Weekly Update 03.15.2020

"These are tough times, but we will get through this. And let us understand that if there was ever a moment in history when we are in this together, for all kinds of reasons, this is that moment. Let's stand together. Let's have history look back on this moment and say, "Wow--despite who is President, the American people stood up and did the right thing--cared about each other, loved each other, and made sure that we all got through this together". 
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Fireside Chat, March 14th, 2020

     We have a small disclaimer for this week's Weekly Email Update, WeCAN friends: we only received one cancellation this week, but would expect that some of the events listed below may not go on as planned due to Covid 19 and Vermont's declaration of a State of Emergency. Please contact the group hosting the event or the event venue directly to clarify any information about arrival, precautions, or alternative plans for the event in question. Any additional questions can be emailed to admin@wecantogether.net and we will do our best to get you accurate information. 

HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, MARCH 16th, 2020-SUNDAY, MARCH 22nd, 2020

No War, No Sanctions: Iran Study Group
facilitated by Brattleboro Solidarity
Mondays in March: 
Monday, March 16th, 2020: Current Situation
Monday, March 23rd, 2020: Moving Towards Action
Monday, March 30th, 2020: Next Steps and Possible Local Actions
All meetings take place at the Brattleboro Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-8pm. To sign up, contact brattleborosolidarity@gmail.com or call 802-380-1463.
Study materials created by Catalyst Project: Anti Racism for Collective Liberation with a curriculum to support action to stop war on Iran. 

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Liberated Healing Towards Freedom-land
hosted by Youth 4 Change, with Amber Arnold
Monday, March 16th, 2020, at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First floor. 6pm-8pm. 
For Youth and Youth U Know: Sometimes getting free means practicing loving our bodies and healing in community. This is YOUR time! Come chill, sing a freedom song, experience a sound bath, and then make special magickal essential oils together and learn how to use them in your daily life for manifesting liberation. 
If you are able to please bring: a yoga mat, wear comfy clothes (we will be straight chillin), and a warm blanket if you can. If you don't have these things no worries we got you!
Peace . Love . and Light our liberation is bound together, let’s get free together!
Amber's Bio: “I am a sound healer, a reiki practitioner, plant worker, Ritual and Sacred Ceremony manifestor, Cultural somatics lineage holder, embodied movement practitioner, graphic designer, liberatory magic manifestor, is a devotee, systems changer, among many things!” Full bio: www.sacredvibrationsoundhealing.org.

 

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Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, and Putney Residents Invited to the WSESD Annual Meeting
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at Brattleboro Union High School (131 Fairgrounds Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the gym. 7pm. Childcare will be provided. Please email WSESD board chair Kristina Naylor at kristinan@dummerston.org if you will be attending and need childcare so we may ensure there are a sufficient number of childcare providers present.

 

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Restorative Justice Panel Volunteer Training
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at the Brattleboro Community Justice Center (230 Main St., Suite #302, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 5:30pm-8:30pm. Attending all three sessions is required. The BCJC is physically accessible, with accessible parking spaces in the back parking lot and an elevator to the third floor. We also have single-use, gender-free bathrooms on our floor for all to use. Please contact us with other accessibility needs. Dinner will be provided. Each meal will include vegetarian items. Let Jackie know any other dietary concerns. RSVP (and/or send questions) to Jackie Trepanier at either jackie@brattleborocjc.org or (802) 251-8141.
What is a Restorative Justice Panel?
A group of 4-5 community volunteers, a person who has broken a law, and the Justice Center's panel coordinator sit in a circle and discuss the crime that took place in terms of what happened, who was harmed, and what can be done to repair that harm. This happens once a month for 3 to 4 sessions. 
Who is this training for? 
Folks who are interested in volunteering as a Restorative Justice Panel Volunteer. This is a 2 and a half hour, once a month commitment. 
What's being covered at this training?
March 19 - DoC (Dept. of Corrections) Training and Exploring the Vermont Criminal Justice System
March 26 - Basic Restorative Justice Panel Procedure

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Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, March 20th, 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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Dinner Together
Friday, March 20th, 2020 at the Winston Prouty School (209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Thomas Hall, in the Great Room. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Free dinner, childcare, and gently facilitated. For more info: Katie Wilson - 802-451-0140 or dinnertogether@copelandcenter.com.
Join us for Dinner Together. Feeling isolated, distressed about the state of the world, or anxious? This is a great opportunity for families to meet peers. Those who support others who are struggling are also welcome. It's a wonderful time to connect with a supportive community.

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Fake News, Filter Bubbles, and Media Literacy- POSTPONED
Unfortunately, due to concerns about Covid19, the author talk with Dr. Nolan Higdon has been POSTPONED and will be RESCHEDULED at a later date. 
Saturday, March 21st, 2020 at The Rockingham Free Public Library (65 Westminster St, Bellows Falls, VT 05101). 5pm. This presentation is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Library at 802.463.4270, programming@rockinghamlibrary.org, or online at rockinghamlibrary.org.
The Rockingham Free Public Library will host a presentation by Dr. Nolan Higdon, co-author of United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (And What We Can Do About It) on Saturday, March 21 at 5pm.  
The role of news media in a free society is to investigate, inform, and provide a crucial check on political power. However, the explosion of social media and targeted analytics means people are increasingly getting their news from a wide swath of sources, some legitimate, many not. 
"We have this conundrum where we have more media consumption than ever before in history, but a society that is unable to sift through it," said Dr. Higdon.  
United States of Distraction, co-authored by Mickey Huff, focuses on how modern politics successfully exploit media vulnerabilities to campaign and govern. It also explores how the electorate gets their news and the need for media literacy training. 
Dr. Nolan Higdon is professor of History and Communication at California State University, East Bay. His academic work primarily focuses on news media, propaganda, critical media literacy, and social justice pedagogies. He has been a guest commentator for news media outlets such as The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox. He is a board member for the Media Freedom Foundation, frequent contributor to Project Censored's annual Censored books series, a co-founder of the Global Critical Media Literacy Project, a program advisor for Sacred Heart University Media Literacy and Digital Culture Graduate Program, a steering committee member for the Union for Democratic Communications, and co-host of the Project Censored radio show and Along the Line podcast. 

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Sensible Gun Policy Panel: Interpretations and Implications 
sponsored by The Windham County Democrats and WindhamVotes!
Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 at Centre Congregational Church (193 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 3pm-4:30pm.
Join us for a panel discussion to share different perspectives on gun policy. Come join the conversation to share your perspective and to understand differing perspectives.
Panelists include:
State Senator Becca Balint
Sheriff Mark Anderson
Phil Blackburn  - NAMI Vermont
Clai Lasher Sommers – United to Prevent Gun Violence
Ryan Hockerlotz – Gun Rights Advocate

 

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Mother Up! Monthly Meet-Up 
Monday March 23rd, 2020 at KidsPLAYce (20 Elliot St., Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm. A vegetarian meal and childcare for ages 10 and under will be provided. RSVP is helpful , but not required. Contact Abby Mnookin for more info at abby@350vt.org.
Mother Up!: Families Rise Up for Climate Action is a project of 350Vermont that brings together families to talk about the tough realities of climate change and to participate in the transition to a healthier and safer world.

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Critical Mass Bike Ride
hosted by 350 Brattleboro, 350 VT, Brattleboro Community Bike Clinic, and VBike; Image credit: Hugh D'Andrade
Friday, March 27th, 2020 at 134 Elliot (134 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-6:30pm. Questions? Contact Dave at dave@vbikesolutions.org.
We're continuing with our monthly rides on the last Friday of each month. 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 134 Elliot St. We'll begin by getting organized, signing in, decorating bikes, and going over our route.
6pm: Begin Critical Mass ride. This will be a high-visibility downtown route!
6:30pm: End ride back at 134 Elliot.
Help us spread the word & make this another successful critical mass ride!

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Brattleboro Earth Day: Strike to Street Fair
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020, Marching from Brattleboro Common (Park Place, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) to Elliot Street (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Questions? brattleboro@350vt.org.
Join 350 Brattleboro and allied area organizations as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, grieve the current climate crisis, and explore climate solutions. We'll meet at Brattleboro Common and then march to Elliot Street for a street fair, including street theatre, puppets, mural painting, music, info tables, trees for planting, and more! More info 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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The Salt of the Earth: The Rhetoric of White Supremacy
hosted by the Vermont Humanities Council and Brooks Memorial Library
presented in partnership with Middlebury College and the Mellon Foundation
Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm-8:30pm. Part of the Vermont Humanities First Wednesdays free lecture series.
In 2014 in Grand Saline, Texas, a 79-year-old white Methodist minister named Charles Moore set himself on fire as a final protest against the community’s racism. Drawing from his documentary film Man on Fire, Middlebury professor James Sanchez discusses the rhetoric of white supremacy and suggests ways communities might address bigotry.

 

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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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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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COVID 19 INFORMATION: CURRENT STATUS IN VERMONT

On March 13, Gov. Phil Scott called on Vermonters to help protect our most vulnerable ­– the elderly and the very ill ­– and announced several mitigation strategies to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus. They include restricting visitor access at long-term care facilities, prohibiting large, non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people and suspending out-of-state travel for state employees. Gov. Scott declared a state of emergency to help ensure Vermont has all the necessary resources to respond to this evolving threat. Read the executive order(link is external).
What this means for Vermonters.

On March 14, 2020, health officials announced a case of novel coronavirus in Windsor County and one in Washington County. A third case concerns a resident of Westchester County, New York, who was evaluated and tested at Springfield Hospital. These cases are considered presumptive positive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Read more. Cases announced previously were in Chittenden County  and Bennington County.

What to do if you are sick:
  • Stay home and call your doctor. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. Call ahead before visiting your doctor. Do not go to the doctor's office unless instructed to do so. Anyone who does not have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in their area.
  • Do not go to or visit any hospitals or long-term care facilities unless absolutely necessary. This is to protect everyone’s health, including patients and staff.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and animals in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick around other people and pets.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes and clean your hands often.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

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     We wish you all the best of health, WeCAN family, and will be working in the coming weeks to determine how this Weekly Email Update can best serve Windham County if and when events should no longer be available Vermonters. Be well, wash your hands, tell your friends and family you love them, and check on your neighbors. We are all in this together. If you need support, reach out to admin@wecantogther.net or leave us a note on Facebook and we will do our best to assist you with information.  

Joanna and Leslie 
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