Weekly Update 11.18.19

"The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river."
H. Ross Perot (b.1930 d. 2019)
Henry Ross Perot was an American business magnate, billionaire, philanthropist, and politician

      As we approach Winter here in Windham County, WeCAN Brothers and Sisters, activism often becomes more cumbersome due to unpredictable weather, cold conditions, and less daylight. Here are some tips that may be useful in keeping your activism feeling more exciting and less stressful this Winter season.

1) Carpool/Travel Together to Events and Meetings
     It's getting darker earlier and lighter later and that can make some people uncomfortable behind the wheel, on a bike, or taking public transport. If you're interested in attending a meeting, use the WeCAN Facebook page to ask if a neighbor is attending and would like to carpool/travel with you. Plus, it's one more environmentally conscious action you can take and every action helps towards the goal of reducing emissions. 
2) Attend the Event Virtually
     Does the weather or cold keep you in front of the wood stove? Make contact with the organizers or other attendees and ask if it is possible for you to attend the meeting virtually through a video conferencing app like Zoom or Go To Meeting, Facebook Live, FaceTime, Google Chat, or Skype. Offer to share the live feed on your social media accounts so that the content has a wider reach, too. 
3) Volunteer for Behind-the-Scenes Work
     If you live in a rural area or don't have the ability to travel in inclement weather, volunteer for a behind-the-scenes role, like data entry, with an organization that you connect with. You can do an awful lot with an internet connection and a few hours of time during a snow storm! Virtual tasks might include research, calling and texting volunteers, entering data, assisting with event planning, and bookkeeping. 
4) Educate Yourself 
     Learning about a cause you care about can happen anytime and anywhere through books, documentaries, articles, social media, and internet research. Enlighten yourself and bring that newfound knowledge to meetings and events come Springtime. 
5) Engage in Activism From Home
     Grab your phone, computer, and pen and settle in for a few hours of contacting your Representatives about the issues that you care about. Email, call, and write postcards from the comfort of your home -- and don't forget to spread the love, too! Check out Local Love Brigade on Facebook and send postcards to those who could use a little love. 

HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17th, 2019

Climate Reality November Huddle
hosted by The Putney Huddle
Sunday, November, 17th, 2019 at Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT, 05301). 1:30pm-3:30pm.
Doug Grandt will present Climate Reality “24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action”  in a World Cafe style format. World Café facilitates small groups of 3-4 people discussing 3 or 4 questions, in a musical chairs type rearranging of groups so different groupings of people address each subsequent question. Questions begin broadly (high level) and progressively get more specific and local, maximizing individual closure on the topic. It’s fun, engaging and productive!
Climate Reality - OUR MISSION IS TO CATALYZE A GLOBAL SOLUTION TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS BY MAKING URGENT ACTION A NECESSITY ACROSS EVERY LEVEL OF SOCIETY. The Earth is facing a climate crisis, driven by fossil fuels. At Climate Reality, we’re here to make urgent action a necessity. In politics. In business. In every aspect of our lives. Everywhere.
Urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and speed the global shift to renewables. Urgent action to halt the Trump Administration’s radical fossil fuel agenda. Urgent action to make world leaders strengthen and honor their Paris Agreement commitments.
Led by former US Vice President Al Gore and CEO and President Ken Berlin, we do it by empowering everyday people to become activists, equipped with the tools, training, and network to fight for solutions and drive change planet-wide.
The result is over 20,000 Climate Reality Leaders mobilizing communities in over 150 countries. Branches in 10 critical nations and regions around the Earth. 100 activists chapters (and growing) pushing for practical clean energy policies across the US.
Together, they add up to a powerful movement growing by the day. One by the people. Of the people. For the planet. Join us.

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18th, 2019-SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24th, 2019

Mother Up! Monthly Meet-Up 
Monday November 18th, 2019 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 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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Book Launch: Much Madness: A Survivor’s Guide to Extreme States and Self-Advocacy for Young Adults
co-sponsored by Hilltop Recovery Residence, Youth Services, and Spark Teacher Education Institute
Monday, November 18th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7pm. Light refreshments will be provided.
Preview the book at hivemutualsupport.org/MuchMadness.
Join the Hive Mutual Support Network for the launch of our book:
Much Madness: A Survivor’s Guide to Extreme States and Self-Advocacy for Young Adults, edited by Calvin Rey Moen and Kaz DeWolfe.
This event will feature readings from contributors and a Q&A with the editors.
Much Madness is a collection of personal stories from eight individuals who experienced psychosis or other extreme states as adolescents or young adults. Contributors shared what helped them navigate their extreme states, as well as what supports were unhelpful or harmful. Much Madness also contains a list of resources that can be helpful to young people experiencing psychosis or extreme states.

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4th Annual Chili Cook-Off FUNdraiser Supporting Families First
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 at 18 Austine Drive (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-2pm.
Cost: $8-10 gets all you eat chili and cornbread!
Come support a great organization and have a yummy lunch at the same time!   All you can eat chili and cornbread!
Families First Family: Want to cook a chili? Get your aprons on and sign up with Steph! You can do it solo or with friends (max four people per team). Our judges will be ready!

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Climate Solutions Caucus Forum
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 at St Michael’s Episcopal Church (16 Bradley Avenue, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm.
Members of the Vermont Legislature’s Climate Solutions Caucus are organizing a series of climate policy forums all over the state to share their legislative priorities for 2020 and bring more Vermonters into the climate conversation.
As we saw during the youth-led Global Climate Strikes on September 20th, Vermonters are demanding a response to climate change commensurate with the scale of the problem. In order to build on the momentum sparked by the recent Climate Strikes, Vermonters need to continue to show up and demand bold climate action from their elected officials.
Don’t miss these opportunities to learn about how Vermont can do its part to combat the climate crisis while protecting air and water quality, spurring innovation and economic development and helping all Vermonters — and in particular vulnerable Vermonters — save money.

 

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Green Burial Workshop
sponsored by Windham Regional Woodlands Association
Thursday, November 21st, 2019 at UVM Extension Service (130 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the 3rd Floor Conference Room, Holton Hall. 6:30pm-8:30pm. For more information contact PenfieldChester@gmail.com.
More and more people are asking for environmentally responsible burial options that reflect their personal values.  The practice of burying bodies without embalming with toxic chemicals, encasing in metal or rainforest wood caskets, or cement or plastic outer vaults—truly body to earth—is timeless, interrupted only over the past century. This workshop will show how efforts to return to these ancient, eco-friendly ways are gaining momentum across the country as people are finding a way to let their bodies return to the earth.
Lee Webster, noted author and national leader in the field of Green Burial will present the current status of green burial in Vermont and the movement towards developing conservation burial grounds on lands protected by conservation principles. These cemeteries support sustainable management while restoring and protecting the ecological integrity of the land.  Land trust entities with the interest and capacity to partner with and support conservation burial projects come in many forms, from local conservation groups to state and regional land trusts to national chapters of prominent organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy.  Vermont landowners can have questions answered regarding steps towards creating natural burial grounds on their land.

 

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Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, November 22nd 2019 (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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Critical Mass Ride
hosted by 350 Brattleboro, 350 VT, Brattleboro Community Bike Clinic, and VBike; Image credit: Hugh D'Andrade
Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at The Brattleboro Common (Park Place, the intersection of routes 5 and 30, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-6:30pm. 
We're continuing with our monthly rides. Note: We *usually* meet on the last Friday of each month, but moved this one a week earlier to avoid conflicting with the holidays.
Kids and families welcome! Critical (and "Kidical") Mass rides have a unique way of energizing folks around bike mobility, transportation solutions, and amplifying our collective ability and power to begin reclaiming our streets and communities. We need this, and we need YOU!
Agenda:
5:30pm: We'll be starting AND ending at the Brattleboro Common. We'll begin by getting organized, signing in, decorating bikes, and going over our route.
6:00pm: Begin Critical Mass ride. This will be a high-visibility downtown route!
6:30pm: End ride back at the Brattleboro Common OR continue on to film screening & discussion of "Paris to Pittsburgh" (location TBD).
Help us spread the word & make this another successful critical mass ride!

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Dinner Together 
Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at The Winston Prouty School (209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm. All welcome! Free dinner: GF and vegan options available. All options are nut free. Childcare will be available as well. More info: dinnertogether@copelandcenter.com
Join us for a community dinner and casual facilitated conversation about mental health and wellness. It's for those of us who are working on our mental health and those of us who are supporting folks who are struggling (or both). This is a chance to connect with peers and gain connections.

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Film Screening and Discussion: Paris to Pittsburgh
Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at 134 Elliot Street (formerly Elliot Street Cafe), (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-9pm. We'll begin with a light dinner (soup & bread) before the film and stay for a discussion to follow. Free and open to the public. More info at https://www.paristopittsburgh.com/
Inspired by the Guilford Energy Committee, 350 Brattleboro and Extinction Rebellion Southern Vermont invite you to a screening of the National Geographic film "Paris to Pittsburgh."
And join the Critical Mass Ride to the screening. Meet at 5:30pm at Brattleboro Common. The ride will start at 6pm and end at 134 Elliot Street.
About the film: "The Climate for Change is Now....From coastal cities to America’s heartland, Paris to Pittsburgh celebrates how Americans are demanding and developing real solutions in the face of climate change. And as the weather grows more deadly and destructive, they aren’t waiting on Washington to act.”

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Brattleboro Community Thanksgiving
hosted by Brattleboro Annual Community Thanksgiving
Thursday, November 28th, 2019 at St. Michael’s Catholic School (48 Walnut Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-5pm.
Come have a family style Thanksgiving Dinner with your community. Free of Charge, open to everyone!

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US Immigration Policy in Historical Perspective
hosted by Vermont Humanities Council 
Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vt, 05301). 7pm-8:30pm.
One would think that current anxieties about immigration in the US have never been more intense, but history teaches us otherwise. Dartmouth professor Richard Wright examines the present-day contradictions of US immigration policy and places them in historical perspective. Part of the Vermont Humanities First Wednesdays free lecture series.

 

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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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Brattleboro Common Sense Open Meeting and Orientation for New Volunteers
Every Sunday at 16 Washington Street (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). For more information please call 802.490.9363 or go to www.BrattleboroCommonSense.org.
In 2019 our petition for a sustainability coordinator was approved, but other terms of our Climate Crisis forum and common sense conservation lost their first vote. 
CURRENT AGENDA :
We are very glad to improve our unique and aggressive DECLARATION of CLIMATE EMERGENCY with Selectboard input that sets all Americans equal across the political divide, establishing compassion and unity for the sake of climate rescue; 
Local Wall Street Tax; police safety; basic social research; the 2010 EMDOVY v Brattleboro: Superior Court order that ends censorship of petitions by the Selectboard; in 2014 We promoted Brattleboro's Declaration that climate change is a real and human-made, and that carbon be listed as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act; in 2019 Renewable-sourced municipal electricity was approved September 17.

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FMTo 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 activism this and every week, Windham County neighbors. We are so thankful for you and your dedication to your community. We look forward to seeing you at an event or meeting this week! 


Joanna and Leslie
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