By Jen Berger
On January 19, 2017, The Peace & justice Center gathers new friends and old, to remember the life of Ed Everts, and to recognize the important work of Rising Tide Vermont.
Ed Everts was a World War II veteran, an active member of Vermont Veterans for Peace, the Vermont American Friends Service Committee, a PJC Board member for 15 years, and producer of the Peace &
Justice Review on Vermont’s Community Media Access Channel 15 for 14 years. He was the runner-up for the 2006 United Way’s Hometown Hero Award, and in 2007 he received the Peace & Justice Center’s award for activism (which was named after him)I first met Ed when I began to work at the PJC in 2006.I remember Ed as kind,generous, grandfatherly, and strong willed. At the time, he was the producer for the Peace & Justice Review at VCAM. I had been sitting at the table in the common area working organizing folks to go to Washington, DC for a demon
stration. Ed was at the Center visiting .He kindly and generously offered me the use of his camera to film the demonstration while I was there. I had just started experimenting with video work and was nawed at his offer. I hesitantly accepted. (Hesitantly, because it was a huge responsibility to have Ed’s camera with me). From that moment, I started producing video work for the PJC. Ed’s presence was always a reminder of the beauty of humanity and that this current struggle for peace was part of a long history.
Ed passed in 2013. His life and work are remembered by many and celebrated annually as the honors others doing hard and important work for justice.
Rising Tide Vermont (RTV) is an all-volunteer crew of folks that “organizes and takes direct action to confront the root causes of climate change and to facilitate a just transition to resilient and equitable
land-based communities.” (www.risingtidevermont.org)
They have worked hard, tirelessly, and fearlessly over the last few years, organizing, educating and literally throwing wrench in the system that is digging and drilling the pipeline under Vermont’s green landscape. Through their work, they have brought hundreds of people together,from different parts of Vermont, to build“a movement which opposes the expansion of industrial infrastructure in the
Northeast US and Eastern Canada, and exposes corporate and state-sponsored false solutions to the climate crisis”.
The Ed Everts Award will be presented to Rising Tide VT by Bill McKibben. It is fitting that we invite Bill to make this presentation. For decades he has been outspoken about the detrimental effects humans are having on the environment. During a media literacy portion of a class at CCV, my students watched a series of news clips, ranging from the 1970’s through the 1990’s, from the Boston area. One of these clips from the early 1990’s, was of Bill McKibben giving a speech on Earth Day. He forewarned his audience
that we, as humans, need to change the way we live our daily lives. He spoke of small changes, such as light bulbs, and electric cars. And he said, we as a nation, need to become less dependent on fossil fuels. We, as humans, were hurting plants, animals, and land. Years later, as Bill continued to be outspoken about these issues, he gained national attention. “Step It Up 2007” was a national campaign to demand
action on climate change by the U.S. Congress. In the summer of 2006, he led a 5-day walk across the state of Vermont to call for action on climate change. And in 2008, he began a national organization
called 350.org, which uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions towards strengthening the climate movement and catalyzing transformation around the world. 350.org now
has affiliates all over the world, including 350 Vermont (www.350vermont.org),
who work locally and globally towards climate justice.
We are thrilled to have the ECHO Center hosting this event. The ECHO’s center mission is to educate and delight people about the ecology, culture, history, and opportunities for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. As interest and concern, by the public and the state, for the water quality and mental protection is intrinsic.
With the water protectors disrupting the Dakota Access Pipeline, safe and clean water is on many of our minds. Rising Tide Vermont’s disruption of the Vermont Gasoline and work toward a just transition, Bill McKibben inspiring the public worldwide, and the ECHO Center instilling in children love and respect for our local water systems. This event will be one of joy and celebration for the work that we do – each in our own way – that when combined makes the world better.
Please join the PJC and our friends on
January 19 at the ECHO Center, 1 College St., Burlington.
Doors will open at 5:30. A buffet dinner of chili, cornbread, and fixings will start at 6pm, followed by the award ceremony and presentation by Bill McKibben at 7pm, and then, as in all good revolutions, we will dance! 8-10pm dance party with Mal Maiz, an Afro-Cumbia band. Tickets are $25 to $1,000. Discounts are available. Please let us know if you would like to donate your time in exchange for a ticket.