Weekly Update 4.22.19
"We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome."
Chilean-American writer whose works sometimes contain aspects of the genre of "magical realism”.
2014 U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
We wish all of our WeCAN Friends and Family a very Happy Passover, a Happy Easter, and a Happy Sunday! There are more than a few new submissions this week, so please take a few moments and scroll down to the end of the list to see what's been added. We look forward to seeing you at a meeting or event in the coming week.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, APRIL 22nd, 2019-SUNDAY, APRIL 28th, 2019
Mother Up! Monthly Meet-Up
Monday April 22nd, 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 talk about how racial justice and climate justice are interconnected. We'll also reflect on 350VT's Next Steps: A Climate Solutions Walk and hear stories from local walkers.
Dissecting Nuclear Bombers in Vermont
sponsored by Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in VT (CANBVT) and the Safe and Green Campaign
Monday, April 22nd, 2019 at the Center Congregational Church (193 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 6pm-8pm. Learn more at CANBVT.org. Local Contact: Safe and Green Campaign.
Join a discussion about the F-35 nuclear bombers soon to be based in Burlington. Dr. Ira Hefland of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is our featured speaker. Come get informed on the bombers and what it means to have them based in our state. The F-35 planes will arrive in northern Vermont this September. Nothing about nuclear bomb capability was brought up in the planning process that approved the aircraft being sited in Vermont. The information about the nuclear weapon capability of F-35s only came to light in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.
Dr. Helfand has worked for many years as an emergency room physician and now practices internal medicine at an urgent care center. Dr. Helfand represents International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War at the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. He is also a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons International Steering Committee. Dr. Helfand co-authored PSR’s report, Nuclear Famine: 2 Billion at Risk?, which outlines the global health consequences of regional nuclear war.
Dartmouth College Town Hall with Kamala Harris (outside of Windham County, VT)
hosted by Kamala Harris for President
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 at Dartmouth College Alumni Hall (Hopkins Center for the Arts Public Entrance, 4 East Wheelock Street, Hanover, NH, 03755). 3:15pm-5pm. For tickets, please visit this website. Doors open at 3:15pm.
Senator Kamala Harris will host a town hall for her presidential campaign at Dartmouth College on Tuesday, April 23. Join us as she shares her vision for America's future.
Climate Change Café presents
The House is on Fire: A Film and Community Conversation About Climate Crisis
a project of Post Oil Solutions
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05031). 6pm-8pm. Free. Light Refreshments Available. For more information please email [email protected].
We will begin with a screening of the excellent film, “The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community,” which has been described by Union Theological Seminary Professor, Tom F. Driver, as “a starkly prophetic film (that) combines the direst of warnings with deep love for life. It makes clear that our profit-oriented growth economy has caused the climate catastrophe and cannot itself rescue us from disaster. We need new thinking and a new way of life.”
In the face of the growing potential for social collapse and even human extinction, how are we responding? What is our gut-level reaction to this unfolding existential crisis? Do we believe that we have the wisdom to survive?
Following the film, we will then move into a facilitated conversation about the climate crisis. This is offered as an opportunity for us to come out of our heads and share with others what is in our hearts. Connecting with each other in this way is the first, necessary step to moving beyond denial and disempowerment, and becoming the proactive agency that our situation calls for.
For interested parties, there is also the possibility of starting an ongoing group, that would continue to engage with each other, to share, explore, and, most of all, support one another as we come to accept and deal with this unprecedented catastrophe.
Community Conversation on Compassion: Town Government and Police
sponsored by Compassionate Brattleboro
Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6:30pm-8:30pm. This discussion is open to the public, and is completely wheelchair accessible, and participation from all in the community is welcome and encouraged. Free.
Brattleboro voted overwhelming in 2017 to join the Charter of Compassion, and the Selectboard ratified this action setting Compassion as a value of Town Government. How is Compassion understood in Town Government and how does it find its way into Town Policy and Practices?
Join us on at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, April 24th as Compassionate Brattleboro brings Brattleboro Town officials together for an open panel discussion. Speakers will include: Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell, Police Chief Michael Fitzgerald, a member of the Brattleboro Selectboard, and Doug Cox, moderator. This program is a part of Compassionate Brattleboro's series of conversations around exploring how to make compassion actionable in Brattleboro.
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, April 26th, 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.
Brexit: A Guide for the Perplexed
hosted by SIT Graduate Institute
Friday, April 26th, 2019 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm.
Join SIT President Dr Sophia Howlett for a discussion about Britain's departure from the European Union. Dr. Howlett, who is British, will discuss why Britain choose to leave the EU, why leaving has become so complicated, and what will happen now as the country moves toward yet another final deadline.
This is a confusing topic that involves different political systems, historical geopolitics and external and internal antagonisms. Join Dr. Howlett for a brown bag lunch that will contribute to a fuller and more complex understanding of an issue that continues to perplex many people in the UK and around the world.
Bernie 2020 Organizing Kickoff
Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 118 Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm.
Snacks and beverages will be available; you are invited, but not required, to bring something to share. Please RSVP here: https://act.berniesanders.com/event/Organizing_Kickoff_Main_Attend/4592. For those willing to help provide childcare/activities please contact Ann Z. : [email protected].
Come one, come all: join your friends and neighbors on Saturday, April 27th at 2 pm at 118 Elliot Street as we take part in the Bernie campaign's 2020 Global Organizing Kickoff Event. We will be one of thousands of events taking place that day around the country as we continue to build our giant grassroots movement. Come find out how we can begin to plug in locally, as the campaign unveils its organizing strategy to win the nomination for Bernie and the Political Revolution.
If you worked on Bernie's 2016 campaign, great. Come meet old and new friends. If you are new to the idea of volunteering on a presidential campaign and just want to see what it’s all about, we want you, too!
Hopefully we will have a volunteer to supervise kids' activities in the small side room, so this can be a more family-friendly event--the Political Revolution is for everyone!
Diversity Celebration 2019: Voices of the People
sponsored by the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union Diversity and Equity Committee, WSESU Schools and the Town of Brattleboro
Friday, May 3rd, 2019 at 118 Elliot Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) and at the intersection of Main Street and Elliot Street. 5pm-8pm.
The Town of Brattleboro and Windham Southeast Supervisory Union are proud to host the 20th annual Community Celebration of Diversity! WSESU students, families, friends, and community members are all welcome at this festive event celebrating our diverse schools and communities! The theme of this year's celebration is Voices of the People highlighting the perspectives and experiences of marginalized people.
This event will feature art and performances by WSESU students from BUHS, BAMS, and elementary schools in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Vernon, Guilford, and Putney.
Elliot Street will be closed from Harmony Lot to Main for a festive block party with crafts, activities, entertainment, and food!
118 Elliot St will be filled with a display of student work on our theme and host a story time and music and movement session for children!
Local organizations participating include:
Windham County NAACP
Meeting Waters YMCA
Youth 4 Change
The Root Social Justice Center
NEYT Theater Adventure
Brooks Memorial Library
Elliot Street Fish and Chips
Twin Flame Taqueria
Green Up Day Vermont
Saturday, May 4th, 2019 throughout Vermont. (Brattleboro's flyer included below. Please send your town's flyer to ad[email protected] to be included in the Weekly Email Update)
Green Up Day, always the first Saturday in May, was launched in 1970 by Governor Deane Davis. In 1979, the nonprofit organization Vermont Green Up Inc. was formed to carry on the tradition of Green Up Day. It is an annual statewide event, when over 22,000 volunteers come together to remove litter from Vermont’s roadsides and public spaces. Green Up Vermont is not a State Agency.
How can people get involved? Visit the Get Involved page to find your Town Coordinator, where to get Green Up bags, and what to do with them afterwards. Also all seven Vermont Subaru dealers are official sites for bag pick up and drop off, plus they host a BBQ.
Putney Huddle: Candidates for Windham Southeast School District Board
Sunday, May 5th, 2019 at the Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT, 05346). 1:30-pm-3:30pm. All are welcome.
The Putney Huddle invites you to meet with the Putney candidates for the two available director positions on the newly formed Windham Southeast School District Board. One seat is contested. All candidates will be there to answer questions and chat. Local legislatures and town officials including the town clerk will also attend to answer questions and discuss this important process. We will also have a Love Brigade and Sister District activity for folks to partake in. We hope to see you there!
Coffee with Coffey
Monday, May 6th, 2019 at the Guilford Country Store (475 Calvin Coolidge Memorial Highway, Guilford, VT). 5:30pm-6:30pm.
This spring, State Representative Sara Coffey will continue to host “Coffee with Coffey” hours. We have had great attendance and great discussions among neighbors. Please come at the time that works for you:
Mondays in Guilford: April 1st and May 6th at 5:30 at the Guilford Country Store
Saturdays in Vernon, April 6th and May 4th at 9:30 at the Vernon Free Library.
It’s been nice to have some Vernon folks join on Mondays in Guilford, and Guilford folks joining us on Saturdays at the Library in Vernon. If you can’t come feel free to be in touch via email: [email protected].
Exploring the Green New Deal: A Brattleboro Town Hall Meeting
part of the Sunrise Movement’s Road to the Green New Deal
Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 at 118 Elliot Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-7:30pm.
As part of the Sunrise Movement's Road to the Green New Deal, 118 Elliot is hosting a town hall event on Tuesday, May 7 at 6PM to discuss climate policy and the Green New Deal. Join us for a conversation at the crossroads of economy, society, and environment with ecological economist and UVM professor Jon Erickson. We invite local organizations and residents to bring their perspectives to the table as we explore what a Green New Deal could look like in Vermont and beyond—and how to get there.
How do we break our dependence on fossil fuels while safeguarding our economy? What is driving unprecedented wealth and income inequality? Can we turn the tide on climate change? These questions are related, urgent, and framing a national conversation under the rubric of ‘Green New Deal’ legislation introduced this year in Congress. The answers will define the viability of our economy, character of our democracy, and obligations to our children.
Jon Erickson is the David Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy at UVM's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. He has published widely on energy & climate change policy, land conservation, watershed planning, environmental public health, and the theory and practice of ecological economics, and he is also an Emmy award-winning producer of films such as the four-part PBS series Bloom on sources and solutions to nutrient pollution in Lake Champlain.
Sunrise Movement is a youth-led movement working to prioritize combating climate change across America. In 2018 Sunrise leaders pushed the promise of a Green New Deal into the mainstream, and now they are launching the Road to the Green New Deal: 8 tour stops and over 100 town halls across the US to bring Americans together around the future of our communities and our planet.
Stand Up, Fight Back!
sponsored by the Spark Teacher Education Institute, Indigo Radio, and Brattleboro Solidarity
Friday, May 10th, 2019-Saturday, May 11th, 2019 at the Windham Regional Career Center (80 Atwood Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Cusick Room. 9:30am-6pm. Entrance behind BUHS. All events are free and open to the public. Childcare available.
Join the Spark Teacher Education Institute, Indigo Radio, & Brattleboro Solidarity for a day of workshops, speakers, panels, and community conversations - to share, learn, think, and organize for a better world. This year we have witnessed teacher strikes in Oklahoma, West Virginia, Colorado, LA and beyond. These teachers courageously took to the streets to fight for higher wages, improvements to teaching environments, and bettering students’ learning conditions. As educators in Vermont, we too fight for better conditions in our school, the strengthening of public education, and the overall health and well being of our students. We push to create classrooms engaged in critical thought about the major struggles in the world around us, always connecting these issues to the lives of our students and our Vermont community.
The struggles of today - including perpetual war, increased privatization, environmental degradation, the building of walls, criminalization of the poor, and the separation of families - must be met with urgency, resiliency, and hope. Connections must be made between the killing of children by U.S. made bombs to the inadequate nutrition, lack of safe housing, and poverty many of our students face. We must come together to investigate how we build a human community, one that stands opposed to the enormous profits of the few on the backs of many.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Friday, May 10th, 2019: Workshop and Concert
5pm-6:30pm Workshop: "Hip Hop vs. Neoliberalism” with Rebel Diaz in the Cusick Room.
Rebel Diaz is a political hip hop duo out of the Bronx, New York and Chicago, IL consisting of the Chilean brothers Rodrigo Venegas (known as RodStarz) and Gonzalo Venegas (known as G1). Rebel Diaz uses their music as an organizing tool and to spread knowledge about injustice.
8pm Concert at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Free and child friendly.
Saturday, May 11th, 2019: Conference in the Cusick Room. 9:30am - 6:00pm.
9:30am Opening Presentation: Mesoamérica Resiste, artwork Beehive Collective - created as an education tool.
Mesoamérica Resiste explores the legacy of colonialism and the impacts of free trade policies and resource extraction on communities and ecosystems throughout Mesoamerica. The stories and perspectives in Mesoamerica Resiste allow us to make connections between the struggles for justice in our own communities and those that are happening all over the world.
11am-12pm Keynote Speech: "Consequences of the Capitalist System: Toward a Vision of Collective Emancipation” with Fred Magdoff
Fred Magdoff is Emeritus Professor of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. His interests range from soil science to agriculture and food (science, production, economics, policy) to the environment to the U.S. economy. His university research was on ways to improve the soil fertility, especially focusing on the critical role of soil organic matter. Recent books include What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism (written with John Bellamy Foster) and Creating an Ecological Society (written with Chris Williams).
12pm - 1pm LUNCH (provided)
1pm-4:30pm Panels: Speakers include educators and activists from California, Vermont, New York, Western MA and more!
1pm: Education as Liberation: In the Classrooms and on the Streets
2:15pm: Profit over People and the Privatization of Human Rights: Housing, Healthcare, Education and Food for All
3:30pm: Solidarity in the Struggle - Resisting Occupation
Closing 4:45pm-6pm: Discussion, Music, Performance
Camp for a Common Cause
Friday, May 17th, 2019-Saturday, May 18th, 2019 on the Brattleboro Common (intersection of Park Place, Route 5 and Route 30 in Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Pitch tents starting at 5pm Friday; we must vacate by 10am Saturday after a light breakfast. No alcohol and no fires please. Dogs are welcome, but must remain on a leash at all times. Contact Julianne with questions or to make a reservation: 802.490.2951, email [email protected], or go to GroundworksVT.org.
Join us for this year’s overnight campout where we will raise awareness about homelessness in our community and raise funds to support Groundworks' efforts to house our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
The fun starts on Friday with live music and a community barbecue! Unable to camp overnight? No problem! Join us for food and music! You can support Groundworks with a donation, and/or purchase a tent for a neighbor in need.
Fundraising: Teams and individuals are asked to fundraise a suggested minimum of $100 per person to support Groundworks. PLEASE NOTE - all contributions are welcome and it costs nothing to camp. We ask participants to try to raise some money on our behalf. All contributions are tax deductible.
Register Online at https://groundworks.rallybound.org/Camp2018 and ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family for contributions to support your campout.
Rootskills Spring Workshop
Saturday, May 18th, 2019 at the School for International Training (SIT 1 Kipling Rd, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 8am-6:30pm.
Find out more about schedule, registration, scholarships etc on our website: https://grassrootsfund.org/tools/2019-workshops
The Grassroots Fund's RootSkills workshops are day-long gatherings where grassroots organizers, colleagues and supporters convene to network, share stories and dig into both issue- and process-based skills-building sessions. We work with a planning committee ahead of each event to ensure a broad range of lived experiences and perspectives weigh in as we set agendas, select workshop topics and invite speakers.
This event's theme will focus on racial and economic disparities as we discuss in/equity in rural, New England communities.
Pride Family Picnic
hosted by Green Mountain Crossroads
Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at Living Memorial Park (61 Guilford Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) at the Kiwani’s Pavilion at the top of the hill. 11am-2pm.
The much anticipated PRIDE FAMILY PICNIC hosted by Green Mountain Crossroads is back! One of the only events each year in southern Vermont where LGBTQ parents and kids (of all ages!) come together and get to celebrate the community, visibility, knowledge, and power of LGBTQIA+ people with their families. Bring a dish to share! GMC will provide watermelon, drinks (kid-friendly), hot dogs (meat, turkey, and tofu), buns, and condiments. Find us all the way at the top of Living Memorial Park!
UPRISE Youth Activism Camp (Ages 13-19)
Sunday, July 28th, 2019-Sunday, August 4th, 2019 in Marshfield, VT. For more information please go here: https://www.uprisecampvt.org.
We're inviting youth ages 13-19 to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for one amazing week of teen empowerment, creativity, action, and friendship -- all while strategizing for our collective future. As mentors with a broad spectrum of skills, we are passionate about empowering teens as organizers, change makers, and allies in our rapidly changing world.
The cost of the camp is $450 for the week, but please feel more than welcome to ask us about scholarships. Bring your hopes and fears for the future, your unique style and skills, your passion and ideas -- but most of all, bring yourself, just as you are -- and join us!
Youth interested in attending Uprise! are asked to go through a short application form process. The application will give us an idea of who’s interested in the camp and help our team make this camp accessible and awesome for everyone. There are financial aid questions at the end of the application. You can find information on the application process here.
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.
A Message from Lean Left, VT
Lean Left VT provides opportunities and training for Vermont volunteers to support the election of Democrats and Progressives in other states at state level as well as Congressional races.
If you are interested in or have been supporting campaigns and candidates in other states, either to flip seats or hold vulnerable seats, we would like to hear about your interests! The purpose of the following survey is to gather information in order to make more opportunities available to you. You can find the survey here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd9NcaB-huaExZxZRaoRG3J5jfD5LffV-OhhMKoOsQ_4uWxjA/viewform.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected].
The Koch Brothers have a long term strategy to control the judiciary across the country. This year’s battle is the WI Supreme Court, where they hope to elect Scott Walker’s former legal counsel on April 2.
You can fight back by donating to Lisa Neubauer: https://judgeneubauer.com/contribute/
Read more on the Koch Bros plans: https://americansforprosperity.org/afp-scale-efforts-courts-2018/
Read more on the WI race: http://votingmatters.blog/2019/03/kochs-buying-judiciary/
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!
Windham County NAACP Regular Meetings
Monthly community meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at The Root Center for Social Justice (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor from 6pm-7pm. Upcoming Meetings: 3/21/19; 4/18/19; 5/16/19. For more information please email [email protected]. All are welcome.
The meetings are open to anyone interested in racial justice. The Mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
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.
Until next week, friends! Thank you for all that you do.