Caroline Fund, with support from ACLU of Vermont.

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Windham NCAAP Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, Online. 6:30pm-7:30pm.
All members and those on the mailing list will receive the zoom link a few days prior to the meeting. If you are not a member or on the mailing list please email Sarah at [email protected] for more information and to receive the link. 
Please join us Wednesday, May 19th 2021 from 6:30 - 7:30pm for our online monthly meeting.  Meetings are open to members and non members alike. During the meetings we will discuss local and state-wide social justice initiatives and happenings. *Please note meetings are held monthly on the THIRD Wednesday of the month from 6:30 - 7:30pm via Zoom.

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Voices for Resistance
sponsored by SDWG Social Justice Committee and Forbes Library
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, Online, 7pm-9pm. Free.
Register through co-sponsor Forbes library at: forbeslibrary.libcal.com/event/7501886
Featured writers reading include: Amina Jordan-Mendez, Andrea Hairston, Andrea Lawlor, Charles Coe, Desmond Peeples, and Shanta Lee Gander.

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Illuminating History: The Vermont African American Heritage Trail
hosted by the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, Online. 7pm.

ADMISSION: Free
This event will take place via Zoom and Facebook Live. To register:
https://www.brattleboromuseum.org/.../illuminating.../
When curator David Rios Ferreira invited Jennifer Mack-Watkins to create a new body of work to be exhibited at BMAC, Mack-Watkins, whose artwork explores issues surrounding Black visibility and representation, began researching the history of African Americans in Vermont. It was not long before she encountered the Vermont African American Heritage Trail and, from there, the legacy of Daisy Turner (1883-1998), which would become an important source of inspiration for Mack-Watkins’s BMAC exhibit, CHILDREN OF THE SUN.
The Vermont African American Heritage Trail (@vtafricanamericanheritage) identifies museums, historical societies, and historic roadside site markers commemorating the people and places that inspire local pride and promote appreciation of Vermont’s African American heritage. Originally consisting of 16 sites, it has since grown to 30, with plans to expand further in the future.
In this live Zoom presentation, Brattleboro’s Curtiss Reed, Jr., who founded the Vermont African American Heritage Trail in 2013, will discuss the history and future of the trail and the vital heritage it illuminates.
The Vermont African American Heritage Trail is an initiative of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and selected local historical societies and museums.
Curtiss Reed, Jr. is President of the CRJ Consulting Group, L3C and Executive Director of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity. Reed provides expert training and coaching on inclusion, bias, and equity to state agency, municipal, institutional, and business clients as well as community organizations across Vermont. He serves as Chair of the Vermont Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights and sits on statewide commissions dealing with law enforcement, education, and minority health issues.
Reed is the driving force behind four statewide initiatives: the Vermont African American Heritage Trail, the Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future, I Am A Vermonter, and the Think Tank for Vermont Leaders of Color. After 18 years working and living overseas in Arabic, Portuguese, and French speaking countries, Reed returned to Vermont in 2001. Reed’s consulting experience spans four decades in both international and domestic markets. In 2015 the School for International Training Graduate Institute awarded Reed a Doctorate of Humane Letters Honoris Causa for his life’s work to make Vermont a desirable destination for all.

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Marlboro Community Food Share
hosted by the Marlboro Community Center
Thursday, May 20th, 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, May 20th, 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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Vermont Workers’ Center New Member Orientation!
Thursday, May 20th, 2021, Online. 6pm-7:30pm.
Click on this link to register. Registration is required to get the Zoom link and member handbook. Questions? Contact [email protected].
This orientation is for people who are interested in finding out more about who the VT Workers’ Center is, what it does, and what it means to be a member. 
We’ll dig into things like our current campaign (Healthcare Is A Human Right), our human rights principles, and how we are involved in building a people-centered movement for the rights of poor and working people and a more just society.

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Outside Windham County
Palestinian Liberation is a Racial Justice Issue
presented by Showing Up for Racial Justice
Thursday, May 20th, 2021, Online. 8pm-9:30pm.
Register
HERE.
Join SURJ and friends to learn more about what’s going on in Israel and Palestine right now, how we got here, and how Palestinian liberation is a racial justice issue that ties into our broader vision for collective liberation. Featuring leaders from Arab Resource Organizing Center, Friends of Sabeel North America, Catalyst Project, and SURJ-Faith.
SURJ supports Palestinian liberation. And as a majority-white racial justice organization, we know that many of our beliefs about Palestine have been shaped by racist and pro-United States propaganda in our media, telling us that Palestinians are terrorists or that Israel is defending democracy against the terrorism of the Middle East or even that supporting Palestine means you’re anti-Semitic.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but like in many other parts of our work, we need to unlearn these teachings in order to be strategic and effective in the ways we take action together.
Our struggles across the world are connected. Those who benefit from the status quo want to keep our movements fractured and disjointed. Whether we’re fighting against police violence, deportations, or pipelines here in the US, or against the violent seizure of Palestinian homes and land, we can find power and connection in our collective struggle.
We are confirming ASL interpretation and closed-captioning and will update that information here.

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Solidarity Fridays
Friday, May 21st, 2021, Pliny Park (corner of High Street and Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5pm-6pm. Please observe Covid 19 safety protocols and social distancing. Brattleboro Coalition contact: [email protected]
You may have seen the Solidarity Friday demonstrations on the Pliny Park corner that began last Summer and continued into the Fall. In-person actions were paused due to COVID restrictions, but we continued meeting via Zoom, learning about our shared concerns and building our coalition. In the ongoing work to gain more participation in and deepen the understanding of our actions, the involved organizations wanted to explain our purpose for Solidarity Fridays in preparation for starting again. 
Four Brattleboro-based organizations - Brattleboro Solidarity, The Root Social Justice Center, Lost River Racial Justice, and The Tenants Union of Brattleboro came together last summer during the Black Lives Matter uprisings. Later, we were joined by 350 Brattleboro, the VT Debt Collective, Youth 4 Change, and Out in the Open (supporting remotely). Together, we recognized that, while we were witnessing the streets come alive across the country against police brutality, the streets must stay alive in order to enact the level of broad changes across struggles that are urgently needed - for humans, animals, and the planet. 
The coalition acts with these shared principles:  

  1. Everyone should have what they need. 
  2. People’s lives over profit. 
  3. All of our struggles are tied together. 

We believe that the basic necessities for a healthy life are non-negotiable. There is no excuse for hunger, homelessness, or death from curable diseases anywhere in the world. All of our struggles are tied together. We believe that the struggle for Black liberation and against police brutality and racism is also a struggle against the exploitation of poor working people. We see how those with power benefit from the divisions that they sow amongst us. We acknowledge and address our diverse struggles while we assert that we have more commonalities than differences. We are stronger together.
We are on the street on Fridays because we believe that being united in our struggles is important in paving a new path forward. We choose not to fight against or react to those who disagree with us, but rather invite them to talk with us so that we may find our common interests and beliefs. Being on the streets together raises our spirits, breaks isolation, and helps build a network of people who want to do this work together. We invite you to join us weekly on Fridays to make connections - both with other people and between struggles! - and to take a stand for a more just world.

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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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Putney Foodshelf Weekly Open Hours
Saturday, May 22nd, 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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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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Eyes Wide Open: Readings and Book Signings
hosted by Everyone’s Books
Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 at Retreat Farm (45 Farmhouse Square, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 3:30pm-5:30pm.
Masks required. Free. Bring a lawn chair. 
Everyone’s Books is thrilled to host “Eyes Wide Open,” our first in-person event in a year, to be held for free, outside at the Retreat Farm. In celebration, Eyes Wide Open offers the reading public not just one, but four local authors: Ann Braden, Angela Berkfield, Shanta Lee Gander, and Diana Whitney.

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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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UPCOMING EVENTS

Monthly Seeing and Disrupting Racism
hosted by Peace & Justice Center
Monday, May 24th, 2021, Online. 6pm-8pm.
Registration is limited and required: https://secure.lglforms.com/form.../s/dkee0d8YakSfqh3KrjVFKw. 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 [email protected]
Seeing & Disrupting Racism: 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.

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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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Love Us Alive: Community Gathering in Grief and Healing
hosted by Susu Community Farm
Saturday, May 29th, 2021 at the Retreat Farm (Farmhouse Square, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 1pm.
commUNITY Vigil
We invite you all to join us in commUNITY (a coming together in UNITY). To grieve, cry, sing, dance, yell, scream and be held in commUNITY with each other. We recognize that this has been a difficult time for many folx in our commUNITY and globally. We have been constantly grieving many losses of people we care deeply about as we navigate the terrain of living in a white supremicst, global capitalist system that perpetuates deep harm on all people. This gathering is to honor the lives we have lost and hold space for generative healing and the resilience that comes with dreaming beyond our current circumstances as we actively begin to shift into building the culture that centers the earth and all our relations.
What you can expect:
Meet us at the commons at 1pm or whenever. We will have altars around the commons for people we have lost this year. Feel free to bring pictures of people as well and create an altar for your loved ones. We will also have a mic and a space for people to read poetry, speak, and share whatever is on their hearts in commUNITY to be witnessed to. We will also have meditative grieving space set up at the fiddlehead where people can go to reflect, cry, grieve, and leave offerings to the ancestors. We will also have wooden sign making to creatively vision and dream up a future beyond what is currently together. There will be songs and tea and commUNITY. We are also looking for folx who can bring and donate flowers so we can all make bouquets to bring to the altars or to bring home to remember lost loved ones.
Sammy Chan Tv will be here for photos and videos as well.
If you would like to donate items we are looking for:
Paint
Paint markers
Wooden boards for sign making
Tea light candles
Flowers
Alcohol for pouring libations 
People who can let us borrow a microphone and other sound equipment

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Writer’s Night Out/In June
Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, Online. 7pm-9pm.
Registration required. Check back for sign up details soon: https://www.strawdogwriters.org/post/writers-night-out-in-june.
Our featured writer is Shanta Lee Gander.
Bio: Shanta Lee Gander’s work has been featured in many publications and is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts and 2020 and named as Diode Editions full-length book contest winner for her debut poetry compilation, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak in Woke Tongues forthcoming in June 2021. Shanta Lee gives lectures on the life of Lucy Terry Prince as a member of the Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and is the 2020 gubernatorial appointee to their board of directors. To learn more, visit, Shantaleegander.com.

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Outside Windham County
Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center Post-Covid Reopening
Starting on Saturday, June 5th, 2021, at the
Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center (180 Intervale Rd, Burlington, VT 05401). 12pm.
Covid Protocols will be followed, to include social distancing and masking indoors and out, and we will take guests' temperature before groups of ten people enter the building to view the Heritage Center exhibits.  
The Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center will celebrate its "Post-Covid Reopening" at noon on June 5th, with three new museum exhibits, two new experimental horticulture plots and the first Botanical Garden plantings. Thanks to donations by the City of Burlington, the Seeds of Renewal Project and the Wôbanakik Heritage Center, many new natural and cultural materials have been distilled from modern Indigenous life and archaeological and documentary evidence for the 12,000 BP to 1970 period. We now have an assembly of Abenaki architecture, clothing, accessories, subsistence tools, transplants and seeds, cooking equipment and other arts and technologies to help the Abenaki community understand its ancestral and contemporary experience. This completes Phase One of a multi-year museum and research facility expansion that will eventually include a 42' X 120' exhibit and gathering space, and an outdoor ritual landscape enclosing craft and ceremonial areas, horticultural fields and a garden forest.
The museum exhibits opening in June include
1.) a new résumé of Vermont Prehistory, including fossils of Ice Age mammals and a comprehensive display of ancestral Vermont projectile points and pottery types,
2.) a new exhibit of historic artifacts, images and newspaper articles of the little known 1800-1970 Abenaki experience,
3.) a completely renovated "Abenaki Year" exhibit incorporating new information and photography of contemporary Abenaki ceremonies, 4.) a new exhibit focusing on experiential teaching of the Abenaki ancestral, and an updated "Abenaki Recognition and Heritage Week" display. 
New additions to the outdoor Heritage Center campus consist of the "Sagakwa Farm" and "Curtis Family" Gardens and newly planted seedlings including the fiber producing basswood and ash trees, blight resistant chestnuts and delicious plums, hazelnuts and blueberries.  These young plants are the first tentative stirrings of the long planned Olakwika Alnôbaiwi Botanical Garden.
We hope that you will be able to join us to celebrate the next stage in the evolution of Vermont's Premiere Indigenous Cultural Center.  The festivities will begin at noon with an informal outdoor welcome gathering followed by the opening of the museum exhibits, outdoor ceremonial grounds, gardens and garden forest plantings. 

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Abenaki Heritage Weekend
co-hosted by Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, with support from: New England Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts Vermont Humanities Council
Wednesday, June 16th, 2021-Sunday, June 20th, 2021, Online. 7pm-8:30pm.
More details coming soon. We invite you to contact us with specific questions and comments. Email [email protected] or call 802-579-0049 after 5pm.
A 5-day FREE virtual celebration of Abenaki heritage. Meet Abenaki culture bearers and gain a richer experience and understanding of the Abenaki contribution to life in the Champlain Valley. Enjoy conversations and demonstrations with artists from participating tribes who invite you to share their indigenous arts, traditions, stories, language, and more.
Register in advance for Zoom sessions that will be announced shortly.
Sessions themed for all ages, with special programs for young audiences Pre-K to Grade 2, Grades 4 and up.
June 16, 7 pm - Wampum Reading
June 17, 7 pm - Abenaki Pottery
June 18, 7 pm - TBA
June 19, 1 pm- Abenaki Games
June 20, 1 pm - Abenaki Music and Crafts

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Official GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA Book Launch with Shanta Lee Gander
hosted by Antidote Books
Friday, June 18th, 2021 at Antidote Books (120 Main Street, Putney, VT). Time TBD. 
Outdoor Event with Safe Social Distancing. Please check https://www.shantaleegander.com/ghettoclaustrophobia soon for timing and more details. 

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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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Northshire Live: A Poetry Reading with Shanta Lee Gander and Bianca Stone
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021, Online. 6pm.

Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/154455479497/. If you have questions about this or any Northshire event, please e-mail us at [email protected]
Join us for a poetry reading in celebration of Shanta Lee Gander’s debut full-length collection Ghettoclaustrophobia.
To celebrate the publication of Shanta Lee Gander’s debut full-length collection Ghettoclaustrophobia, Northshire Bookstore is hosting a special virtual reading with Shanta and Northshire staff favorite Bianca Stone.
“Shanta Lee’s poems are adamant and stirring. They have incredible force and intimacy, the sound hit every part of me. ‘Some sounds invite eavesdropping to all / the befores. Before all the gates of / never return, before tongues couldn’t / be trained in what they no longer are’ she writes in the poem ‘Black Book of Creation,’ which mimics the experience of reading this book. This is an incredible book. A complex multiverse of language, nightmares, visions, history, the forgotten, the painful—but also that incredibleness of human resilience and togetherness. In this book there is conversation with both the reader, with history, with family, the very stars themselves. I feel the presence of the mother, the mother’s mothers, and on and on—all the way back to the first mother, the first stardust. And because of that, this is a book I will return to again and again.” —Bianca Stone, author of Gertrude and The Mobius Strip Club of Grief

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Poetry + Film Weekend!
Friday, July 16th, 2021 at Epsilon Spires (190 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm-10pm.
Tickets: $20. You can purchase tickets here: https://www.epsilonspires.org/event-info/poetry-film-weekend.
Epsilon Spires presents a special Backlot Cinema event featuring artist Shanta Lee Gander in addition to cinematic treats, Hey Little Black Girl and The Fits.
A Celebration of Black Girlhood with Poetry, Film, Food & Chocolate in our Outdoor Cinema! Featuring the films Hey Little Black Girl and The Fits, and poetry read by Shanta Lee Gander from her new debut book, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues. 
Shanta Lee will be doing a short reading prior to each of these features throughout the weekend from her debut poetry book, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues (Diode Editions June 2021). The range of art forms paired together share an exploration of self, time, and what it means to take space within Black girlhood and womanhood in America.
As a part of this celebratory event for Shanta Lee’s book launch, special dishes and treats inspired by the poems within GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA will be a part of this special experience.

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

The Vermont Professionals of Color Network created this amazing website to promote Health Equity and BIPOC vaccine clinics in Vermont. Their new site offers upcoming events, latest press, demonstrates their collaborative work, and even has a playlist of clinic jams to celebrate life preserving vaccine! Check it out at https://www.vermonthealthequity.org/
Vermont Health Equity Initiative -VHEI

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(Summer) Soup's On!
Southern Vermont Sister District's largest (and most delicious) fundraiser, our Soup Subscription Project, has raised over $40,000 to support strategic, state-level, progressive Democratic campaigns. It's a simple model.  You buy a soup subscription (the summer cycle runs from June-September) and get monthly, seasonal soup made by our volunteer chefs. Pick up your soup at the Putney General Store, in Brattleboro OR donate your soup to the Putney Food Shelf/Groundworks. That's a BIG BANG for your buck! More details and sign up here

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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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     With many of our community's events now in-person, we just want to take a moment to remind you to be aware of the masking policy the event has in place and to please observe it. Sanitize your hands often, keep your distance from others, and stay home if you are feeling unwell or have been around those who have Covid19. Please get tested upon returning to Vermont if you have traveled. Until next week, friends...

Your Friendly WeCAN Admins,

Joanna and Sam

 

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