Weekly Update 02.18.18

"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once, but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have; because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."
Former First Lady Michelle Obama


     Hope is a powerful tool, friends. It can indeed take on a life of its own and become contagious. The power of hope is far reaching and can spell the difference between an individual identifying as a psychological victim or a psychological survivor, according to Psychology Today. Let's break that statement down:

* Psychological victim: this term refers to individuals that are passive, pessimistic, and look to the past. They ask, "Who will help me?" They despair and are all consumed by their loss or a sad event(s), refusing to help themselves.
* Psychological survivor: these folks are active, optimistic, and look to the future. They ask, "How can I help myself or others?" They grieve, which is healthy, but they continue to persevere and fight, moving forward. 

To transition from a psychological victim to a survivor it is important to restore or instill hope; to have hope is to empower yourself in order to face the toughest of times and emerge a survivor. 
Here are three things that are important to that transition:

*Faith. The belief that there is something bigger and more important than you. Whether it's God, a higher power, a child, a loved one, a mission, or a cause. It is a reason to go on and it has nothing to do with just you.
*Gratitude. Focus on what you have to be thankful for not on what you don't have, what you have lost, or what you want. Remind yourself of this every day. Go one step further and create a daily ritual to help remind you. 
*Love. Think about the people in your life that you love and those that love you -- family and friends, colleagues, co-workers, car pool buddies... even pets! Make it a point to connect often with each and every one. This is best accomplished in person, but as we know that is not always possible. A phone call, text or a quick email will do.

     We hope that the events and meetings this week fill you with hope in a time when you may need it. Above all please remember that you are not alone in the fight for justice, goodness, inclusivity, and peace; your fellow WeCANners are right there beside you. Have a productive, hopeful week everyone and we look forward to seeing you at a meeting this week. 

 

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HAPPENING TODAY SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18th, 2018

Film Screening of The Breast Archives, A Documentary to Benefit Planned Parenthood
hosted by the Planned Parenthood Defenders of Southern VT, Planned Parenthood New England, and 118 Elliot
Sunday, February 18th, 2018 at 118 Elliot (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm. 
$10.00 suggested donation. All proceeds benefit Brattleboro Planned Parenthood. Please reserve your tickets HERE.
The Breast Archives uncovers nine women’s personal stories of empowerment. Baring their breasts and their hearts, the women share the unique journeys they’ve made with their bodies. 
Following the film join a short Q&A with film producer Meagan Murphy and a small panel of special guests. 
The Breast Archives Documentary to Benefit Planned Parenthood.
From the Press Release: “The Breast Archives, a radical documentary exposing how breasts can actually impact self esteem and life experiences for any woman, is showing in Brattleboro on Sunday February 18, 4pm at 118 Elliot. All proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Brattleboro health center. 
This film shares the unadulterated stories of 9 women who disclose bodily shame and disconnection. As these women slowly reconnect with their body-based stories, they find a reservoir of strength and wisdom inside their complicated bosoms. Following the film  Q&A with Producer Meagan Murphy, women from the film and Hannah Neff, Nurse Practitioner from Brattleboro Planned Parenthood. 
The Breast Archives is filmed by award winning producer, Meagan Murphy. Her 25 years of experience in film and broadcast has included 12 years of work with WGBH Educational Foundation. In 2008 she received a Communicator’s Award for her work on a weekly series for teenagers and Women Distinction Magazine named her one of the top 10 Women Leaders of 2016. 
This event is brought to Brattleboro by Planned Parenthood Defenders of Southern Vermont with support from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE). PPNNE provides sexuality and reproductive health services and education for women and men at 21 health centers across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. 
“PPNNE is proud to be sponsoring this event,” says PPNNE Vermont Vice President of Public Policy, Lucy Leriche. “We want all women to feel empowered in and about their bodies, health, and sexuality. We are grateful to Meagan Murphy for lifting up the voices of women who challenge viewers to reflect upon how society views and treats breasts. We hope it motivates other women to share their own stories about their bodies in an effort to create positive change and awareness in our communities.”
For more information about this event, please call
802-448-9754.  To volunteer with Planned Parenthood Defenders of Southern Vermont, call 802-579-7433
"When we share our stories with courage and daring we help create a world where everyone is seen.” Meagan Murphy, Director, The Breast Archives.”

headshots of women being interviewed with text about the event

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19th, 2018- SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25th, 2018

 

Vermont Clean Water Day
Thursday, February 22nd, 2018. March from the Unitarian Church (130 Main St, Montpelier, VT 05602) to the State House in Montpelier, VT (115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633). 10am-4pm. For more information and to RSVP click here.
We can no longer take clean water for granted. Pollution has impaired many of our waterways, some of which no longer meet our basic water quality standards. You’re invited to Vermont Clean Water Day on Thurs., Feb. 22nd from 10AM to 4PM in Montpelier to celebrate our lakes, ponds, rivers and wetlands, and call on lawmakers to invest in cleaning up and protecting our waterways. This is a great opportunity to hear from Vermont water advocates and then meet with your lawmaker to share your perspective on why it’s important to invest in clean water. 
CLEAN WATER DAY AGENDA (schedule subject to change):
10AM: We will meet at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier for issue overview and lobbying 101;
11:15AM: We will march to the State House for a press event and to meet with lawmakers;
3PM: We will end the day with a reception in the State House. 
Clean Water Day 2018 is co-sponsored by: Connecticut River Conservancy, Conservation Law Foundation, Lake Champlain Committee, Lake Champlain International, The Nature Conservancy of VT, Sierra Club VT, Vermont Clean Water Network, Vermont Conservation Voters, Vermont Natural Resources Council, and Watersheds United Vermont.

 

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Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, February 23rd, 2018 (and every Friday) in front of TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided.
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. The State of Vermont Keeps Most of Our Cash in TD. What You Can You 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 to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society. For more information please contact bereal@vermontel.net or 
802.869.2141.

 

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Village Sanitation Pilot Study: A Presentation by Kim Nace of the Rich Earth Institute
hosted by The Living Earth Action Group
Friday, February 23rd, 2018 at the Congregational Church of Westminster West (44 Church Street, Westminster West, VT, 05346). 5pm-6:30pm. The presentation is free and all are welcome.
The Living Earth Action Group will host  Rich Earth in partnership with the Windham Regional Commission . They seek to engage villages and community centers in the Windham Region in this pilot study that seeks to test, at a neighborhood scale, innovative wastewater solutions to address and improve faulty sanitation systems that hurt both the environment and homeowners wallets.
This project aims to identify a good candidate village neighborhood for the program, identify options for nutrient recycling or urine diversion systems, and provide custom pathways for installation.

 

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Winter Farmers’ Market
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, February 24th, 2018 (and every Saturday through March) at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-2pm. 
Area musicians will perform from 11am-1pm. No pets allowed. Metered parking available within walking distance. Restrooms and cafe seating available on site. Family friendly. 
We are beginning our 12th Season! Join us every Saturday for vegetables, fruits and meat from local farms, a variety of baked goods, locally and regionally produced artisan crafts, and freshly prepared food in the beautiful River Garden building on Main Street in downtown Brattleboro. 
EBT customers can turn $10 into $20 with CropCash
INFO: contact Market Manager, Sherry Maher,
802.869.2141, farmersmarket@postoilsolutions.

 

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The Hive Mutual Support Network's 4th Birthday Party: How To Be A Good Ally To Aliens 
Saturday, February 24th, 2018 at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 5pm-7pm. Wheelchair-accessible and gender-neutral bathroom. Please be aware that The Root strives to be a fragrance-free  and nut-free (more info about that here, http://www.therootsjc.org/fragrance-free.html). There will also be birthday cake decorating. Feel free to bring other nut-free food items. Come anyway even if you can't bring food! Childcare will be provided.
On Saturday, February 24, 5-7 pm, learn about beehives from local beekeeper Eli Coughlin-Galbraith. According to Eli, "a hive is a single being with several thousand moving bodies, a constant warmth and music, and a memory that sticks beyond individual bee lifespans." Eli's workshop will explore the relationship between beehive and beekeeper, which might be an analogy for mutual support, or it might just be cool information about bees! See you there! 

 

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Film Screening: “Mirrors of Privilege”, Part of the Looking Inward at White Power and Privilege Film Series 
sponsored by All Souls Church Social and Environmental Action Committee
Sunday, February 25, 2018 at All Souls Church (29 South Street, West Brattleboro, VT). Screening begins at 12pm. 
Viewers are invited to come early to enjoy a simple free lunch. All shows in the series are free and open to the public. After the film viewers will be invited to share their thoughts and reactions.
All Souls Church will continue its film series “Looking Inward at White Power and Privilege” with a screening of “Mirrors of Privilege” on Sunday, Feb. 25, at noon, proceeded by a simple lunch.
The film’s full title is “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible” and is produced by World Trust. It will be the third in the continuing series presented at West Village Meeting House at 29 South Street in West Brattleboro and will be followed by a discussion. There is no admission charge for the film or for the light lunch that precedes it.
According to World Trust, the film is designed to help bridge the gap between good intentions and meaningful change.  The film features stories from white men and women on overcoming issues of unconscious racism and entitlement. These reveal what is often required to move through the stages of denial, defensiveness, guilt, fear, and shame into making a solid commitment to ending racial injustice, according to World Trust
In its description of the film, World Trust writes, "After many years of doing diversity work, we recognized that an unhelpful pattern often emerged in the learning environment. In a typical workshop, people of color were asked to share their stories. The people of color in the seminar had a lot to say and a need to be heard and understood.  White people were usually overwhelmed by what was shared, and moved into guilt, shame or denial.  That left the people of color vulnerable to judgment or rejection by the white participants. People of color often ended up being the source of  'the problem' without any real learning taking place.  An unintended consequence, this pattern blocked healing and reinforced the fracture that racial misunderstanding causes all too frequently.
"It was clear that to enable participants to move beyond historical and contemporary understanding about race, that pattern needed to change and different tools were needed.  This film is designed to support a new, more effective dynamic of learning and healing between racial groups.” As the name suggests, “Mirrors of Privilege” focuses on white people to allow them to find their own voice and then reflect on how they may view the racial world. 
World Trust, according to its website, offers Racial Equity Learning modules that support transformative learning while promoting institutional change through opportunities for self-discovery and collaboration that lends itself toward collective action. The film series is sponsored by the All Souls Church Social and Environmental Action Committee. Catie Berg, a committee member, said, "Our exploration arises in part from uncomfortable realizations of systemic racism in hiring practices within the Unitarian Universalist Association. Plus, our nation struggles with the divide that erupted last summer between supporters of white supremacy and supporters of racial justice” most notably in Charlottesville and Boston. “The demonstrations in these and other cities show the challenge our nation faces in dismantling a system of gross inequality with roots nearly 400 years old,” Berg  said. George Carvill, another committee member, said the committee’s idea is to "try to make the invisible visible. The world that white people in this country navigate through every day is paved with presumptions and advantages so common and pervasive that we don’t even see them." The film series is designed to help make these advantages visible, he said.A privilege for one can be a barrier for another”, he added. “Once visible we can then decide how we use or abuse these privileges and find ways to overcome the barriers they may raise for others.”

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Mother Up! Monthly Meet-Up
Monday February 26th, 2018 at KidsPLAYce (20 Elliot St., Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact Abby Mnookin for more info at abby@350vt.org.
Mother Up!: Parents Exchange for Change 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 spend time visioning what our community would look like if it were "fossil fuel free." We'll also hear highlights from our February 15th MU! Day at the State House. A simple vegetarian meal and childcare for ages 8 and under will be provided. RSVP helpful, but not required.

 

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Tax Prep with United Way of Windham County
sponsored by Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, the Southeaster Vermont Economic Development Strategies, Southern Vermont Young Professionals, United Way of Windham County, and Ramunto's Brattleboro
Monday, February 26th, 2018 at Ramunto’s Pizza (1111 Putney Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) from 6pm-9pm. Register in advance HERE. Pizza will be provided. Cash bar available.
What is even worse than learning about taxes is actually filing them. Why not make it slightly enjoyable by adding pizza and friends into the mix? Join the Southern Vermont Young Professionals at Ramunto's Brattleboro for a night of Tax Prep with United Way.
Tax Prep with United Way: Whether you need step by step assistance or emotional support come down and do your taxes with friends and with assistance from United Way of Windham County’s ‘MyFreeTaxes’ expert Molly McNamee. Turn taxes into a free, fun night with friends. MyFreeTaxes Software Restrictions: Those who made under $66,000 in 2017 can file for free using this software. All are welcome! 

 

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#MeToo Solidarity Rally on International Women's Day

Thursday, March 8th, 2018 at Pliny Park (High & Main Streets, Brattleboro, VT 05301) from 5pm-6pm.

Let's gather on International Women's Day with all our courage, strength, rage, and empathy. In #MeToo Solidarity, we'll rally against rape culture and stand with survivors of sexual assault and harassment. Meet at Pliny Park at 5 pm. Wear Red! Bring your signs and songs.  Be ready to march, shout, dance and dismantle the patriarchy. Male allies are welcome. 

 

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Revolution! - The Women's Film Festival Gala Event
hosted by Women's Freedom Center
Friday, March 9th, 2018 at New England Youth Theatre (100 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm-10pm. For more information please visit womensfilmfestival.org. Tickets for the gala are $30 and are being sold now. All proceeds benefit the important work of the Women's Freedom Center
To purchase:
Online: Go to http://womensfilmfestival.org/tickets/
Call: The Women’s Freedom Center 802-257-7364 or
Email: development@womensfreedomcenter.net
The 27th annual Women's Film Festival Gala is here and it's time for a Revolution! In honor of our exciting opening night film, Left on Pearl, our gala theme this year is revolution. Dress up as your favorite activist, be inspired by a revolutionary time period, or just rebel against patriarchal clothing standards by being your most glamorous, comfortable self!
Kicking off the Women's Film Festival, the Gala begins with a reception of champagne, wine & hors-d'oeuvres, followed by a screening of Left on Pearl. This inspiring documentary highlights a significant event in the women's movement, when hundreds of Boston area women took over a Harvard-owned building to demand a Women's Center and low-income housing for the community being displaced by the expanding university.
The full Women's Film Festival lasts for three weekends this year, running from March 9th -25th. All films are at the New England Youth Theatre. For all the info, films and schedule visit our website at http://womensfilmfestival.org/.

womens film fest banner with dates and times of the event

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Spring 2018 Cross Class Dialogue Circle
hosted by ACT for Social Justice; co-sponsored by Post Oil Solutions, Marlboro College Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, Youth Services, Hilltop Montessori School, and the Vermont Resource Generation Praxis Group.
Saturdays March 17th, March 31st, and April 7th, 2018 at the Rockingham Free Public Library (65 Westminster St, Bellows Falls, VT 05101) from 9am-3pm. Sign-up for the 3 day circle at www.act4socialjustice.com. FREE. Childcare, Transportation, and Lunch are provided. Please come fragrance free and nut free.
Visit www.act4socialjustice.com to see a video about the circles, to sign up, to donate, and for more detailed information. Contact us at info@act4socialjustice.com or 802-254-3400.
Economic Inequality is real and is hurting our communities. Be A Part of the Solution!
The class divide in the US is growing, and yet, we have a hard time talking about class or across class lines.
Cross Class Dialogue Circles bring together 10-15 community members with a diversity of class experiences, ranging from being homeless, to managing family foundations, and everything in between. Our goals in meeting together are to better understand class as part of an economic system, and our own experience with class and how it shows up in our daily life and communication; to learn and practice strategies for engaging with each other about difficult subjects; to learn and share practical tools for contributing to economic justice; and to build stronger community ties for economic justice. We meet these goals with courage, depth, humor, and sincerity.
We would also like to acknowledge that organizational sponsors are important in ensuring the continuation of this community education opportunity; we thank them.

 

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STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS

 

Lost River Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter-South, and People Of Color Caucus Regular Meeting
Reoccurring racial justice organizing meetings every 2nd Monday at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio of the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor. 6pm-8pm. Childcare provided. Fragrance & nut free space.  

 

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Youth4Change Regular Meeting 
The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 
Youth4Change (Y4C), a program of The Root Social Justice Center, builds the leadership skills of youth ages 12-21, especially those from/in historically disenfranchised communities who want to use education, art, and action to address issues of racial, class, gender, queer, immigrant and indigenous justice.

 

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Alternatives to Suicide meets every Wednesday 6pm-7:30PM at the Hive Space (24 Flat St, Suite 202, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Second Floor, up one flight of stairs.
Alternatives to Suicide is a mutual support group open to anyone who has experienced thoughts of suicide. The group is guided by a charter of values provided by the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community. The group is non-clinical and does not link suicide with illness.  Participants are free to talk about and find meaning in their experiences in/on their own terms. 

 

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

 

Volunteer Sister District Soup Makers Needed

Volunteer soup chefs provide the time and the ingredients so that 100% of subscription fees went directly to support candidates. We distribute soup on the third Mondays of each month - February 19, March 19, April 16 and May 21.  All soups are vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free. We need cooking volunteers each month during the weekend before distribution Monday. Volunteers receive a simple recipe the weekend before they cook and pick up containers and labels the next Friday.  Soup makers cook in their own kitchens and purchase ingredients which should cost around $20/4 quarts. If you want to cook but can’t cover that expense, we will hook you up with an ingredient sponsor. Once prepared, the soup is delivered cold to our refrigerators in Putney or Brattleboro. From there, it is picked up by subscribers or donated to the Putney Food Shelf according to the subscriber’s instructions. 
You can sign up to make soup as many months as you want. If you would like to cook or have questions, please email Diane Shamas at diane.shamas@gmail.com or call
802-579-8294.  We will need to know which months you’d like to cook, whether you’d like to make a single (4-5 quart) or double (8-10 quart) batch, and whether you want to pick up/drop off in Brattleboro or Putney. 
A Little About Southern VT Sister District:
Subscriptions to our SisterDistrict Soup CSA raised $10,000 for progressive Democrats in strategic races! We helped elect two fine candidates, John Bell and Jennifer Foye, to the Virginia House of Delegates and our third candidate, Margaret Good, is running for Florida's House of Representatives on February 13, 2018. Read more about her here. Many many thanks to all of you who’ve cooked so far and donated the soup that makes it possible!!!

 

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Inclusion Center is Looking for People Who are Interested in Helping our Organization Grow and Mature in Various Directions
Inclusion Center is an amazing program that works with all people who have disabilities or medical issues, and everyone else who has an interest in being with us. 
The possibilities for what Inclusion Center could be in the future are endless: A drop in center within another program! Have our own space with our doors always open. Offer classes. Offer services as well as being a drop in center! And those are just a few of our ideas! 
However, in order for us to grow, we need a few more people who can either come to our board meetings (the second friday of each month at 2:00), or come to a work group each month (generally Friday mornings). 
At Inclusion Center we all matter. Everyone helps make decisions. It doesn't matter if you want to join the board or just drop in as often as you can. Either way, your ideas and input matter just as much as everyone else's.
Please contact us (inclusioncenter2013@gmail.com or
802-387-5285) to discuss how we could work together. 

 

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 
Indigo Radio

Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM
To 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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Democracy, Eventually 

WVEW 107.7FM, Brattleboro Community Radio Station
You can listen to recorded and archived episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/democracy-eventually and you can find us on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/democracyeventually/ and on Twitter here @Democrazeee.
We are Democracy, Eventually a radio show covering local, state, and underreported national news stories from a progressive analysis. We air live on WVEW 107.7FM LP Brattleboro Community Radio Station.

 

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Thank you, as always, WeCANners. Until next week...

Ann, Joanna, and Leslie 

 


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