Upcoming PJC Events!

The following events are hosted, organized, co-sponsored, or put on in partnership with/by the Peace & Justice Center and are open to the public – we hope you can make them!  If you would like to volunteer at any of them, please email volunteer@pjcvt.org.  We are committed to including the Deaf community and others who need language interpretation, if you need ASL or other language interpretation, please let us know ASAP and we will work to make that happen. If you have other questions, please contact program@pjcvt.org or call (802) 863-2345 x 6. Thank you!

Wednesdays, March 22 & 29 from 6-8pm, Nonviolence Activism 101 at the Peace & Justice Center. Nonviolence has been proven to be incredibly effective in addressing oppression even though our culture may not embrace or encourage this truth. Nonviolent activists employ a wide variety of strategies, such as rallies, marches, hunger strikes, boycotts, and much more. Participants will explore personal and social identities; learn aspects of Kingian Nonviolence, and engaging in role play. This program is designed to help unlock meaningful ways to work towards social justice and peace without perpetuating cycles of violence that permeate our culture. We ask participants to pay for this program to support our ongoing peace work. This program is led by Kyle Silliman-Smith. Specifically $20 for the general public and $15 for current PJC members and volunteers. People under 25 are not expected to contribute financially. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Space is limited to ensure your spot please sign-up here or call us.

Thursday, March 23 from 6-7:30pm, Disrupting Violence Discussion and Practice Group at the Peace & Justice Center. This is a new monthly drop-in event currently scheduled for the fourth Thursday for three months. Each discussion and practice group will include different content to help participants disrupt violence and engage in conflict nonviolently. The hope is that people will attend as many sessions as possible but there is no expectation of that. There will likely be suggested readings and continued practice offered on the night-of but it will all be optional. People of different backgrounds and skill sets encouraged to attend. If you are interested in leading an activity and/or have materials you would like to be considered for use please contact us at program@pjcvt.org or 863-2345 x6.

Saturday, March 25 from 3:30-4:30pm, Understanding Free Trade Agreements Presentation and Discussion at the Peace & Justice Center. U.S. Free Trade Agreements were intended to ease trade and boost economies. However, with the combination of corporate greed and developmental inequality, it has had a devastating effects on the Global South. This program is being led by Grace Viscito. People are encouraged to arrive at 3pm to participate in a PJC New Volunteer Orientation. We are committed to including the Deaf community and others who need language interpretation, if you need ASL or other language interpretation, please let us know ASAP and we will work to make that happen.

Wednesday, April 5 at 3:30pm, Learning about Nonviolence: Children’s March of 1963 at Brownell Library in Essex. Explore the planning and implementation of the Children’s March of 1963 in Birmingham, AL. In between watching age appropriate excerpts from Mighty Times: The Children’s March, participants of all ages will explore Kingian Nonviolence (and more) through discussion and song. This program is led by Kyle Silliman-Smith.

Saturday, April 8 from 9:00am-3:30pm, Symposium for Social Justice Action Groups at Burlington High School. The Symposium is for individuals looking for ways to get involved and for groups to find new people to join their efforts. It will provide the public the opportunity to learn about local organizations and groups who are involved in social justice activities and choose ways to get involved. It is also an opportunity for groups to become aware of and familiar with each other’s work so we can support and collaborate with each other. Groups can recruit new participants/members/volunteers. Individuals who are not already involved can find ways to join grassroots work for social change. Those presenting include Black Lives Matter VT, Migrant Justice, 350 Vermont, Justice for All, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Vermont CARES, Rights  Democracy, and more! Please register here. $20 public. $10 under 25. Free for high school students and middle school students. For more information contact Rachel at 863-2345 x1 or rachel@pjcvt.org

Wednesday, April 12 from 12-1pm Toxic Whiteness Discussion Group at the PJC. Each discussion group will begin with a different reading, video, or audio file that sets the tone for a facilitated discussion. It is harmful to racial justice work when white people’s emotional needs are prioritized over those of people of color in multi-racial spaces. This space is held specifically for white people, to help process how white supremacy culture is toxic to white communities and individuals. It seeks to help people who experience white privilege see and understand how undoing racism directly benefits them. The hope is that by having a separate space to process toxic whiteness, white people will be better able to allow for the emotional needs of people of color to take priority in multi-racial spaces. This is a monthly event held on the second Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 12 from 6-7:30pm, White Fragility Talk at Saint Michael’s College, McCarthy Arts, 1 Winooski Park, Colchester. The Peace & Justice Center is excited to join the with St. Mike’s MOVE Program to bring this workshop to the school. Our Program Manager, Kyle Silliman-Smith, will give a brief talk on the concept of white fragility and co-lead a discussion on how we can all, and white people in particular, strengthen our ability to notice racism in the world around us, and engage in conversations about race and racism within our communities. One of the biggest issues to consider when discussing race are strong visceral reactions to the conversation surrounding race and racial prejudice. Discussing these issues, particularly with white audiences, proves to be challenging due to the fact that the majority of white Americans have been intentionally uneducated about the complexities of racial and other social/religious injustices in our society. This lack of exposure has led discussions about race to be conflated with criticism on a person’s moral character rather than a criticism of racist policies. Strong emotional responses including cognitive dissonance or emotional incapacitation that can be expressed in anger, guilt/remorse, depression/sadness, disengagement and/or feelings of being attacked and victimized. White Fragility is a concept, developed by author and educator Dr. Robin DiAngelo and with the help and support of countless people of color.

Thursday, April 13 from 11am-12 noon, Free Trade vs. Fair Trade at the Peace & Justice Center. Learn basic information about globalization and how policies and practices have paved the way for huge companies to profit at the expense of people and the planet. This program shows how the Fair Trade movement and principles seek to, at a minimum, counterbalance these atrocities. People are encouraged to stay after to participate in a PJC New Volunteer Orientation at noon.

Thursday, April 13 at 6:30pm, Screening of National Bird at The Art House Gallery, Studio & School, 67 S Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury. Join VT PBS, the Art House, Sterling College, the Peace & Justice Center, and others for this meaningful screening of a film about the three whistleblowers who broke the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war.  FREE and open to the public.

Monday & Tuesday, April 17th-18th, Tax Day Penny Poll on Church Street in Burlington. Stop by our Tax Day Penny Poll table on Church Street and tell us how you think your taxes should be spent! What would you prioritize? Health care? Agriculture? Education? The Penny Poll is your chance to distribute ten pennies into the programs that YOU care about! Once you’ve put your pennies into the programs (err… jars) you’ll find out how our national discretionary budget is actually allocated. You may be surprised at what you learn. You’ll also be entered into a raffle to win a fabulous prize. Also check back in a week or so after this event and we will show what everybody decided to do with their pennies! For more information or questions, please contact Kyle at program@pjcvt.org or call (802) 863-2345 x6.

Tuesday, April 18 at 7pm, Screening of National Bird at Johnson State College in Johnson. Join VT PBS, Johnson State College, the Peace & Justice Center, and others for this meaningful screening of a film about the three whistleblowers who broke the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war.  FREE and open to the public.

Thursday, April 20 at 7pm, Screening of National Bird at Manchester Community Library, 138 Cemetery Ave, Manchester Center. Join VT PBS, the Manchester Community Library, the Peace & Justice Center, and others working for peace, for this meaningful screening of a film about the three whistleblowers who broke the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war.  FREE and open to the public.

Friday, April 21 from 5-6:30pm, Social Justice Performance Workshop at North Avenue Studios, 294 N Winooski Ave. in Burlington. Join artist and performer Sora Jederan Shpack for this program that includes one or two scenes from a Community Opera about war and peace called An Honorable Way Forward, and also to sing a choral piece about and for refugees and displaced people world-wide, The Shores of Life. There are also two rehearsals being hosted at the Peace & Justice Center prior to this workshop for people who would like to be considered for more featured performance roles. These rehearsals are Thursday, April 13, and Sunday, April 16, from 6-7:30pm each night at the Peace & Justice Center, 60 Lake Street, Burlington. People encouraged to attend all rehearsals. For Music, Parts or Ways you can participate, contact Sora Jederan Shpack at shpack12@gmail.com or 607-348-7843. This program will culminate in a short performance at 7pm on Friday evening to help kick off the the Building a World Beyond War: What Will it Take Conference.

Friday, April 21 from 7-9pm, Kick-Off Event for Building A World Beyond War: What Will It Take, at North Avenue Studios, 294 N Winooski Ave. in Burlington. Join conference attendees, presenters, and more for this kick-off event which will include socializing with like-minded folks and a performance by participants in the Social Justice Performance Workshop. More details to come soon.

Saturday, April 22 from 9:00am-4:30pm, Building A World Beyond War: What Will It Take? at Winooski High School. The purpose of the conference is to revitalize the Vermont peace movement and focus on the financial, social, and environmental costs of war and militarism in our state. Held on Earth Day, it will bring together various social justice groups and individuals interested in understanding war and how to build a world beyond it. Speakers, workshops, panels, and actions will answer the conference’s key question: what it will take to build a world beyond war? They will do this through various focuses. We want to encourage people to participate in programming that look at this issue through a different lens then that have before. David Swanson and Pat Hynes will be speakers for the day. Organizers are still doing outreach to put together the break-out programming. Click here to register online. This day is being organized by Vermont Stands for a World Beyond War Coalition which currently includes, Burlington Vermont Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Peace & Justice Center, Veterans for Peace, Save Our Skies VT, Vermont Action for Peace, Stop the F35s Coalition. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, April 25 at 7pm, Screening of National Bird at Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 135 Main St, Montpelier. Join VT PBS, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, the Peace & Justice Center, and others for this meaningful screening of a film about the three whistleblowers who broke the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. FREE and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 26 at 7pm, Screening of National Bird at Catamount Arts, 115 Eastern Ave, St Johnsbury. Join VT PBS, Catamount Arts, the Peace & Justice Center, and others for this meaningful screening of a film about the three whistleblowers who broke the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. FREE and open to the public.

Thursday, April 27 from 6-7:30pm, Disrupting Violence Discussion and Practice Group at the Peace & Justice Center. This discussion and practice group will include different content to help participants disrupt violence and engage in conflict nonviolently. The hope is that people will attend as many sessions as possible but there is no expectation of that. There will likely be suggested readings and continued practice offered on the night-of but it will all be optional. People of different backgrounds and skill sets encouraged to attend. If you are interested in leading an activity and/or have materials you would like to be considered for use please contact us at program@pjcvt.org or 863-2345 x6.

Saturday, April 29 from 3-4pm, Fair Trade Banana Presentation at the Peace & Justice Center. Learn about the oppressive banana industry. This talk is designed to educate, brainstorm solutions and create tangible action steps that fit each participant. This is the first time this presentation is being offered to the public. Amanda Morelli will be leading this program. People are encouraged to stay after to participate in a PJC New Volunteer Orientation at 4pm. We are committed to including the Deaf community and others who need language interpretation, if you need ASL or other language interpretation, please let us know ASAP and we will work to make that happen.

Monday, May 1, 12-1:00, Mayday March for Dignity! / ¡Marcha para La Dignidad! meet at the Migrant Justice/ VT Worker’s Center, N Winooski Ave. in Burlington at 12pm and we leave at 1pm sharp to march through the Old North End to Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop to demand they implement the Milk with Dignity Program as promised nearly 2 years ago! (feel free to meet at us at 1:30 at UU Church if you can’t join earlier). Then we march and rally at the Federal Building (next to post office) demonstrating our unity and dignity in the face of Trump’s hate and division– lifting up Vermont voices and campaigns in resistance to Trump’s attacks on our communities.Sponsored by the Vermont Human Rights Council: Migrant Justice, Vermont Worker’s Center, 350VT, Green Mountain Self-Advocates, VT Center for Independent Living, PJC, VT Interfaith Action, UE, United Academics, Pride Center, Rising Tide Vermont, Green Mountain Central Labor Council

Thursday, May 4 from 11am-12 noon, White Fragility Talk and Discussion at the Peace & Justice Center. White Fragility is a state in which even a small amount of racial stress becomes intolerable for a white person. Recognizing and naming it can be a helpful way to stay engaged in discussions about racism and in ongoing racial justice work, even when it is uncomfortable. In this hour long program Kyle Silliman-Smith will speak about this concept and outline how it actively perpetuates racism in a cycle, she will then ask for help from participants to explore ways that the cycle can be disrupted. People are encouraged to stay after to participate in a PJC New Volunteer Orientation at noon. We are committed to including the Deaf community and others who need language interpretation, if you need ASL or other language interpretation, please let us know ASAP and we will work to make that happen.

Thursday, May 4, exact time TBD, Stand Against Racism Community Reading of MLK Speech: “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” at ArtsRiot in Burlington. Join this collaboration with the Peace & Justice Center, YWCA, and Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee as part of nationwide events that each group is hosting. We will share a community reading of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech just after its 50th anniversary. One year before his assassination, Dr. King eloquently (and controversially) linked together the struggles for peace in Vietnam and for economic and racial justice at home.

Sunday, May 7, Learning about Nonviolence: Children’s March of 1963 at the Barn House on the Clemmons Family Farm, 2122 Greenbush Road in Charlotte. Explore the planning and implementation of the Children’s March of 1963 in Birmingham, AL. In between watching age appropriate excerpts from Mighty Times: The Children’s March, participants of all ages will explore Kingian Nonviolence (and more) through discussion and song. This program includes a tour of the Barn House after the official presentation as well as snacks. Free with pre-registration (maximum 35 participants). Details to follow.

Tuesdays, May 9 and 16, 5:30-7:30pm, Introduction to your Bill of Rights in a Time of Resistance at the Peace & Justice Center. This two-part workshop presentation will provide a fundamental understanding of some of the most important provisions of our bill of rights. Topics to be discussed will be the First Amendment protections regarding free speech, right to petition governmental officials, press freedom and prohibitions against religious discrimination. Participants will also be introduced to the critical protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment right to counsel for persons facing potential incarceration. The Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection and due process clauses will also be examined. All discussions will be within the context of protest actions empowering participants to know their rights and make informed choices when resisting the current regime. Sliding scale donation $5-$50. No one turned away for lack of funds. People under 25 not expected to contribute financially.

Wednesday, May 10 from 12-1pm Toxic Whiteness Discussion Group at the PJC. Each discussion group will begin with a different reading, video, or audio file that sets the tone for a facilitated discussion. It is harmful to racial justice work when white people’s emotional needs are prioritized over those of people of color in multi-racial spaces. This space is held specifically for white people, to help process how white supremacy culture is toxic to white communities and individuals. It seeks to help people who experience white privilege see and understand how undoing racism directly benefits them. The hope is that by having a separate space to process toxic whiteness, white people will be better able to allow for the emotional needs of people of color to take priority in multi-racial spaces. This is a monthly event held on the second Wednesday.

Saturday, May 20 from 3-4pm, Free Trade vs. Fair Trade at the Peace & Justice Center. Learn basic information about globalization and how policies and practices have paved the way for huge companies to profit at the expense of people and the planet. This program shows how the Fair Trade movement and principles seek to, at a minimum, counterbalance these atrocities. People are encouraged to arrive at 2:30pm to participate in a PJC New Volunteer Orientation. We are committed to including the Deaf community and others who need language interpretation, if you need ASL or other language interpretation, please let us know ASAP and we will work to make that happen.

Thursday, June 8 from 11am-12 noon, Cocoa Campaign Presentation at the Peace & Justice Center. This presentation focuses on the issue of child slavery and human trafficking in the cocoa industry.  It is designed to educate, brainstorm solutions and create tangible action steps that fit each participant. This presentation will be led by Amy Crosswhite. People are encouraged to arrive at 10:30am to participate in a PJC New Volunteer Orientation.

Wednesday, June 14 from 12-1pm Toxic Whiteness Discussion Group at the PJC. Each discussion group will begin with a different reading, video, or audio file that sets the tone for a facilitated discussion. It is harmful to racial justice work when white people’s emotional needs are prioritized over those of people of color in multi-racial spaces. This space is held specifically for white people, to help process how white supremacy culture is toxic to white communities and individuals. It seeks to help people who experience white privilege see and understand how undoing racism directly benefits them. The hope is that by having a separate space to process toxic whiteness, white people will be better able to allow for the emotional needs of people of color to take priority in multi-racial spaces. This is a monthly event held on the second Wednesday.

Saturday, June 24 from 3-4pm, Understanding Free Trade Agreements Presentation and Discussion at the Peace & Justice Center. U.S. Free Trade Agreements were intended to ease trade and boost economies. However, with the combination of corporate greed and developmental inequality, it has had a devastating effects on the Global South. This presentation will be led by Amy Crosswhite. People are encouraged to arrive at 2:30pm to participate in a PJC New Volunteer Orientation. We are committed to including the Deaf community and others who need language interpretation, if you need ASL or other language interpretation, please let us know ASAP and we will work to make that happen.

14 Comments

  1. It would help attendees plan if the write-up made mention about whether people should bring a bag lunch 🙂

  2. I would appreciate some information about who will lead the two mindfulness workshops you are offering. Thanks!

  3. Thank you Julia for asking! These two workshops will be led by Judy Yarnall a member of the Peace & Justice Center’s Board of Directors and Carmen Solari our interim Program Manager.

    Judy is a retired Johnson State College professor. At Johnson State College she co-developed and taught a required, interdisciplinary course called Peace and War, on the roots of violence and possibilities for nonviolence. Her essays, poems, and travel writing have appeared in many places, including Friends Journal and the New York Times. Judy’s activism goes back to the Nuclear Freeze movement and march in 1982. She is also an active member of the Burlington Chapter of Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom.

    Carmen graduated with a dual degree in English and Religion from the University of Vermont in 2011. During her time at UVM she lived in the Global Social Justice House, worked with Students Against the War, and studied in Tamil Nadu, India where she worked with the children of the village and their mothers leading women’s empowerment groups. In addition to being on staff with the Peace & Justice Center’s Fair Trade Programs for over two years, Carmen has training in message therapy, meditation, yoga and energy healing. She is also an active member of several grassroots social justice groups.

  4. Hi Jo – Thanks for writing. There is a wonderful group called Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel. VTJP works to support the survival of the Palestinian people and to end the illegal, immoral, and brutal Israeli occupation through education, advocacy, and action. They are committed to the principles of self-determination for the Palestinian people, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and full civil and political rights for all Palestinians in order to promote the equality and safety of both Palestinians and Israelis. Meetings are the second Monday of every month at the PJC, 6-8:00. All are welcome. For more information, e-mail vtjp@vtjp.org

    As for uniting movements, that is what we are all about! We are always looking at the intersections and overlapping nature of the social, economic and environmental justice movements. While I do not know of any one project that exists for this end, we are working with several other groups to host a gathering this fall that looks at all the justice work being done statewide in order to support one another in any way possible. We are currently calling it The Big Picture Gathering. Stay tuned for more info on that!

    I hope you’re able to find community and move away from isolation. Please sign up for our enews if you have not already so you can hear about events and efforts you might want to join.

  5. A message from the twilight zone. I’m wishing I could go back to sleep. I am a forty year old male and a native Vermonter, I guess none of that really matters. I was sick for a few years with a lot of time on my hands. In that time I started reading, watching documentaries, sorting through lies and misinformation and learning how the world actually works. I learned that this country’s government is the biggest terror operation the world has ever known. I learned that our government’s main function is the spread and protection of the capitalist system. It doesn’t matter who dies in the process either. I learned that everything that comes out of that glowing blue box claiming to be news is a bunch of scripted lies. From the gulf of Tonkin to proxy wars in South America, it’s all lies. I could go on and on and on and on. There is not an hour that passes in which I am not aware that the US government is attacking a defenseless country somewhere in the world. I had never thought of these things before a couple years ago. I am living in some twilight zone where nobody knows of these things and in the rare instance that they are aware, they don’t care. This has knowledge has affected me in such a deep way that it is hard to explain. I’m not sure what I actually feel about all this. It is a new emotion/feeling, I don’t know what to call it. One of the worst parts for me is being told to forget about it and live life. I hear things like: there is nothing you can do about it, the world has always been like this, you are depressed, go talk to someone, the machine is so big that it can’t be changed, look at the good in the world. I can’t forget about it and go on living as I was. It is impossible, I have a conscience. Does anyone know what I am talking about or have similar thoughts. I have no idea what I can do but I know that it is to late for me to go back to sleep. I need someone to talk to, anyone. I can’t be alone, there has to be others as disgusted as I am, others who are ashamed of the way this country operates. Get in touch with me if you feel as I do or have anything to say at all about this. Tourdefrancewinner@gmail.com

  6. Hi: Are you guys organizing any event for the upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week? There are many out there but not in this neighborhood. Here’s a list of the events so far:

    #IsraeliApartheidWeek

    Each year, Israeli Apartheid Week takes place across more than 150 universities and cities. It aims to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project and apartheid policies over the Palestinian people. Panels, film screenings, and creative actions build support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

    Inspired by the ongoing popular resistance across historic Palestine, we hope to make Israeli Apartheid Week 2016 a powerful contribution to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.

    Please join us in making the the 12th Israeli Apartheid Week one of the biggest yet.
    http://apartheidweek.org/
    Thanks!

    UK: February 22-28
    Europe: February 29-March 7
    Palestine: March 1-10
    South Africa: March 1-10
    Arab World: March 20-26
    US: various, including March 27-April 3
    Latin America: April 10-24
    Canada: various throughout March, check with local organisers

  7. At present, the Peace & Justice Center doesn’t have anything that we’re organizing, but we have a number of allied member organizations that we work with that may be involved. Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel, one of our member groups, is the most likely to be working on something. Their website is http://www.vtjp.org/wordpress/. Good luck!

  8. AS far as organizations linking issue like peace work, racial justice, climate change, there is Campaign Nonviolence attempting to launch a “movement of movements” using nonviolence as the link to all the issues. Check out their website

  9. Will you be holding the workshop Tuesdays, September 13, 20, and 27 from 6:30-8:30pm, Building Empathy and Addressing Racial Oppression any time in Burlington? Thanks!

  10. Yes, we will! However, we do not yet have a date set. In the past year we have hosted it in Burlington, Winooski, and Essect Jct.. Montpelier and Craftsbury are on the schedule for September and October. We do not have our next one after that scheduled yet but will likely have a date in the next couple of weeks. We try to get our programs to as many places as possible but with so much of Vermont’s population in Chittenden County (as well as our offices), we do end up repeating programs here. Would you like us to contact you when it’s planned?

    Meanwhile, we do have a couple of programs scheduled in Burlington: A Frederick Douglass book discussion book and Mindfulness for Activists. If you are interested in those, there’s more info here on the website. Also, Do you subscribe to our enews? It’s a great way to get advance notice about our programs.

    Thank you for your interest.

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