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CCE Mini Grant Reflection by Rebecca Duras: Letter drop at Congressman Welch’s and Senator Leahy’s offices, Burlington

On Veteran’s Day, 2016, the Middlebury chapter of Young Progressives Demanding Action (YPDA) organized a trip to the Burlington offices of Congressman Peter Welch and Senator Patrick Leahy to deliver letters calling for them to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which not only threatens the environment but desecrates Native American land protected by a treaty. The letter drop was planned before the election results, but the election of Donald Trump, who not only promised he will support the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline but stated that he will overturn President Obama’s executive order blocking the Keystone XL Pipeline, made the day of action even more pressing. Of all the things that could happen under a Trump administration, the damage done to the environment is one of the most powerful because we are at a turning point environmentally and if swift action is not taken now, our environment will become permanently damaged beyond repair.

After the letter drop was completed, the members of MiddYPDA attended the Burlington “Love Trumps Hate” rally  to show our support for those who are most vulnerable by Trump’s administration. The rally in Burlington’s City Hall Park was peaceful, with many speakers sharing their fears of what might come as well as their hopes for a future America that is vigilant in the face of injustice and many shared tips for helping the most vulnerable.

Buy Again Alley 1st Anniversary Specials

BUY AGAIN ALLEY, your local non-profit thrift and consignment shop, is celebrating its ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! We are celebrating and thanking our customers with A WEEK OF ANNIVERSARY SPECIALS!

  • Tuesday 1/24: Bring a friend, get 20% off your purchase and enter your friends name for a mystery discount.
  • Wednesday 1/25: All day raffle- door prizes will be drawn every hour! Get a free paper crane with your purchase!
  • Thursday 1/26: Another day to bring a friend, get 20% off your purchase and enter your friends name for a mystery discount.
  • Friday 1/27: Show us your student ID and receive 20% off your purchase and enter a friends name to win a mystery discount.
  • Saturday 1/28: All day store-wide Sale-20% off! 1 pm – 4 pm: Get a free Henna Tattoo by Rebecca of Heartfire Henna with your purchase of $15. First come, first serve.

HIGHLIGHTED TAGS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN SALE OFFERS!

Come visit us at 1 Frog Hollow Alley in Middlebury or find us on FB under Buy Again Alley.

Hours: 11 am to 5 pm. Contact Jutta for more information @ 802-989-8934 

Connect with Community Members – Drop-in fun!

Welcome back for Winter Term, students!

Have interest in connecting with community members of all ages and abilities? Join CSAC, the Counseling Service of Addison County, in some of their open programming. Check out these drop-in opportunities to get to know our vibrant community– and have a lot of fun!

Mondays-

12:00 to 1:00 at 109 Catamount Park- MONDAY FUNDAY!

Bring a brown bag lunch, participate in games, conversation as well as arts and crafts.

Craft donations items are welcome! Bring an idea, a good friend and create something fun with good company!

 

Tuesdays –

11-12 at 109 Catamount Park, Sing-a-long!

Come join us for song and dance on Tuesdays at CSAC- bring an instrument and enthusiasm! Join us for an hour of singing and dancing!

 

Wednesdays – 

1-2 at The Rec Department on Creek Road, Open Gym!

This is a group of peers who enjoy games such as Frisbee, basketball and other indoor activities. Bring a game, a friend and a bottled water to stay hydrated!

3:15-4:30 at 109 Catamount Park, Reading Group

Multi-Level group of individuals that meet up and share a reading adventure together- everyone is a reader in this group! Join for a quick word game or stay for a chapter reading of the current book, WONDER, by Raquel J. Palacio

 

*Note: Catamount Park is off of Exchange Street in Middlebury. You can take the Tri-town Shuttle Bus (fare free) from Merchant’s row (across from Sabai Sabai) to get there.

Have questions or want to get involved? Contact Megan Brakeley at the CCE or Heather Goodale, Community Associates Service Coordinator at CSAC.

 

Apply today! Center for Community Engagement Intern position

Application deadline: Friday, December 9th

  • 8-10 hours/week paid position in the Center for Community Engagement. Level B pay, $10.32/hour
  • Seeking a candidate who will be available to work on-campus for J-Term and spring semester
  • Apply here.
  • Questions? Contact Ashley Laux, alaux@middlebury.edu.

Join a fast-paced, creative, joyful work environment and make a positive impact on-campus and in the local community through this position. We seek an intern to support Center for Community Engagement staff on a wide-range of projects including event planning, data input, program research, and logistical support. Each work shift will look slightly different based on the programming and needs of the Center for Community Engagement.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide office coverage during office hours.
  • Greet faculty, students, community partners, and other visitors to the Center for Community Engagement. Provide information about the office and our programs to visitors.
  • Pursue innovative and creative ways to help spread understanding and awareness of the Center for Community Engagement on- and off-campus.
  • Provide research assistance as needed (e.g., comparison to other campus programs, “best practices,” student service leadership, support for faculty, etc.).
  • Help to plan and organize one-time events for the Center for Community Engagement.
  • Help prepare materials-for bulletin boards, posters, articles, etc.
  • Assist with other office responsibilities as needed.

Training:

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks; self-motivation and the ability to work independently and proactively on projects; previous experience with community service, service-learning, and/or some familiarity with community service in Addison County preferred; event planning experience helpful.

Education/Training:

  • Strong computer skills, including Word and Excel.
  • Strong communications skills, both oral and written.
  • Reliability and a strong commitment to the Center for Community Engagement’s mission.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Research skills.
  • Ability to prioritize and juggle several projects simultaneously.

CCE MINI GRANT REFLECTION BY Adrian Leong: Lecture by Helena Wong

This project is supported by funding from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Mini-Grant.

“From the local to the global:  Asians and Asian Americans on the side of Racial Justice, Climate Justice, and Gender Justice,” a lecture by Helena Wong

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Nov. 14, Helena Wong from Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the World March of Women: U.S. Chapter, came up from New York City to speak at Middlebury College. The turnout was exceedingly good, with the entire Orchard room at Hillcrest filled, which means there were about sixty people who showed up. This, I would suggest, had a lot to do with Trump’s election victory on the preceding Tuesday. Many students were still grappling with the implications of this landmark election results.

Helena spoke for about an hour in total, and then took half an hour of questions afterwards. Her talk can be broken into three main parts: i)community-based organizing in NYC (with Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence, ii)global justice organizing as a U.S.-based organizer: calling out and challenging U.S. imperialism, and iii)gender equity organizing in China. I especially loved the succinct pieces of advice she gave: i)let’s fight like hell for our rights and liberties, ii)stop the blame game and start organizing, and iii)always use an intersectional analysis of climate, gender, and racial justice.

Helena’s perspectives are rarely heard on this campus: specifically, her choice to dedicate her life’s work to organizing, and the concrete ways that the work that she is involved in has challenged U.S. imperialism in COP21 and in the case of the murder of Berta Cáceres, for examples. With Trump’s ascension into presidency, my sense is that many students at Middlebury are looking for answers: what can be done? What must be done? Helena’s wealth of experience as an organizer spoke loudly and clearly to these burning questions, especially as they are asked by Asians and Asian-Americans who are not usually understood (and self-understood!) as having any connection at all to any social justice movements. Her voice is a very important one to witness, without a doubt.

For a full record of the lecture, including the Q&A section in the end, go to this link: https://vimeo.com/191839389.

 

CCE Mini Grant Reflection by Brenna Christensen: National Women’s Studies Association Conference – Decoloniality

Our Community Engagement grant went towards funding travel and accommodations expenses to attend the National Women’s Studies Association Conference on Decoloniality. Decoloniality, as defined by the NWSA, is a “worldview that denaturalizes settler colonial logics and structuring violences,” but part of our mission in attending the conference was to really engage with and contemplate the meaning and application of decoloniality. The conference was organized over the course of four days, with panels of experts in the field on decoloniality topics and several presentations from keynote speakers. Examples of panels that members of feminist action at Midd attended included “Indigenous Feminist and Postcolonial Feminist Understandings of Decoloniality and the Settler,” “Queer Lovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places,” “Global Fetishes and Legacies” and “Feminist Disruptions to the Neoliberal University.”

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I believe that this conference was and will continue to be extremely impactful in a variety of ways. Firstly, the girls who attended the conference were tremendously influenced by the both the ideas and the power of occupying such an exemplary feminist space. I can see that exposure to such groundbreaking and high-level concepts has already beginning to influence our way of thinking just by the conversations we had returning to Middlebury. My hope is that these ideas take are further dispersed around campus through more conversations and our planned public panel with the GSFS professors.

Additionally, being surrounded by hundreds of PHD-holding women and trans folks from across the globe was a truly inspiring and validating feeling for the group – especially in light of recent political events. In such a dark period for women and trans folks, it was rejuvenating to see so many others engaged in similar work and struggle around the world.

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Furthermore, we connected with many different attendees, from peers to professors, with whom we are hoping to organize and continue sustained relationships with. Through both attending the public panels and one-on-one conversations, we discovered new causes and have generated ideas for activist events we would like to stage next semester and next year. In particular, we are hoping to generate an “access map” which would capture different levels of accessibility across campus. We also are hoping to bring one of presenters to campus to talk about the prison industrial complex next semester.

All and all the conference was an incredible educational opportunity, and we are extremely grateful for our community engagement grant!