Weekly Update 3.4.19
"Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women…know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled…in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish.”
Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist best known for technical mastery and emotional expression in her writing; her poetry expressed anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life
Happy March, Friends, and happy Women's History Month as well! We'd like to continue our look into notable figures in Windham County with a look at Lucy Terry Prince (b.1724 - d.1821, in Sunderland, VT) and her extraordinary life as a freed slave turned unofficial lawyer, poet, and orator. She was the author of what is considered to be the oldest (and first) known printed work of literature by an African American, Bars Fight (pub.1855) and she successfully defended her family’s claim in a disputed land case in front of the newly formed U.S. Supreme Court.
Lucy Terry was born in Africa and was stolen from her family and brought to the United States as an infant. As a young girl of about 5 years old she was moved to Deerfield, Massachusetts, where she was owned by Ebenezer Wells. By the time she was a young woman Lucy was held in esteem by her neighbors in Deerfield and was recorded as being the village poet and historian. In 1746 Lucy witnessed the terrible Native American (Indian) massacre, known as the Bars Fight (bars was the colonial term for meadow). Lucy was only sixteen at the time, but she wrote two poetic versions of the battle involving Native Americans and two settler families. It was called ’The fullest contemporary account of that bloody tragedy which has been preserved' at the time. In 1756 Lucy married Abijah Prince, a former slave to Reverend Benjamin Doolittle of nearby Northfield, Massachusetts who purchased Lucy from Wells. When Doolittle died he freed Bijah and deeded him land in a part of Northfield, MA that is now Vernon, Vermont.
Lucy and Bijah were married in Deerfield; their homestead became known during their time there as Bijah's Brook, and Lucy was called Luce (sic) Bijah. Here, her reputation as a storyteller and poet grew. According to Deerfield history she was popular with young people who would gather around her kitchen at night to hear her stories and original poems. 'Lucy was a noted character, and her house was a great place of resort for the young people, attracted thither by her wit and wisdom, often shown in her rhyme and stories.'
Bijah was never content to stay in one place for long and he seemed to have had a hunger for land. One of the first large parcels he owned was a 100-acre homestead in Guilford, Vermont, which was granted to him by Colonel David Field of Deerfield. He moved to Guilford with his family in 1764, but did not stay long. The Princes moved back to Deerfield for a while, and eventually to Sunderland, Vermont, near Bennington. Bijah was one of the original grantees of Sunderland, and the only one to actually homestead there. Unhappily, Bijah's claim to his land was contested by Colonel Eli Bronson and this led to a heated legal dispute which went all the way to the newly formed United States Supreme Court. Colonel Bronson hired two of Vermont's most prominent lawyers, General Stephen Bradley and Royal Tyler (later a chief justice of Vermont). The Princes hired Isaac Tichenor to draw the pleadings, but it was Lucy herself who argued the case in court! She not only won, but Samuel Chase, the presiding judge, was so impressed by her logic and passion that he claimed 'Lucy made a better argument than he had ever heard from a lawyer in Vermont.'
Around 1780 the Princes returned to their homestead in Guilford. Bijah again ran into trouble with his land. His neighbors to the north, the Noyes, for reasons undetermined. burned his fences and hayricks. The harassment continued unabated until the Princes were compelled to take legal action. They appealed to the highest state tribunal of the time (1785), the VT Governor's Council. Lucy again lead the case. The Princes were judged 'much injured’ and the Governor recommended to the Selectmen of Guilford to 'take some effectual Measures to protect the said Abijah, Lucy, and family.’
Lucy most likely lived to be over 100 years old. Sheldon commented in his book History of Deerfield, 'In the checked lives of Abijah Prince and Lucy Terry is found a realistic romance going beyond the wildest flights of fiction.' Lucy was lively and stubborn to the last. There is a story, probably apocryphal judging from her character, that when she returned to Deerfield, an elderly woman, to visit her former master, she refused to take supper at the family's dinner table, saying, 'No, no Missy, I know my place.'
As this account shows, Lucy never knew her place; instead, she made it.*
*Resources: https://www.guilfordvt.net/?SEC=25184677-0F84-4B60-B6CA-6B9B78CCB34B#D24AD6B0-4D45-441A-BE53-0F7C4045D43E, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bars_Fight, https://vermonthistory.org/research/vermont-women-s-history/timelines/women-1777-1900?id=852, https://vermonthistory.org/research/vermont-women-s-history/database/prince-lucy?tmpl=component&print=1&page=, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p15.html
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, MARCH 4th, 2019-SUNDAY, MARCH 10th, 2019
REMINDER: TOWN MEETING DAY IS TUESDAY, MARCH 5th, 2019. For more information please click HERE.
Bellows Falls Town Hall: The Economy for All Town Hall Tour
sponsored by the Rights and Democracy Education Fund, Windham County NAACP, VT Workers Center
Thursday, March 7th, 2019 at the Masonic Temple (61 Westminster Street, Bellows Falls, VT). 6pm-8pm. RSVP Link: https://secure.everyaction.com/g4UmtZ2wp0WTQ7vZ-ybn-Q2. The events will be free, open to the public, and many of them will provide free food and beverages.
What are the issues that matter most to Vermonters and what can we do to address them? That’s the focus of a statewide, seven-stop Economy for All Town Hall Tour of Vermont in March and April sponsored by the Rights & Democracy Education Fund (RADEF), the 501(c)3 sister organization to Rights & Democracy. Topics will include racial justice, raising the minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, universal health care, ensuring clean water, a just transition to a 100% real renewable future, and more.
The special guest speaker at each of the Town Halls will be Lt. Governor David Zuckerman. Additional speakers will include local legislators, community leaders, and community members who are working on ways to solve these issues in their community or across the state.
Here is the full list of town halls:
MARCH TOWN HALLS
Bellows Falls Town Hall
MARCH 7, 6-8PM
Masonic Temple, 61 Westminster Street
RSVP Link: https://secure.everyaction.com/g4UmtZ2wp0WTQ7vZ-ybn-Q2
Rutland Town Hall
MARCH 10, 2-4PM
Unitarian Universalist Church of Rutland, 117 West Street
RSVP Link: https://secure.everyaction.com/7RtiA7c-Bk2Ypxf3sbRGBA2
St. Albans Town Hall
MARCH 12, 6-8PM
Saint Albans Museum, 9 Church Street
RSVP Link: https://secure.everyaction.com/LCO_YQSfJky_a00wmDjecA2
APRIL TOWN HALLS
Hardwick Town Hall
APRIL 1, 6-8PM
Memorial Building, 20 Church Street
RSVP link: https://secure.everyaction.com/Vp46M8EtjEaOcxtCvm3J-Q2
Waitsfield Town Hall
APRIL 2, 6-8PM
Big Picture Theater & Cafe, 48 Carroll Road
RSVP link: https://secure.everyaction.com/8-X1vosSUEejlJFiKJuKSQ2
Vergennes Town Hall
APRIL 7, 6-8PM
Vergennes Opera House, 120 Main Street
RSVP link: https://secure.everyaction.com/SR9Hl7S1Vka-q0znLdkE_A2
Montpelier Town Hall
APRIL 9, 6-8PM
U-32 High School, 930 Gallison Hill Road
RSVP link: https://secure.everyaction.com/HCXECw_uv0GLoENza49myQ2
Virtual Cross Class Dialogue Circle
hosted by Equity Solutions
Thursday, 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 8th, 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.
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.
Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, March 9th, 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.
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.
Brown Bag Lunch: Will Venezuela Cause a Domino Effect? A Conversation About the Venezuela Crisis Within the Larger Context of Latin America With Aynn Setright
Friday, March 15th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm. For questions about accessibility or disability-related accommodations for this event, please call 802-258-3527.
The public is invited to join Aynn Setright, School for International Training Academic Dean for Latin America, from noon-1 p.m. on Friday, March 15, for a brown bag lunch conversation at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden in downtown Brattleboro. Setright will discuss the current political and social crises in Venezuela -- with the disputed presidency of Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó -- within the framework of larger social and political changes in Latin America. She will also discuss U.S. intervention in the region as well as the role of other global powers including China and Russia.
As a graduate student, Setright went to Nicaragua with a social justice organization called Witness for Peace. She became a long-term volunteer with Witness for Peace and from 1985-87 she drove an ambulance in the war zone and worked with a rural Catholic parish in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. From 1987-93, she was coordinator of a small development organization, Proyecto Cristo Rey, working with 800 war refugee families in 16 resettlement communities in Matagalpa and what is now known as the North and South Autonomous Caribbean Coast Regions. This project was awarded the Institute for Policy Studies Letelier-Moffit Memorial Human Rights Award in 1991.
A native of Wyoming, Setright earned a BA in international studies from the University of Wyoming and an MA in Latin American and Caribbean history from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), Managua. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Zulia, Venezuela, and is currently completing her dissertation on Central American ecofeminism. She was appointed SIT academic dean for Latin America and the Caribbean in September 2016. Prior to this position, she served as academic director for SIT Study Abroad in Nicaragua since 1999. She is a member of the Latin American Studies Association and participates in the Central American Studies Section of LASA as well as in the Central American Historians Association.
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.
Climate Change Café Presents: Climate Vision 2020
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-8pm. Free. Light Refreshments Available. For more information please email [email protected].
Returning to the Café after his well-received talk in 2017, Climate change specialist Dr Edward Cameron will present the key lessons from the 2018 IPCC 1.5C report and outline a vision for building a low-carbon, climate-resilient and inclusive economy in Vermont, throughout the United States and across the globe. He will look beyond the climate change challenge and explore how each of us can use this moment to build a just and sustainable world for all.
Edward Cameron is a Senior Advisor (Consultant) with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He has worked with policy makers in the U.S, as well as internationally through the UN to be more ambitious on the climate.
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 for your community this and every week, Friends. We look forward to seeing you at a meeting or event this week.