To the community of Putney, our Town, State and Federal elected officials and other Towns taking up the  work of understanding systemic racism. 

Black Lives Matter Putney

In Jan 2016, the Putney Friends Meeting (Quakers) agreed to hang a Black Lives Matter sign in front of the  Meetinghouse. We also agreed that we wanted to  become a body that is actively involved to make our  Quaker Meeting and our community as a whole, active  participants in the change that needs to happen to  become more anti-racist.  

Part of that understanding is that white people in our  congregation and community need to learn the history  and impact of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, continuing  disparites in opportunities for housing and education  and mass incarceration of african americans, as a result  of white american denial and indifference. We need to understand  how the resultant white privilege is not simply a matter  of individual acts of blatant violence, but in fact the truth  that unwittingly all white people have inherited systemic  racism. It shows up for all white people, and it is our  responsibility to work on intimate understanding of how  that system of racism plays out all the time in our  interactions with people of color. 

On September 2, Steffen Gillom, President of the  Windham County NAACP, attended a Select Board  meeting in Putney. That meeting, like all public meetings, was recorded and broadcast by Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV). Watching this meeting is a  great example of a person of color speaking up about  systemic racist activity that he had experienced. It took great  courage for him to address a room of white people  about behavior that white people find difficult to acknowledge,  because of the enormous discomfort it provokes in themselves.  

The outcomes of that meeting for Putney were  profound. White participants were able to:

  • Admit their own  moments of unintended racism.
  • Invite one  another into conversation and study about systemic  racism, at a time when talking openly about race is still  almost impossible for white people to do.
  • Challenge one another to step up our game, to examine  closely how people of color are treated in our Town, and  how to begin to recognize how micro-agressions are  currently and actively experienced here.

We see it as  helpful and educational as white people, to invite feedback  from people of color to point out racist comments, acts  etc, such as Steffen gave us all at our Select Board  meeting.  

Members of Putney Friends Meeting continue to be  troubled by, and wrestle with, white supremacy. Our  congregation has undertaken reading racial healing 

material (anti-racism) material, sharing with other  Friends Meetings taking up this work, and participating  in local groups working for justice and addressing  systemic racism. 

Putney Friends Meeting will do the following:

  • We will join in the community with continual work on  systemic racism by supporting conversations and action  that do just that.
  •  We will participate in Town wide book groups.
  •  We will support the Equity and Inclusion Committee.
  • We encourage the Select Board to take up active anti racism training as a model of getting educated about  how systemic racism works in Vermont.
  • We will encourage our membership to join the  September 27 Black Lives Matter street painting in Putney. 

We appreciate that mistakes are essential to learning,  and the real question is how we are creating a trusting  enough Town, where honest feedback from people of  color can be heard, believed and responded to by our  largely white community. This is for all of us.

GunsenseVT

Dear Friends,
I’m thrilled to announce that S. 31 has been officially introduced in the Senate. That means that it’s crucial that right now we all send a quick, personal e-mail to our lawmakers letting them know that we support it. (Senators’ and representatives’ e-mails are here.) This bill has three key parts, like three legs of a stool that work together to help keep guns out of the wrong hands:

  1. Criminal background checks on unlicensed sales of firearms
  2. A state law prohibiting violent felons from possessing guns (this would give local law enforcement the authority to prosecute violations)
  3. The timely submission of relevant court records to the National Instant Background Check System when a person has been adjudicated as being a danger to themself or others

If you’re interested in reading the bill in its entirely, you can see it here.

It is a huge accomplishment to have gotten this far, and looking ahead our work is cut out for us. While there area number of lawmakers who are fully supportive of this bill, there are many who are:

1. Not sure Vermont has a problem that this bill would address.
2. Wary that their constituents might not be supportive since they often only hear from the voices against any reform.

It’s up to US to help lawmakers see that this bill is necessary to help address our domestic violence problem and prevent other dangerous individuals from having easy access AND that their constituents support it!

This will require us all to make a commitment to reach out to our lawmakers on an ongoing basis. If they hear our polite and persistent collective voices day after day, democracy will work the way it should, and a bill that has 81% of Vermonters in support will get passed.

The First Step: E-mail your lawmakers right now to show your support of S. 31 and encourage them to watch our new ad that highlights gun owners standing up for background checks.
To help you do this:

The Next Step: On Monday we’re going to begin a two-week Fact-of-the-Day campaign in which we’ll focus on one key fact each day to underscore why this legislation is necessary. We’ll send you a quick e-mail in the morning with the daily fact, and then all you need to do is turn around and e-mail it to your lawmakers. The fact itself will be powerful, but it will be even more powerful coming from a constituent.

Quick, personal e-mails only take a few minutes each day, but they could EASILY be the determining factor that will make this bill successful.

You have the power to make the difference!

Together we can do this!
Ann

P.S. The daily fact e-mails are designed to make it easy for you to stay informed and speak up. However, if you don’t want to receive these emails and do want to continue to receive general GunSenseVT emails, please just e-mail us, and we’ll remove you from this specific list. Thanks!

GunSenseVT · PO Box 2533, Brattleboro, VT 05303, United States
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GunsenseVT

Putney Friends Meeting has endorsed the work of GunSense.  Ann Braden will be with us on Sunday January 18th at 9:45am at Putney Friends Meetinghouse to speak with us about how we can help support legislation regarding gun ownership here in Vermont.

Gun Sense VT is an independent, grassroots, Vermont-run organization fueled by volunteers from all over the state. Supporters are gun owners and non-gun owners who come from every voting district in the state and cross party lines and who want to see criminal background checks — the single most effective systematic way to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people — required on most all gun sales in Vermont.

 

Putney Friends Meeting  presentation: Kay Olan w Hiawatha Belt

“The Two Row Wampum”

at: Next Stage

Kimball Hill Rd., Putney, VT

 

On Thursday November 20th at 7:00 PM

This film features stunning footage of the 28 day paddling journey from the Onondaga Nation to the United Nations in New York City during the summer of 2013 to re-ratify a 400 year old treaty.

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion by the participants.

Non-perishable food donations will benefit the Putney Food Shelf

$5.00 suggested donation is requested for the upkeep of this  wonderful venue!

Kayak-1

 

Social Justice Film Festival 2014  sponsored by Putney Friends Meeting

To be held at Next Stage 15 Kimball Hill Rd., Putney, VT

P1070157

Thurs .  Nov .  6th:      The Power of Song

The life and songs of Pete Seeger; a documentary

Thurs .  Nov .  13th:   The Dharma Brothers

How lives were changed by the introduction of silent meditation at a maximum security prison

Thurs .  Nov .  20th: The Two Row Wampum

A very special presentation . Keep this date open! More info to follow…

All shows at 7:00 pm

To benefit the Food Shelf and Homeless Shelter – Bring a can of food and/or a warm jacket- and a friend!

$5  Donation for upkeep of the theatre requested.

~SJ Film Fest poster link~