Weekly Update 12.31.18
"Ring out the false, ring in the true."
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Happy New Year, weCAN Friends! To acknowledge 2019's arrival we've put together 6 New Year Resolution ideas to help you enact social change in the coming year. Take on one of these concepts and apply it to your life for the entirety of 2019. Read on...
6 New Year Resolutions You Can Make to Enact Social Change*
1. Assume Responsibility for Your Participation
As global citizens, we participate in our immediate and broader communities — whether we mean to or not. Do you know who is making decisions on your behalf at the global and national levels? How about local levels? Do you like those decisions? As peace activist Paul Chappell says, “A democracy is as wise as its citizens.” Start by educating yourself about — and introducing yourself to — your local representatives. Next, consider running for office or closely supporting someone who is (and consider supporting a woman or a minority, if possible!). Understand that every contribution you make, every door you knock on, and every text you send from a text bank event has a direct impact and that you have some control over that impact because you participated.
2. Live Responsibly
Global citizens know that our lives affect others and that others’ lives affect ours. The local environment is made by us and, indeed, makes us. Do you know where your water comes from? What happens to your waste? Are you nourished by what you eat, and does the way in which it was grown nourish the environment? Is your meat sustainable? How far do your vegetables travel to get to you?
If you don’t already shop for produce at local farmers markets, consider using community supported agriculture (CSA) opportunities to empower small farmers. Signing up to support them with year-round funding — or a light volunteer commitment — in exchange for a weekly box of produce can be the difference between success and failure for them and you can help tip the odds in their favor. Eat seasonally, using cookbooks or websites that match seasonal markets. Consider buying clothes and housewares at a local thrift shop and repurposing old items for new uses in the New Year, too. Strive to create responsible shopping in your life, as well as responsible gifting by buying less "new" and more "loved".
3. Become What You Consume
If actions speak louder than words, how loud is money? Being an informed consumer can take many shapes. Visit Behind the Brands to find out who actually owns the brands you consume and how they rank on social justice issues — from women’s and workers’ rights to the protection of the environment and transparency. Let’s look at the other end of consumption: trashing compostable material should be — and in some countries is — a crime. Many areas, like Brattleboro, are banning plastic bags in grocery stores. But, what about using clean, drinkable water to flush our toilets? There is a better way.
4. Question What You Think You Know
…and then question it again.
Who is the authoring your news? Consider checking into alternative sources like Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, Unicorn Riot, and Human Rights Watch. Even reading news coverage of the same event from different parts of the globe can be illuminating.
Equally important: who is writing your history account? Hindsight isn’t always 20/20. Ask yourself: “Whose voice isn’t being heard?” It can be difficult but necessary to hear the other perspective of a scenario. Start with Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, and continue by following the work of activists like Rebecca Solnit, Eva Golinger, Nicholas Kristof, and countless more. Get inspired and dig in, especially in these cold months while parked in front of the fire place on the couch with a cup of tea.
5. Take Smart Action
Certainly everyone is equipped to contribute differently — whether through time, money, presence, expertise, or ideas. Most importantly, ask “how is my contribution best utilized?”. Then, find the network that resonates with you - like the countless international organizations such as Amnesty International or Oxfam. Alternately, scour your neighborhood for local, grassroots organizations working on issues you care about, like an action network (you did that when you found WeCAN!) or the local chapter of an organization you care about. Can you cook? Find an organization, like Southern VT Sister District, that includes cooking in their community work. Do you sew? Offer to mend garments for Groundworks Collaborative and their shelter system. Are you great with animals? Connect with a local activist or representative and offer to care for their pet while they out doing what they do best. ALL your talents are valued and needed; if you would like help connecting to a local organization, please email [email protected] and we will help you find a place to share your talents.
6. Accept Complexity
These problems didn’t appear overnight and the solutions require faith, ingenuity, and perseverance. As German poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote in a correspondence with a young, doubtful poet: “Try to love the questions themselves…perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” Take larger resolutions or goals and create smaller, attainable action steps to achieve success in those resolutions or goals. Above all, remember: your friends in Windham County are behind you every step of the way and if you need help or assistance you need only ask.
Happy New Year and may 2019 bring about real, positive, systemic change for all of us.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, DECEMBER 31st, 2018-SUNDAY, JANUARY 6th, 2019
Yoga & Chocolate Supports Local Planned Parenthood
hosted by Brattleboro's Reproductive Health Advocates
Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout January, beginning Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 at 118 Elliot Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301).
Tuesdays at 5pm-6:30pm; Saturdays at 10:15am-11:45pm. No Reservations are necessary for yoga. There is a $15.00 suggested donation per class and all donations will directly support the New Brattleboro Planned Parenthood opening in mid January.
YOGA & CHOCOLATE will kick off on New Years Day and run every Tuesday and Saturday throughout January. Yoga Locally classes are held every Tuesday (5pm) and Saturday (10:15am) at 118 Elliot Street in Brattleboro. After each class in January, Yoga students will receive an artisan chocolate nugget from Tavenier Chocolate, and a chance to win a variety of gifts from GOOD BODY PRODUCTS.
In addition, on New Years Day, community members can meet at Duo's Lounge at 7pm for a special drink to support the new health clinic.
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, January 4th, 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.
Get the Word Out!: Non-Profit Showcase
hosted by Strolling of the Heifers and the Robert H. Gibson River Garden
Friday, January 4th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-8:30pm. Contact Vicki Friedman for more information: [email protected] or call 802-246-0982.
Get the Word Out about your non-profit organization during January Gallery Walk! Organizations can distribute information, sign up volunteers, attract donors, and get event participants at Strolling of the Heifers' annual celebration of local non-profits. Sign up today! Space is limited. REGISTER HERE:https://www.strollingoftheheifers.com/get-word-registration-2019/.
Exhibitor Fee: $35.00.
Send-off Party for Nader Hashim
Hosted by Nader Hashim for State Representative
Friday, January 4th, 2019 at the Evening Star Grange 154 (1008 E. West Road, East Dummerston, VT, 05346). 6pm-8pm.
A few weeks ago the Dummerston Democratic Committee reached out and offered to organize a send-off party for Nader Hashim before the session. It'll be a casual event, and midway through we'll gather around so we can engage in a conversation about constituent needs and hopes for this session.
Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, January 5th, 2019 (and every Saturday thru March 30) in the C.F. Church Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-2pm. Accepting credit, debit, and EBT. Crop Cash turns $10 EBT into $20 every week. Lunch cafe and live music. For info email [email protected], call 802-869-2141, or visit us at www.brattleborowinterfarmersmarket.org.
New Location! Larger and more accessible. Free Parking. All local - farm produce, meats, syrup, fresh baked goods, cheeses, fruits, cider, pickles, preserves, handmade jewelry, pottery, soaps and more. Building community every week.
Training for Prospective Volunteers
Hosted by Youth Services
Monday, January 7th, 2019 at Youth Services (32 Walnut Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-9pm. Learn more at http://youthservicesinc.org/make-a-resolution-for-2019-become-a-youth-services-volunteer-learn-about-it-jan-7-from-6-9-pm/
Youth Services is offering a Volunteer Training on Monday, January 7 from 6-9 p.m. at their offices in Brattleboro for community members interested in becoming more involved with the nonprofit. Volunteer opportunities range from helping on an ad hoc basis with transportation, meal prep, sharing parenting and life skills to more formal roles such as volunteering as a mentor for a youth-led screen printing business, sitting on a once-a-month Diversion Panel, or serving as a temporary Host Home.
Brattleboro Democracy Forum: Jump Start the Peaceful Revolution for Democracy
Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 at the Robert H. GIbson River Garden/Strolling of the Heifers (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm.
Things you can do for a new day of Democracy and Civil Rights with Woody Bernhard, host of the Brattleboro Democracy Forum and organizer of the "We Celebrate Democracy / Civil Rights For All" main street banner will will share his inspirational song "I Pledge Allegiance” and his ideas about what we can do ourselves, right now, to begin the peaceful revolution and get back on track to a democracy which respects and includes all people. Please join the discussion.
Coffee with Coffey
Hosted by Representative Sara Coffey
Monday, January 14th, 2019 at The Guilford Country Store (475 Coolidge Highway, Guilford, VT, 05301) from 5:30pm-6:30pm.
During the legislative session Sara will hold monthly "Coffey Hours" with constituents to share updates, answer questions and listen to ideas and concerns. Stop by for a few minutes or for the entire hour!
Winter Ride: A Critical Mass Bicycle Ride (NOTE: This event was previously rain-dated from December 2018. This event is weather-dependent.)
Friday, January 18th, 2019 on the Brattleboro Common (Park Place, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-6:30pm.
Join another fun and empowering community ride in celebration of Winter! 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!
5:30pm: This time, 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.
5:45pm: Begin Critical Mass ride. This will be a high-visibility downtown route!
6:00pm: End ride back at the Brattleboro Common. Celebrate with hot apple cider and solidarity in community.
The Critical Mass bike ride that occurred on Saturday, September 8th, 2018 as part of the Global Rise for Climate was the largest activist ride ever in the area & a sign of the emergence of a bike mobility revolution in our region. A second critical mass ride took place on Saturday, October 20th, 2018.
Help us spread the word to help make this another successful critical mass ride!!
Image credit: Hugh D'Andrade
Third Annual Women’s March
Saturday, January 19th, 2019 at various locations throughout Vermont and in Washington, D.C. For more information please visit: www.womensmarch.com
Two years ago, we made history. On January 19th, 2019 we're flooding the streets again as a Women's Wave too powerful to ignore. #WomensWave is coming and we’re sweeping the world forward with us. Join us at one of these events or find your own here: www.womensmarch.com/.
Women’s March on Montpelier
Saturday, January 19th, 2019 at the Vermont State House (115 State Street, Montpelier, VT). 10am-12pm. For more information please visit: www.womensmarchvermont.com
Women’s March on the Pioneer Valley
Saturday, January 19th, 2019 in Northampton, MA (Gather at Sheldon Fields and march up Route 9 to City Hall. 12pm-3pm. For more information please visit www.pioneervalleywomensmarch.org. Rally followed by Activists Fair downtown.
Women’s March on Washington, DC
Saturday, January 19th, 2019 in Washing, D.C (gather on the National Mall between 12th and 3rd Streets). 10am-5pm. Rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to follow.
Brattleboro Food Co-op Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Social Activism Event
Monday, January 21st, 2019 at the Brattleboro Food Co-op (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-6pm. Tablers are welcome for all or part of the time. Please contact Ruth, the Shareholder Services Coordinator on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays* at the Brattleboro Food Co-op at 802-257-0236 x821 or at [email protected].
We are beginning to book our third annual MLK Day tabling event at the Co-op on Monday, January 21st, and your organization may have attended last year.
Would you/your organization be interested in coming in to table, and if so during what hours?
It’s a wonderful way to get the word out about what you do to a segment of the Brattleboro community that is motivated to help out, and perhaps get some co-op shareholder volunteers if that’s something that would be useful. (As you may know, co-op shareholders are able to use community service at organizations such as yours as their co-op work hours (which gets them an 8% discount) for up to 8hrs/4 months per year.)
How are Racial Justice and Climate Justice Connected? Workshop
hosted by 350 Vermont and 350 Brattleboro
Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 1pm-5pm. Register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebxHWWRNvJ1HSCFbwVYbiCM9ds1u5YchsHpUxT7Tvw_0_pUA/viewform. Admission is by sliding scale, $0 to $40. Please bring cash or check to the workshop, or mail a check made out to "350Vermont" 179 S. Winooski Ave, Suite 201, Burlington, VT 05401 with "RJ CJ Brattleboro" in the memo note. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Questions? Contact [email protected]
What does racial justice have to do with climate justice? What do we mean by intersectionality? This interactive workshop explores the foundations of these justice movements and how and why they are inextricably bound. Participants will have the opportunity to consider and reflect on their own experiences, listen to the experiences of others, and learn new language and concepts to help support a deepening investigation of climate and racial justice. This is an introductory workshop that offers a series of starting points and questions, rather than a conclusive or summative approach to this content. It will be facilitated by Phoebe Gooding and Abigail Mnookin.
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 were reminded of the Rapid Response text alerts system as President Trump moves towards firing Mueller. In the event Mueller is fired, MoveOn is planning a nation-wide simultaneous protest. The trick will be to get the word out fast if/when the time comes. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.
STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS
Lost River Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter-South, and People Of Color Caucus Regular Meeting
Reoccurring racial justice organizing meetings every 2nd Monday at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio of the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor. 6pm-8pm. Childcare provided. Fragrance & nut free space.
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 [email protected].
5:30pm: Drop in homework time and art making
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!
ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
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.
Happy New Year, once again, and we look forward to seeing you at an event or meeting in 2019!