Weekly Update 2.10.19

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
Frederick Douglass,
American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman

     We hope this email finds you well, WeCAN readers. During the month of February we are sharing African-American history from within Windham County, Vermont; this week’s offering centers around Frederick Douglass and his trip to Brattleboro.

From an article by Anne Dempsey, in the Brattleboro Reformer February 8, 1994:  
     Before and during the Civil War, former slave and black orator Frederick Douglass traveled the speakers' circuit for the anti-slavery movement. By January 1866, the nation faced new challenges. The war had ended. Lincoln had been killed. Vice President Andrew Johnson had taken over the helm. Many newly freed black people found themselves homeless, hungry and unemployed. Douglass had new issues to address.
     On Jan. 4, 1866, Douglass spoke at Brattleboro's town hall. Before a full house, he stressed the importance of voting rights for the black population. He eulogized Abraham Lincoln for his signing the Emancipation Proclamation, winning the war against slavery and supporting the Freedmen's Bureau. He criticized Johnson, who opposed the black vote and supported southern states that instituted racist laws (called Black Codes). Johnson also restored to former Rebels land that the Freedman's Bureau had promised to newly freed blacks.
     Both Brattleboro papers supported Douglass' praise of Lincoln, but sidestepped his criticism of Johnson. The Vermont Phoenix described him as "modest in demeanor, quiet in manner," while expressing "his thoughts with grace and force." The Vermont Record noted "his sentiments were. . .endorsed by hearty applause." It also remarked that Douglass was a "radical," wanting too much too fast, "but radical men are useful in preparing the public mind for great questions and great changes."
     Over President Johnson's protests, Congress did adopt a number of reforms Douglass had publicly advocated, in Brattleboro and elsewhere. During the summer of 1866, Congress began dismantling the Black Codes. Black males gained voting rights in 1870. But for most former slaves, the dream of owning 40 acres and a mule never was realized. A runaway slave himself, Douglass gave these thoughts on his escape in "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave Written by Himself":

     ‘The thought of leaving my friends was decidedly the most painful thought with which I had to contend. The love of them was my tender point, and shook my decision more than all things else. Besides the pain of separation, the dread and apprehension of a failure exceeded what I had experienced at my first attempt. The appalling defeat I then sustained returned to torment me. I felt assured that, if I failed in this attempt, my case would be a hopeless one -- it would seal my fate as a slave forever. I could not hope to get off with anything less than the severest punishment, and being placed beyond the means of escape. It required no very vivid imagination to depict the most frightful scenes through which I should have to pass, in case I failed. The wretchedness of slavery, and the blessedness of freedom were perpetually before me. It was life and death with me. But I remained firm and according to my resolution, on the 3rd day of September, 1838, I left my chains and succeeded in reaching N. Y. without the slightest interruption of any kind.’"

     To discuss the life and works of Frederick Douglass in more depth, we recommend attending the Reading Frederick Douglass 2019 Event on Monday, February 11th at the Rockingham Free Public Library in Bellows Falls at 6pm (details are below, in the body of this email). We look forward to seeing you there!

 

HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10th, 2019

Sweet Treat Open House: A Vernon Community Center Discussion
hosted by Friends of Vernon Center
Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at Governor Hunt House (Governor Hunt Road, Vernon, VT). 2pm-4pm. Refreshments (baked goods! beverages!) will be served.
Join the Friends of Vernon Center for an open house at the Governor Hunt House on Sunday, February 10th, 2019 from 2pm-4pm! Now that Northstar has begun decommissioning work at the Vermont Yankee plant, the Governor Hunt House may become available to the Friends of Vernon Center (a non-profit organization working to encourage development of a village center) for use as a Community Center for Vernon.
What activities would you like to see there, if the Governor Hunt House became the Vernon Community Center? Possibilities include meetings, community events, private events, music, theater, art displays, craft fairs, food festivals — and more! We want to hear your ideas!

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11th, 2019-SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17th, 2019

 

Coffee with Coffey
hosted by Representative Sara Coffey
Monday, February 11th, 2019 at the Guilford Country Store (475 Coolidge Highway, Guilford, VT, 05301). 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!


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Reading Frederick Douglass 2019
Monday, February 11th, 2019 at the Rockingham Free Public Library (65 Westminster Street, Bellows Falls, VT, 05101). 6pm. For more information please contact Anne Dempsey at 802.463.4270.
Join us as we read together the fiery July 5th, 1852 speech in which the great abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This is a participatory event. Community members are invited to witness and/or join in the reading. Copies of the speech will be provided.

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More Yoga Locally for Planned Parenthood
hosted by Yoga Locally
Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout February; Happening this Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 AND this Saturday, February 16th, 2019 at 118 Elliot Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301).
Tuesdays at 5pm-6:30pm, Saturdays at 10:15am-11:45am. No Reservations are necessary for yoga. There is a suggested donation per class and all donations will directly support the new Brattleboro Planned Parenthood.
Yoga Locally vigorous core flow yoga classes are held every Tuesday (5pm) with Laura and Saturday (10:15am) with Jonathan at 118 Elliot Street in Brattleboro. This is not a beginner class, but it will be accessible to every body. 

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Democracy Forum: Voter Suppression with Tim Kipp
sponsored by We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights for All
Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm. Free and open to the public. 
Tim Kipp will address the legacy of Jim Crow and the rise of a new civil rights movement. Come and join in the discussion. Tim Kipp taught US history, political science and law for 39 years. He has been a political activist since the 1960s.

 

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Women Veterans Weekly Coffee and Tea Social
Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at Brattleboro Legion Post 5 Inc. (32 Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am.
All female veterans are invited to join in the weekly 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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Mother Up! Day at the State House 
Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at Vermont State House (115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633). 10am-2pm.  RSVP helpful, but not required. Contact Abby Mnookin for more info at abby@350vt.org. Join for some part or all of this day. Parents and kids are welcome, and Positive Pie pizza lunch and childcare will be provided. If you don't RSVP, please bring a brown bag lunch.
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. Show your love for the planet by joining Mother Up! for the 3rd Annual Lobby Day on Valentine's Day! Our legislators want to hear what's important to us, and when we speak out, they listen. This day will be an opportunity for parents and families throughout Vermont to come together to let our legislators know that not only is climate change a top priority for us, but also that NOW is the time to lead the way with bold climate solutions. After all, our children are counting on us.
Itinerary includes:
10am: Arrive, meet & greet, prep for testimony (Lobby; Ethan Allen Rm)
11am: Press Conference (Cedar Creek Rm)
12pm: Testify to Climate Solutions Caucus (Rm 10)

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Local Government & Energy Conservation Revolution with Gaia Raimondo
part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series
sponsored by Brattleboro Common Sense 
Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm.
On Thursday, February 14th at 12 pm, Brattleboro Common Sense will be at the River Garden in Brattleboro to present on its efforts to enact change and get serious about global warming by getting the town of Brattleboro to really look at its energy conservation practices.  We at BCS believe that the current state of the climate should be considered an emergency on all fronts, but especially at the local level.  In this moment, when federal leadership in the battle against climate change is non-existent, a coal lobbyist is the head of the EPA, and an oil lobbyist is the head of the DOI, we must act. Come hear us present on our efforts and learn a bit about local government in the process.

 

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Coffee with Coffey
hosted by Representative Sara Coffey
Saturday, February 16th, 2019 at the Vernon Free Library (567 Governor Hunt Road, Vernon, VT, 05345). 9:30am-10:30am.
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!

 

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Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market
a project of Post Oil Solutions 
Saturday, February 16th, 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 farmersmarket@postoilsolutions.org, 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.

 

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Celebrating the Lunar New Year of China, Korea, and Vietnam: A Lantern Festival
hosted by the Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT)
Sunday, February 17th, 2019 at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 1pm-4pm. Parking is located next door in the lot for 28 Vernon St. This is a potluck event; please bring an item to share. More information is located on the website: http://accvt.org/. For phone inquiries please call 802-257-7898 to leave a voicemail before the event; for information on the day of the event please call 802-579-9088.
The Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT) presents Lunar New Year of China, Korea and Vietnam on Sunday, Feb 17th, 2019 at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.
Lunar New Year celebrations run from February 5th to February 19th and conclude with the Lantern Festival. We will celebrate the Lantern Festival with stilt walkers, sweet rice balls and the Korean card game Hwatu (Go Stop). Li Fei Osborne returns to share a dance of the Yi people (one of the Chinese ethnic minorities) and then teach us all a Yi dance. Join us to dance with the Dragon, do Qigong, join in a Korean tug-of-war, make a paper lantern, and sing an Asian New Year song. You don’t have to be Asian or know anything about Asia to participate!  We usher in The Year of the Brown Earth Pig, a year full of joy, a year of friendship and love; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life. Don’t miss the chance to dance with the 30-foot Vietnamese dragon. It will arrive around 2:15, and then parade up from the Museum towards Main Street bringing us luck for the coming year.  According to Chinese folklore, this enormous marionette, requiring at least 9 people to hold, is forever chasing the ‘heavenly pearl’ in its pursuit of wisdom. Seth Harter, Director of Asian Studies at Marlboro College, brought this extraordinary dragon back from the village of an accomplished Vietnamese craftsman. During the rest of the year, the dragon ‘lives’ in the Marlboro College dining hall.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Meet the Candidates for the Brattleboro Selectboard Open Seats
Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 and
Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (167 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm.
Meet the candidates for Brattleboro Selectboard 1-year and 3-year seats. Q&A and moderated discussion plus snacks! All are welcome.

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Virtual Cross Class Dialogue Circle
hosted by Equity Solutions
Thursdays, February 21st, and 28th; March 7th, 14th, and 21st, 2019 at https://www.equitysolutionsvt.com/cross-class-dialogue-circles/. 6pm-8:30pm(EST). This is an online, virtual event. Please see below for technical requirements. 
Join us to explore, deepen understanding and connections, and work towards economic justice! Find more info, and to sign up: https://www.equitysolutionsvt.com/cross-class-dialogue-circles/
We use an online video platform called Zoom. You need a computer (with webcam/internal camera and a microphone: most laptops have these) and internet access to be part of the circle. If you would like to participate and do not have access to a computer with a webcam, contact us and we'll brainstorm how to get you connected. We’ll strive to make this online offering as accessible as possible. Please check the registration materials for more info. 
The economic divide in the US is growing, but we rarely talk to each other meaningfully about class. Cross Class Dialogue Circles bring together up to 20 community members with a diversity of class experiences, from being homeless to managing family foundations, and everything in between. These Circles are a powerful way for people from all different economic backgrounds to come together and talk about their own experiences, listen to each others’ stories and perspectives, and then work together as change makers for economic justice.

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Climate Change Café Presents "Secret Ingredients"
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 at the Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 6pm-8pm. Free. Light refreshments available. For more information please email bereal@vermontel.net. Lori Schreier, local organic farmer/owner of Fertile Fields Farm, will host a group sharing at the end of the film.
This powerful film by Amy Hart and Jeffrey Smith shares remarkable stories of people who regain their health after discovering the secret ingredients in their food and making a bold commitment to avoid them.
The secret ingredients in our food may be a lead driver of our obesity, infertility, cancer, digestive problems, autism, brain fog, skin conditions, gluten sensitivity, allergies, fatigue, anxiety, and many other conditions. Meet more than a dozen people who turned around serious health conditions after adopting a diet that avoids genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and food sprayed with toxic herbicides like Roundup. Learn from leading physicians who say that these are not coincidences. They see illness and recovery like this every day in their practice. And listen to the scientists who explain why. The film shares powerful stories of people who regained their health after changing to an all organic diet, free of GMOs, Roundup and other toxic pesticides. Skin and digestive conditions disappear; cancer patients now have a clean bill of health; autistic children are now thriving; infertile couples now have healthy babies.

 

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4th Annual Creative Black-Tie Gala
hosted by Southern Vermont Young Professionals
Saturday, March 16th, 2019 at The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7:30pm-10pm. Admission includes lite food, music, and access to all of the galleries, but bring some cash for the bar and raffle. Tickets for YP Members are $15, and the promotion code is in your membership email! Tickets are $20 for non-members.
We're back for our fourth year of fun and fundraising for the So.VT YP's!
Join the Southern Vermont Young Professionals on March 16th for the Creative Black-Tie Gala, your chance to dust off your funkiest threads to eat, drink, and mingle with the YP community.
Not a member yet? Click through to the Eventbrite page and you'll find a link to join.

 

 

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COMMUNITY OPPORTUNITY

The Inclusion Center Board Member Opportunity
We are excited about finding a few new Board Members for Inclusion Center! The Inclusion Center board is looking for individuals who feel a passion for the goals and ideals of our program. 
Board members commit to giving just two hours a month to furthering the development of Inclusion Center, and if they give more, that's all the better! If you are interested in learning more about the Inclusion Center board, please contact us at inclusioncenter2013@gmail.com. We look forward to having some new energy, ideas and assistance!

 

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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 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.

 

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STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS

 

Brattleboro State Representatives’ Updates and Community Conversation
First Saturday of the Month, alternating between 10am and 4pm (2.2.19 was at 10am). Location information to follow. Childcare available upon request by contacting EmilieKornheiser@gmail.com.
As promised, all three of your Brattleboro State Representatives, Mollie Burke, Emilie Kornheiser, and Tristan Toleno, will gather in Brattleboro to host a community conversation and share updates from the first few weeks of the legislative session. Our series of monthly conversations— scheduled for the first Saturday of the month— will alternate between 10am and 4pm. 

 

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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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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.  

 

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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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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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     Have a fantastic week, WeCAN community, and Happy Valentine's Day as well. We look forward to seeing you at a meeting or event this week! 

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