One Bead at a Time Book Release and Signing

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Thursday, December 155-7:30pm at the Peace & Justice Center. This Book Release and Signing includes Q&A with the author and light refreshments.

One Bead at a Time is the oral memoir of Beverly Little Thunder, a two-spirit Lakota Elder from Standing Rock, who has lived most of her life in service to Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in vast areas of both the United States and Canada. Transcribed and edited by two-spirit Métis writer Sharron Proulx-Turner, Little Thunder’s narrative is told verbatim, her melodious voice and keen sense of humour almost audible overtop of the text on the page.

Early in her story, Beverly recounts a dream from her early adulthood, “I stared at these lily pads for the longest time and I decided that there was one part of the pond that had lots of lily pads and no frogs. I said, ‘I want to go there because there’s lots of lily pads but no frogs and I like creating community.’” And create community she does. Little Thunder established the first and today, the only all-women’s Sundance in the world, securing a land base in the Green Mountains of Vermont for future generations of Indigenous women’s ceremony. She was active in the A.I.M. movement and she continues to practice and promote political and spiritual awareness for Indigenous women around the world. She is a truly remarkable visionary.

When she was forced to leave her spiritual community 20 years ago because she was a lesbian, Beverly founded the Women’s Sundance over 20 years ago to continue teaching the traditions and ceremonies of her heritage. She currently works with women and children from her Vermont home by teaching leadership skills through the Lakota Sundance ceremony, the sweat lodge ceremony, awareness of and respect for the animal and natural worlds, community talking circles, communication workshops, personal retreats, vision quests and spiritual counseling.

Beverly serves as the Chair of the Peace & Justice Center’s Board of Directors.

For more information about this event, please call 802-863-2345 x3.

Revolutionary Connection for the Great Turning

indras-webby Ruby Perry, PJC member

Tuesday, December 13, a brief introduction to and exploration of The Work That Reconnects at the Fletcher Free Library from 6:00-8:00 PM.

Joanna Macy describes the three great stories of our time.  Business As Usual is the story of our Industrial Growth Society.  We hear this from politicians, business schools, corporations and corporate-controlled media.  It tells us that there is no need to change the way we live; in fact we will all be able to get ahead.  Any economic recessions and extreme weather conditions are just temporary difficulties from which we will surely recover and even profit.

The Great Unraveling is the story told by environmental scientists, independent journalists and activists.  It draws attention to the disasters that Business As Usual has caused and continues to create. It is backed by evidence of the ongoing derangement and collapse of biological, ecological, economic and social systems.

The third story arises from deep in our guts with a wordless growl escaping from between jaws clenched in fear. It’s the cry against the pain and suffering we see all around us.  It is the sob that awakens us in the night, the warm tears that we feel on our cheeks when a moment of open heartedness brings us into connection with the beauty of the Earth, the preciousness of life. This is how the story of The Great Turning begins. It is the will towards a life-sustaining society. The central plot is about joining together to act for the sake of life on Earth.

Dealing with the pain of our times will require our greatest creativity and courage. Joanna points out that “the most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying our world — we’ve actually been on the way for quite a while.  It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.  This awakening makes the Great Turning possible.”

The Work That Reconnects has evolved from 40 years of people coming together, finding common cause.  The Work offers perspectives and practices from systems science, Deep Ecology, and spiritual traditions that “reveal our interbeing through space and time.”  These are perspectives and practices that lead us, again and again, through the spiraling stages of our own coming back to life. And perhaps, along the way, we may reconnect with the world as “a sacred whole in which we have a sacred mission”.  The Great Turning calls out to us — from within our own hearts — to take action to bring this transition into being.

Winona LaDuke, American environmentalist, economist, and writer, reminds us, as do the Water Protectors at Standing Rock that “Part of the mythology that they’ve been teaching you is that you have no power. Power is not brute force and money; power is in your spirit. Power is in your soul. It is what your ancestors, your old people gave you. Power is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth.”

Check out Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown’s  “Coming Back To Life” or find her at http://www.joannamacy.net/.  Also Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone’s “Active Hope” On Tuesday, December 13, I will offer a brief introduction to The Work That Reconnects at the Fletcher Free Library from 6:00-8:00 PM. For more information contact: Ruby Perry, evolution.ruby@gmail.com

#GivingTuesday #FairTuesday

Now, as much as ever, your support makes a difference. Please give today, on #GivingTuesday and #FairTuesday, and join the nationwide movement to support local efforts. Memberships start at $15. Please click here to see all the benefits and to give today!

All week, we will be doubling your donations thanks to an amazing matching contribution from one of our long-time supporters. Please give now to take advantage of this offer!

The Peace & Justice Center is a membership-based organization and offers many options for joining our community. Members of the PJC support positive social change, locally and globally. Together, we believe that much of what has begun right here in Vermont – fighting for our neighbors to earn livable wages and be free from discrimination – is solid ground for building a just and peaceful world.

Membership levels:
  • Fixed Income/Student  $15
  • Individual                     $35
  • Family                         $60
  • Mover                          $100 – $249
  • Shaker                        $250 – $999
  • Changemaker               $1000+

Benefits include:

  1. 10% off in our store
  2. member-only store specials
  3. early notification and discounts on select programs & events
  4. our quarterly PJC newsletter and bi-weekly enews
  5. the ability to elect the Board of Directors at our annual meeting
  6. power in numbers – working together to create a more just and peaceful world!

For information on monthly giving, donations of stock and planned giving, please contact Wendy by email or call 863-2345 x8. We will gratefully help you set up any of these option.

Please send a check to PJC, 60 Lake St, 1C, Burlington, VT 05401 or use your credit card by clicking here.

Women’s March on Washington

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The Peace & Justice Center is organizing buses to the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017. We are also supporting a rally in Montpelier on the same day. For more information on that, please see the facebook event.

If you are interested in joining us to go to DC, we are asking $125 per ticket in order to cover minimal costs to us. You can come in and pay by cash, check or credit card. You can mail us a check or call with your credit card info.We are committed to getting as many people to the event as possible and have begun soliciting donations for a scholarship fund. We are hoping that folks who need a scholarship can pay at least half of their ticket.

Would you consider contributing funds to help make our scholarships possible? Any amount will make a difference.

Email Wendy to talk about receiving or contributing to scholarships or call 802-863-2345 ext 8 on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Fridays.

We will be departing on Friday, January 20, 10pm from Burlington. We expect to arrive in DC at 8am to take the orange line subway from New Carrollton to the Mall. The event starts at 10am. Buses will leave for home at 5:00pm. We expect to arrive back in Burlington at 3am on Sunday morning.

There is a bathroom on the bus. We encourage you to bring food, water, a blanket and pillow, a small reading light if you plan to read, and anything else that will keep you comfortable for the trip. You can leave non-valuables on the bus. For the march, you will want to bring appropriate layers of clothes and good walking shoes!

Please be in touch if you have more questions. Remember, your seat is not reserved until you pay for the ticket. Checks can be made to PJC and mailed or delivered to 60 Lake St, Burlington, VT 05401. You can also pay online by credit card buy clicking this link. Put “bus ticket” in memo. Also email Wendy to let her know that you have done this so that she can verify that there is still room.

For more information on the march, see the facebook event.

Some suggested reading for this week…

In preparation for family and community gatherings that are ripe for racist renditions of our country’s origin, we suggest these three articles:

The Suppressed Speech of Wamsutta: 350 Years after invading this continent, in 1970, Wamsutta James, a Wampanoag Man. was asked to join in a Thanksgiving event and share his perspective. Had his speech not been censored, this is what he would have said. 

Deconstructing the Myths of Thanksgiving: Local Abenaki activist, artist and author, Judy Dow, wrote this paper to assist students, parents and teachers in thinking critically about this holiday.

Thanksgiving: A Native American View: This piece, written by Jacqueline Keeler of the Dineh Nation, speaks of hope and the possibility for healing.

Let us know how your conversations around the dinner table go!