Weekly Update 2.25.19
"See, we (African Americans) didn’t come from nowhere. We have a background, and that background can be traced right down to the roots."
Daisy Turner (1883-1988)
American storyteller, poet, and Vermonter
We hope you are having a fantastic weekend, WeCAN friends. We would like to continue our glimpse into African American history in Windham County this week with a look at renowned storyteller Daisy Turner (1883-1988) and the Turner family of Grafton, VT.
Daisy Turner was born in Grafton, one of thirteen children born to parents who were former slaves. Turner's great-grandmother was shipwrecked while traveling from England to Africa on her honeymoon during the early 19th century. She was saved by an African chieftain's son, and had a child with him (Daisy's grandfather, Alexander). Alexander was captured by a slave trader and eventually taken to a plantation in Port Royal, Virginia. There, Daisy's father, Alec, was born a slave. Alec was taught to read by the master's granddaughter and later escaped, joining the Union Army during the Civil War. After the Civil War, the Turner family moved north, where her father worked in a saw mill and raised enough money to purchase a 100 acres in Grafton and build Journey's End Farm. The land where Alec Turner and his wife, Sally, built their home was wild and uninhabited. When the family first arrived, Dairy Turner later said, “there wasn’t a place big enough (for) two chairs to set, for the lumber and the trees.”
The family and its farm grew, though, as did the Turners’ reputation in Grafton and their role in town life. Information recently compiled by local preservationists says the Turners “had three pews” at the Baptist church in Grafton and also sang at the Phelps Hotel, now the Grafton Inn. Both Alec Turner and his daughter Daisy were known as vivid storytellers. Her stories have been immortalized both in print – “Daisy Turner’s Kin” by Jane C. Beck was released in 2015 – and in recordings made by the Middlebury-based Vermont Folklife Center, which maintains a Daisy Turner exhibit.
The Turner family history also has a strong and growing presence in the village of Grafton. There’s a Turner exhibit at the Grafton Historical Society’s museum, and a volunteer group working under the auspices of the Windham Foundation recently created the Turner Hill Interpretive Center in town. The museum and interpretive center are listed as a stop on the Vermont African American Heritage Trail as is the Turner Hill Wildlife Management Area, a sprawling state-owned property that includes the former Turner homestead. Much of what the Turners built has disappeared, unfortunately. Their main house, constructed in 1886, burned to the ground in 1962 and several other structures are no longer standing.
Birchdale Camp, erected in 1911, is a 1½-story cabin that was “an important source of revenue” for the family because it was rented to “summer boarders and fall hunters,” according to a VT archaeological survey; it is the only original structure left standing on the Turner property.
The cabin is located at the top of a steep hill with one lane access. Plans are in action, though, to make the structure and the area surrounding it accessible so that people can visit.
Daisy Turner was proud of her family heritage, and was a strong, outspoken woman from childhood to her death at the age of 104. Daisy is remembered as a gifted storyteller and family historian. She is the subject of the Vermont Folklife Center's Peabody Award-winning audio documentary, "Journey's End: The Memories and Traditions of Daisy Turner". Stories from her life have also been the subject of two Vermont Folklife Center books, "Alec's Primer" and "Daisy and the Doll".
The Turner family homestead is located on the "Daisy Turner Loop", a biking trail near Grafton Pond. You can find more information about the Daisy Turner Interpretive Center here: https://www.turnerhillgrafton.org and you can learn more about the Vermont African American Heritage Trail, of which the Vermont Folklife Center is a stop, here: http://vtafricanamericanheritage.net/Visit/.
References: http://vtafricanamericanheritage.net/Visit/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_Turner_(storyteller), https://vermonthistory.org/research/vermont-women-s-history/database/turner-daisy, https://historicsites.vermont.gov/sites/historicsites/files/Documents/African-American-Heritage-Trail-2017-laura-web.pdf, https://www.turnerhillgrafton.org, https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/13/grafton-black-history-rooted-landscape/
From fellow WeCAN reader Ann Smith:
Keep the Blue Wave rolling during April 2nd, 2019 Special Elections! Fight gerrymandering in Wisconsin by helping elect Lisa Neubauer to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which is likely to weigh in on the 2020 redistricting in this gerrymandered state. Click here http://votingmatters.blog/2019/02/gerrymander-wi/ for more information.
Flip another PA State Senate seat from red to blue! Dems broke the Republican super majority in 2018. Support Pam Iovino in her bid to win one of four seats needed for a blue majority. Check out this site http://votingmatters.blog/2019/02/flip-pa/ for more information.
Thank you for your email, Ann. To have your item listed please email it to [email protected] by 10pm on Friday evenings.
FREE RESOURCE AVAILABLE
This poster resource, “Native Americans of NASA: Recognizing Diversity, Honoring Heritage” from the NASA Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, recognizes all 21 self-identified Native Americans currently contributing to the U.S. Space Program. This image is free to reproduce from this link: eo.arc.nasa.gov/AIANPOSTER.pdf. Feel free to print this for your own use or send it along to a friend or colleague.
(Content provided on Twitter by Aaron Yazzie (@YazzieSays), a Navajo Mechanical Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories.)
REMINDER: TOWN MEETING DAY IS TUESDAY, MARCH 5th, 2019. For more information please click HERE.
HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24th, 2019
Windham Together Party
sponsored by Rights & Democracy VT
Sunday, February 24th, 2019 at 118 Elliot Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-8pm. We’ll begin the party by sharing a meal. So, please bring a dish to share! Call Jaime Contois at (603) 504-2906 to RSVP.
Connect with fellow Windham County neighbors to find a path forward on the issues that we care about. Many Windham County residents are concerned about a livable minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, universal health care, and the eroding of our democracy. What issues concern you? Let us know at our upcoming Windham Together Party.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25th, 2019-SUNDAY, MARCH 4th, 2019
Mother Up! Monthly Meet-Up
Monday February 25th, 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 [email protected].
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. We'll reflect on our recent visit to the State House, talk about the upcoming youth-led Climate Strike on March 15th, and learn about ways to engage in Town Meeting Day.
Available Political Meeting Space Information Session
Monday, February 25th, 2019 at the Brattleboro Common Sense Headquarters (16 Washington Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm. For more information please contact 802.490.9363. Free.
A small, comfortable venue, the Brattleboro Common Sense headquarters is available for political meetings near downtown Brattleboro at no cost. It is a space for meetings of fifteen people or so and it is offered for the sake of encouraging political meetings of all stripes (not just leftist/liberal). BCS will also consider offering a van with seats for seven to help people share transportation. Please join us at this detail planning meeting for more information.
Brattleboro School Board Candidates' Forum
hosted by Brooks Memorial Library
Monday, February 25th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Main Reading Room. 7pm-8:30pm. This event is free and open to the public, and is wheelchair accessible.
Prospective candidates include Emily Murphy Kaur, Jill Stahl Tyler, Spoon Agave, Andy Davis, and Robin Morgan. We hope that you will come to meet the candidates, and be part of the discussion about our local educational opportunities!
More Yoga Locally for Planned Parenthood
hosted by Yoga Locally
Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout February; Happening this Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 AND this Saturday, March 2nd, 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.
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 [email protected]. 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.
Virtual Cross Class Dialogue Circle
hosted by Equity Solutions
Thursday, February 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.
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, March 1st, 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.
Seeking Asylum: A Group Art Show Supporting CASP (Community Asylum Seekers Project)
Friday, March 1st, 2019 at the River Gallery School (32 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm. The show will be on display for the month of March in the Main Street Studio of River Gallery School.
A group show of art focused on the theme of immigration, refugees and asylum seekers, in a range of styles and mediums.
Participating artists include Suzanne Flynt, Collin Leech, Evie Lovett, Helen Schmidt, Lori Schreiner, Susan Wilson and Debbie Wetzel.
The art show will raise funds for CASP; the Community Asylum Seekers Project. CASP is a local organization whose mission is to provide basic needs and a supportive community for those in the process of seeking asylum. There are a growing number of families in Southern Vermont who are being sponsored by CASP.
Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, March 2nd, 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.
Why We Fight: A Film Screening
hosted by Brattleboro Solidarity and Indigo Radio
Friday, March 8th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Room. 6pm-8pm. Running time is 99 minutes.
Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military–industrial complex and its 50-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date, especially its 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
Join us for film viewing and discussion - and why this continues to be an important movie in 2019.
Perpetual War - Study & Discussion
hosted by Brattleboro Solidarity, Spark Teacher Education Institute, and Indigo Radio
Saturday, March 9th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 2pm-5pm.
Join Spark Teacher Education Institute for a study and group discussion on U.S. wars for profit. Our young are being taught thru every means of media that war and violence are inevitable and normal. War is violence - resulting in disease, death, families ripped apart, children separated, and societal infrastructures destroyed.
By its own admission in an unclassified White House report obtained early 2018 by the NY Times, the U.S. is officially fighting wars in 7 countries - Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger. “Spreading democracy” and humanitarian aid used as justifications. We see it again today with the dangerous rhetoric and talk of aggression in Venezuela - as Trumps says "all options are on the table."
Along with these "official wars" - the U.S. also maintains 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and is the largest exporter of arms - sending arms to over 100 countries. There are those that profit from war - Defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics Corps and Boeing along with the Hollywood and the video game industry, and the tech industry of Silicon Valley.
Come join us for a discussion around these issues - What does perpetual war mean? What is the purpose of these current wars and interventions? How does it connect to our lives here in Brattleboro? How are our children being taught about these events and about the world and the human community?
Par for the Cause Mini-Golf Classic
hosted by Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development
Saturday, March 9th, 2019 from 6pm-9pm and Sunday, March 10th, 2019 from 10am-12pm at the Winston Prouty Center (209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). For tickets please go to winstonprouty.org.
Please join us for our 5th annual indoor mini-golf fundraiser: PAR FOR THE CAUSE.
Our evening event on Saturday, March 9 will feature delicious food by Guilford Country Store, a cash bar by Hazel, and a silent auction of fun experiences. Tickets are $25 per person.
The fun continues on Sunday, March 10 when the course will be open to families and will offer kid-friendly snacks and activities.$5 per player or $20 per family.
Proceeds from Par for the Cause support the many programs of the Winston Prouty Center, which serve over 600 local families every year.
Undeterred in Brattleboro
hosted by Undeterred and People Helping People
Sunday, March 10th, 2019 at the Latchis Theatre (50 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-7pm. There will be a Q and A afterword, so please stick around! For more information about the film please check out this website: http://undeterredfilm.org.
Undeterred is a documentary about community resistance in the rural border town of Arivaca, Arizona. Since NAFTA, 9/11 and the Obama and Trump administrations border residents have been on the front-lines of the humanitarian crisis caused by increased border enforcement build up. Undeterred is an intimate and unique portrait of how residents in a small rural community, caught in the cross-hairs of global geo-political forces, have mobilized to demand our rights and to provide aid to injured, oft times dying migrants funneled across a wilderness desert. The film was made by Eva Lewis, a resident of Arivaca and long time member of People Helping People in the Border Zone (PHP). Undeterred was created in close collaboration with the Arivaca community and members of PHP.
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.
The 28th Annual Women's Film Festival
sponsored by the Women’s Freedom Center
Friday, March 22nd, 2019-Saturday, March 30th, 2019 at the New England Youth Theatre (100 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Times vary with performances.
The 28th annual Women’s Film Festival in Brattleboro, VT is a celebration of movies from around the world, and a platform for women to tell their own amazing stories. Over the course of two weekends 35 documentaries, feature films, and shorts will be screened. Something for everyone! With films about the arts, friendship, activism, sports, lesbian/queer lives, motherhood, gender roles, religion, fashion, radium, romance, and so much more.
Film schedule can be found here: http://womensfilmfestival.org/festival-schedule/
Tickets for individual films are $10/generous, $9/general admission, $8/discounted admission. A five-movie pass is available for $40. Passes can be purchased online at: womensfilmfestival.org/tickets , in person at Everyone's Books in Brattleboro, or by calling 802-257-7367 during business hours.
The event raises funds for the vital work of the Women’s Freedom Center, the non-profit domestic and sexual violence organization providing shelter, advocacy and support to southeastern Vermont for over 45 years.
Thanks to these generous sponsors for helping make the Women’s Film Festival possible: Chroma Technology Corp, SIT Graduate Institute, Thompson House, Brattleboro Area Hospice Brattleboro Food Co-op, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Tracy J Sloan Cpa, Windham Movement Apparel, Sobo Studio, Vermont Jazz Center, Green Mountain Crossroads, AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, Gallery in the Woods, and more.
ICE/CBP Resistance & Defending Human Rights Training
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 1pm-3pm. This training is offered free of charge, but registration is requested with your phone number. Please contact Tim Stevenson at [email protected].
ICE Checkpoints are going up unannounced (they can do this within 100 miles from the border, seacoast, international airports). People vulnerable to ICE and Border Patrol actions are being snatched away on their way to work or to appointments at an alarming rate. They are held in the Dover, NH detention facility, and deported.
We need to inform and help re-direct those individuals, and at the same time demonstrate strong community resistance to ICE and CBP.
Two women, Kira Kelley (National Lawyers Guild) and Asma Elhuni (United Valley Interfaith Project) are offering trainings.We need people at various risk or inconvenience levels of involvement, from warning motorists at highway overpasses with bright banners about an upcoming checkpoint, and driving cars with signs attached in loops on the Interstate, to non-cooperation as a driver when asked for name at checkpoints, and spreading information on 'Know Your Rights' at our own "checkpoints". This training will prepare you to carry out any of these tasks. Please get back to Tim ASAP if you (or anyone else you know) would like to participate in this ICE/CBP Resistance & Defending Human Rights Training, so that you might participate in any of the kind of actions mentioned above. Thank you for considering this important opportunity.
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
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 [email protected].
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for all that you do, WeCAN community. We look forward to seeing you at an event or meeting this week.