Weekly Update 02.10.2020

Weekly Update 02.10.2020

“Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
Portland, OR born writer and artist

     Courage, dear WeCAN community, can be found in places big and small, in everyone from the youngest child to the oldest person. Our beloved Windham County is full-to-the-brim with some of the most courageous and action-driven folx in Vermont; our friends and neighbors consistently show up for each other even in the face of fear, uncertainty, and deterrence. These last few years have been some of the scariest and fear inducing years in modern history, and we would like to recognize the bravery in ALL of us for enduring. 
     Here are a few tips that can help you find your own courage in the face of fear and adversity:
1) Consider the validity of your fear and remind yourself that fear is a chain reaction of events happening inside your body. Interrupt the chain reaction with breathing and refocusing techniques that may allow your mind to think more clearly
2) Make specific plans to overcome your fear and choose to act, following your heart and moral compass. Practice bravery with courage building exercises in which you identify your concerns and begin to make a plan to deal with them directly. The more frequently you do these exercises, the easier it may be to face your fears directly
3) Take part in an activity that engages your brain's cognition center (your prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that reasons) and encourage your brain to work through the fear while you read a book, knit, exercise, play word/number games, or visit with friends and family
4) Name your fears. Tell a loved one, write them down, or say them out loud. Naming them can take their power away, freeing up your brain's ability to think of solutions and back-up plans
5) Meditate or exercise to stimulate endorphin production. This may directly counteract the chain reaction in your brain that produces fear as we understand it
6) Embrace your fear, then let it go. Accept it, name it, and feel it; let it pass through you, back into the air, and commit to moving forward without it 

     How do you practice bravery and courage? Tell us at admin@wecantogether.net or let us know in our Facebook Group. We'd love to feature your response in an upcoming Weekly Email Update!

HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10th, 2002-SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16th, 2020

Dinner with the Climate
Monday, February 10th, 2020 at All Souls Church (29 South St, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 5:30pm.
All Souls Church in West Brattleboro invites all to a "Dinner with the Climate" on Monday evening, Feb. 10, at 5:30. The dinner will be followed by a presentation about Extinction Rebellion.
In keeping with the evening's focus, the meal will be a "meatless Monday," with entrees provided by the church. But if anyone feels inspired to bring a meatless offering, please do -- and bring a copy of the recipe to share as well.
After dinner Maria and Ward Ogden of the local chapter of Extinction Rebellion will talk about the XR organization. It is an international, apolitical climate movement that is using non-violent direct action to enact change. The talk takes about one hour with optional Q&A time afterward.
Concerned about climate change and not sure what to do about it? Find out about the many ways you can join the climate movement.

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Lost River Racial Justice Working Meeting
hosted by Lost River Racial Justice
Monday, February 10th, 2020 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 5:45pm-8pm. Bring a dish to share if you’re able. Please contact us at LostRiverRJ@gmail.com if you need childcare. Fragrance-free, nut-free, wheelchair accessible space.
Lost River is starting a NEW monthly meeting for white-identified people to gather and deepen our work together. We envision this being a space to dig in to the leg work of organizing and responding to community needs, to support each other with our process of unlearning and challenging white supremacy, and to be a place for new people to plug in. We hope you can join us and bring a friend!

 

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Windham Southeast School District School Board Candidates Forum
Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 at Brattleboro Area Middle School (BAMS) (109 Sunny Acres Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the Multipurpose Room. 6:00 pm. Enter via the main entrance and proceed straight ahead. 
The Windham Southeast School District (“WSESD”) school board will host a forum with candidates running for school board (voting via Australian Ballot on Town Meeting Day)  on Tuesday, February 11th. Declared candidates as of the filing-deadline were sent a questionnaire; responses will be posted to the WSESD webpage on Tuesday, February 11th. The WSESD website can be found at https://sites.google.com/wsesu.org/wsesdboard/home
Candidate forum will be filmed by BCTV. Footage is expected to be posted to BCTV’s online video library by Friday, February, 14th and will air on BCTV Channel 10. 
In-person voting takes places in the four towns on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020. Contact your town clerk for more information about early voting. Early voting begins Wednesday, February 12th. 

 

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From What is to What if: A Transition Towns Reading and Discussion Group

Tuesday, February 11th at Putney Library (55 Main Street in Putney, Vermont). 6:30pm
Join Simon Renault and Paul Levasseur to discuss the theories and stories of From What Is to What If, while giving space for participants to share their ideas as we imagine the future of our community. This will be a fun evening, filled with play and stories. Author Rob Hopkins is the founder of the international Transition Towns movement from which the vital community group, Transition Putney, emerged. Hopkins’ new book, From What is to What if: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want, asks why true creative, positive thinking is in decline. He asserts that it’s more important now than ever, and suggests ways our communities can revive and reclaim it. Since it is a call for imagination and an invitation to envision a better future, a part of each group sessions will include visioning exercises and discussions.
Paul Levasseur is a co-founder and trainer for the Putney-based New England Council Collective which recognizes that every person has a story to share and a piece of the whole. He was a co-founder of Transition Town Putney, and taught at SIT Graduate Institute for 39 years.
Simon Renault moved from France to Vermont 12 years ago and ran Sun Hill Farm in Putney for 10 years. He has been involved in starting and supporting local initiatives. He was inspired to launch this book group because he is passionate about issues of sustainability and community citizen engagement.
10 years ago, Simon and Paul organized a book group of “The Transition Handbook” by Rob Hopkins. The enthusiasm and conversation that ensued led to the creation of Transition Putney.
This program is free and open to the public.


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Debating Our Rights Series with Meg Mott: The Seventh Amendment, Right to a Civil Jury
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm-8:30pm.
On Wednesday February 12th the Debating Our Rights series will continue with a discussion of the Seventh Amendment at 7 PM at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. Although the right to a civil jury trial doesn’t get as much attention as the rights of criminal defendants, this overlooked right serves an important function in American government. A civil jury trial is the one reliable place where ordinary citizens can hold big businesses accountable.
“Unfortunately, fewer than two percent of civil cases are heard by a jury,” explains Meg Mott, Professor Emerita at Marlboro College. “Some of that has to do with the rise of administrative tribunals, such as the National Labor Relations Board, but most of it has to do with the current Supreme Court. For some reason, Justices are not a big fan of juries. That’s a problem because jury service is the best classroom for providing an education in civics.”
Mott will lead a discussion that looks at the arguments for and against the role of civil juries. Maybe contracts have gotten too complicated for ordinary citizens to understand. Maybe alternative dispute resolutions are more efficient than jury trials. But if not jury service, where else do Americans learn to deliberate?
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Brooks Memorial, the event is free and open to the public.

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Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, February 14th, 2020 (and every Friday) at TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT). In front of the building. 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. What You Can Do (besides attending the vigils): If you’re a TD depositor, change banks! Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion in this era of global warming and climate change to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society.

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Racial Justice Organizing Meeting 
hosted by The Black, Indigenous, & People of Color Caucus 
and Lost River Racial Justice
Monday, February 24th, 2020 at at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams St. Brattleboro VT, 05301). First Floor. 5:45pm-8pm. Dinner is provided; Childcare is available; Fragrance-free, nut-free, wheelchair accessible space. To learn more visit: http://lostriverracialjustice.org/racial-justice-organizing-meetings/ or contact LostRiverRJ@gmail.com.
All those who wish to join the movement for racial justice are encouraged to attend our monthly RJO meetings. These meetings focus on education, organizing, relationship-building, and collective healing. We work together in a multiracial group as well as in breakout groups for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-identified and white-identified people.

 

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Climate Café presents
“Rollbacks: An Assault Against Life on Earth”, Film and Discussion
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-8pm. Free. Light refreshments available. For further information, contact Tim Stevenson, bereal@vermontel.net or 802.869.2141. 
The impact of climate change is undeniable and catastrophic. The recent and ongoing fires in Australia are a heartbreaking demonstration of this. The Trump administration has met this crisis by systematically and efficiently enacting an alarming number of regulatory rollbacks, reversing past policy progress and putting our very existence at risk.
Through dramatic scenes of drought, wildfires, hurricanes and floods, ROLLBACKS  reveals how successful the Trump administration has been in reversing policies that protect the environment - from the Paris Agreement, to regulations on Coal, Endangered Species, the Opening of Public Lands to drilling, to mention but a few. The film tells the truth about the extremely dire situation we find ourselves in, with less than 8 years, according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to make the changes necessary to avoid the worst consequences of our imminent catastrophe. 
Following the 30 minute movie, we will host a discussion that will center around the question: In light of the fact what is depicted in this video is the ultimate crime against humanity, and all other sentient beings, how do we as citizens effect the immediate and comprehensive changes required to avert climate apocalypse when we are opposed by such a hostile and life-subversive national government?
This video is produced and directed by the same people in Woodstock, Vermont who created the excellent film that we’ve screened in the past, “The  Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community”.
The Climate Café is a project of Post Oil Solutions that periodically convenes during most months .

 

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Northeast Queer Farmer Alliance Winter Gathering
hosted by Rock Steady Farm and Flowers and Out in the Open
Saturday, February 29th, 2020 at Out in the Open (74 Cotton Mill Hill Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05031) in Suite A206. 10am-2pm. ADH accessible. Carpool info coming soon.
Calling all LGBTQI+ farmers from Pennsylvania to Maine to join the 2nd annual gathering of the Northeast Queer Farmers Alliance. A loose alliance of LGBTQI+ farmers seeking community and support.
A Potluck Brunch (bring your own plates, cup, utensils) will be available. Then, join our conversation about what the alliance is and what is in store for the year ahead-- details TBD.

 

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Climate Cafe presents
Solidarity Event in Support of Indigenous Tribe’s Resistance to Oil Pipelines on Their Ancestral Land
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Monday, March 2nd, 2020 at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 6pm-7pm. Please do not use the Coop parking lot; please park on Canal Street. Free. Light refreshments available.  
Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in (so-called) British Columbia have called for URGENT SUPPORT as they defend their ancestral lands from fracked gas and oil pipelines and defend their sovereignty. COME TO a film/fundraiser to support the Unist'ot'en Camp!
We will show a short film, Invasion, about the ten-year Wet'suwet'en struggle and the healing center they have built in the path of the pipeline, as well as several short video updates.
The Canadian and provincial governments are violating Wet'suwet'en, Canadian, and international law. The Unist'ot'en Camp on 22 square kilometers of unceded territory is right now under attack by the courts and the RCMP. A call has gone out for Indigenous and settler-ally land defenders. Funds are urgently needed for on the ground and legal defense.

 

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Welcome Party: Out in the Open
Saturday, March 7th, 2020 at Cotton Mill Hill (74 Cotton Mill Hill, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in Suite A206. 3pm-6pm.
See the new community space, meet new staff & board members, and celebrate rural LGBTQ community! More information about the afternoon coming soon!

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Climate Café presents
Self Care and the Climate Crisis: Healing the Internal and External Environment
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions 
Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 1pm-4pm. Please do not park in the Coop parking lot; please park on Canal Street. Reservations Required; please email bereal@vermontel.net to secure your spot and for more information.
Join Brendan Kelly--acupuncturist, herbalist, author--to hear how the overheating of the planet mirrors a similar overstimulation in our culture and within us individually. Using the lens of Chinese medicine, we’ll discuss how forest fires, melting ice and the rapid warming of the planet speaking to bigger and deeper issues for us personally and collectively. We’ll also discuss the importance of differentiating aspects of self-care and the use of local herbs, diet and lifestyle to address internal and ecological imbalances 
Brendan Kelly has been practicing Chinese medicine full-time for 16 years. He currently practices at the clinic he co-founded in Burlington, VT, Jade Mountain Wellness. He teaches Chinese medicine to undergraduate and graduate students at Northern Vermont University/Johnson State College, the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in FL and Daoist Tradition in NC. In 2015, North Atlantic Books published his first book The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis which uses the lens of Chinese medicine to look at the bigger and deeper issues of global warming.

 

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED 

Want to make a direct impact on the lives of individuals in our community? The Brattleboro Community Justice Center needs you! For more information about how you can help in this important program contact michelle@brattleborocjc.org.
The BCJC works with individuals recently released from incarceration in Vermont. This is an opportunity to connect with and support individuals who have struggled to make a successful & healthy transition back into the community.
We need volunteers to work with us to help support these individuals through joining weekly teams called COSAs (circles of support and accountability). 
Each new volunteer needs to attend two trainings to participate in our programs. We have two options coming up for the required 90 min DOC training: Feb 19 at 4:30pm in Brattleboro or March 19 at 6:45 in Bellows falls. There are also two trainings for the CoSA preparation training. Feb 7 evening & Feb 8 in Springfield or March 20 evening & March 21 in Brattleboro.

 

 

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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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NEWSLETTERS

Inclusion Center Winter Newsletter
Hello, Friends! You can find the latest Inclusion Center Newsletter here: https://icwinter2020newsletter.webs.com. Thank you for your support!

 

 

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STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS  

Women Veterans Weekly Coffee and Tea Social
Thursday Mornings at Brattleboro Legion Post 5 Inc. (32 Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am.
All female veterans are invited to join in the Women Veterans group coffee held at the American Legion.  All women veterans are welcome. You do not need to be a Legion member.

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Youth 4 Change
Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month from 5:30pm-8pm. 
For more information please contact Youth 4 Change at youth4changeaction@gmail.com.
Agenda:
5:30pm: Drop in homework time and art making
6:00pm: Food
6:30pm: Meeting and Organizing
Youth 4 Change is for local-area youth 12-22 interested in political organizing around local/state/national social justice issues that are important to them. Brattleboro area advocates and educators are holding a space, and assisting youth in building a strong personal tool kit to organize for change. Using a variety of creative methods, we aim to enable youth with tools for resilience, courage and compassion, while fostering their ability to speak up about issues that matter to them, and to take action in the name of love and liberation for all people.  Come explore issues of racial, economic and gender justice through art, movement, first-hand accounts and contemplative practices. Connect with area youth around the issues that matter to you and strengthen your tool kit for action! 

 

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Windham County NAACP Regular Meetings
Monthly community meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at The Root Center for Social Justice (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor from 6pm-7pm. For more information please email info@windhamnaacp.org. All are welcome. 
The meetings are open to anyone interested in racial justice. The Mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

 

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Racial Justice Organizing Meetings Hosted by Lost River and The Root’s BIPOC Caucus
hosted by The Black, Indigenous, & People of Color Caucus and Lost River Racial Justice
4th Monday of Every Month at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:45pm-8pm. Dinner is provided; Childcare is available; Fragrance-free, nut-free, wheelchair accessible space. To learn more visit: http://lostriverracialjustice.org/racial-justice-organizing-meetings/ or contact LostRiverRJ@gmail.com.
All those who wish to join the movement for racial justice are encouraged to attend our monthly RJO meetings. These meetings focus on education, organizing, relationship-building, and collective healing. We work together in a multiracial group as well as in breakout groups for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-identified and white-identified people.

 

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Lost River Racial Justice Working Meeting
hosted by Lost River Racial Justice
2nd Monday of Every Month at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 5:45pm-8pm. Bring a dish to share if you’re able. Please contact us at LostRiverRJ@gmail.com if you need childcare. Fragrance-free, nut-free, wheelchair accessible space.
Lost River is starting a NEW monthly meeting for white-identified people to gather and deepen our work together. We envision this being a space to dig in to the leg work of organizing and responding to community needs, to support each other with our process of unlearning and challenging white supremacy, and to be a place for new people to plug in. We hope you can join us and bring a friend!

 

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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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     Thank you for your time and commitment to Windham County, WeCAN Friends. We are so grateful for all that you do. We look forward to seeing you at an event or meeting soon! 


Joanna and Leslie 
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