“Nuclear Weapons: The Current Threat and What We Can Do About It” with John Reuwer, M.D., from Physicians for Social Responsibility (South Burlington). Presentation Description: In order to increase the chances that there will be a world worth living for in the future, we must first eliminate the very real possibility of nuclear annihilation. The more than 15,000 nuclear weapons held by nine nations are capable of destroying any semblance of what we call civilization. This presentation will review the current arsenals, the medical and climatic effects of using nuclear weapons, and how close we have already come to disaster. Participants will learn about current agencies and campaigns that participants may join to decrease the threat of their use.
“Activism 101 We are ALL Activists!” with Mary Brown-Guillory (Burlington) from Champlain Area NAACP. Presentation Description: Coming soon
“The Power of Militarism in Our Lives: A Community Discussion” with Joseph Gainza (Plainfield), Dorie Wilsnack (Barre), and Eric Bachman (Barre) from Vermont Action for Peace. Presentation Description: This will be a discussion workshop, a place to explore together the pervasiveness of militarism in our culture and our daily lives. We'll discuss the ideas and values that militarism embodies. We will look at how militarism is woven into our individual and collective lives such as in our speech, government policies, economy and entertainment. We'll take some time to discuss alternatives to the manifestations of militarism, such as nonviolence. Where do we see alternatives at work in Vermont? What kind of actions can we take to lessen the power of militarism and build new ways of relating and living?
“War Without/War Within” & "How Do You Foster Peace? A Community-Based Listening Project” with Barbara Soros (Corinth), a body-mind practitioner and Adrienne Kinne (Bethel) from Will Miller Green Mountain Veterans For Peace. Presentation Description: Coming soon David Ransom (Fair Haven or Waterville)
“Peaceful Resistence in Ceremony While Facing Violence” with Beverly Little Thunder (Huntington) and Catherine Cadden (Jeffersonville) from Kunsi Keya Tamakoce. Presentation Description: Discussion on recent events in North Dakota around pipeline by Energy Transfer and how nonviolence training assisted in building an awareness that continues beyond the actual pipe line itself. What did we learn from the Indigenous community’s organization of such a massive resistance? How do we as womyn continue to build on this?
"One State, Two States, Solution or No Solution" with Sandra Baird (Burlington) from The Caroline Fund and Mousa Ishaq (Essex Junction) from the Burlington/Bethlehem/Arad Sister City Program (https://www.facebook.com/pg/Burlington-Bethlehem-Arad-Sister-City-Project-211642672208397/about/?tab=page_info ). Presentation Description: The conflict between Israel and Palestine remains one of the main blocks to peace in the Middle East. With the Israeli occupation of the lands of Palestine, the threat of war throughout the region has been and is real and ongoing. Solutions to this seemingly relentless struggle have been considered: should there be two separate and independent states, one for the Israelis and one for the Palestinians? Should there be one state for both peoples in which both Palestinians and Israelis would have equal rights to citizenship and justice? Are there any solutions which would finally end this conflict and bring justice to both peoples? In this workshop the presenters will speak of both the issues dividing Palestinians and Israelis and possible resolutions to the conflict. More important, the workshop will welcome the honest discussion and debate of our community on the problems facing Israelis and Palestinians as they long for peace.
“What Vermonters Can Do NOW To Do Build a World Without War” with Sophie Quest (South Burlington) and Sandy Fead (South Burlington) from Friends Committee on National Legislation. Presentation Description: In this workshop, we'll look at President Trump’s proposed budget and huge increase in military spending, as well as the proposed cuts in human services, environment, education, and other areas. We'll present concrete numbers on what this military budget could buy in terms of the needs of people and the planet. Finally, we'll look at doable actions that Vermonters can take to protest the military budget.
“Appropriate Re-integration: Returning Home from War” with Jon Turner (Bristol) from Veteran Regeneration Project. (https://www.facebook.com/farmerveterancoalitionofvermont/). Presentation Description: The Veteran Regeneration Project is designed to utilize mindfulness, creation and agricultural as a means to empower the participant and help them return home to themselves and back into their community. This presentation will offer methodology that has proven useful for several veterans who have faced difficulty with their transition home from war as well as for their family members who have relived trauma second hand.
“Equity & Accountability: Finance for a Peace Economy” with Gwendolyn Hallsmith (Cabot) and Matthew Cropp (Burlington) from Vermonters for a New Economy (https://sites.google.com/site/vermonterseconomy/home and https://www.facebook.com/VermontCoalitionForANewEconomy/ ). Presentation Description: Driven by the linked imperatives of growth and extraction, the for-profit financial institutions that dominate our economy consistently generate poverty, environmental degradation, social tension, and violent conflict. This session will include an overview of the ways in which dominant existing financial structures cause harm, and presentations on two tested and viable alternatives: Public Banking and Cooperative Finance. The session will conclude with a Q&A about these models and a discussion seeking to connect the ways in which divestment campaigns, local investment, and other systemic changes can contribute to financial systems that would be foundational to a robust and just Peace Economy.
“Building Empathy and Hope with Kids4Peace” with Jeff Mandell (Burlington) from Kids4Peace Vermont (http://www.k4p.org/chapters/vermont/ ). Presentation Description: Does violent conflict in the world seem like a tangled knot without hope of solution? Kids4Peace (k4p.org) provides that hope and is training our future leaders to be peacemakers. Kids4Peace is a grassroots interfaith youth movement dedicated to ending conflict and inspiring hope in Jerusalem and other divided societies around the world. To achieve this mission, our programs build interfaith communities that embody a culture of peace and empower a movement for change. In this hour we will explore immediate learnings to elevate your one-on-one and group peace-building skills and hear directly from Kids4Peace Vermont teen ambassadors who have lived and studied with kids from Israel and Palestine. One component of a world beyond war requires citizens of the world to be able to disagree with their neighbors without taking violent action or depriving them of their human rights. This capability derives from the capacity to empathize and understand opposing points of view. Kids4Peace teaches these skills to understand and problem solve, starting by gathering small groups of people with opposing views together. Participants explore their traditions and customs, share the realities of their daily lives, and work to break down the stereotypes and fears that they have of the 'other’. Recently in Jerusalem the newest group of 140 Muslim, Christian and Jewish families met for the first time. During the initial meeting, despite their differences, a new culture of unity and bonding was formed. After attending this workshop you have some tangible knowledge and tools for creating a culture of peace in your community.
“The F35 Basing in Vermont: A Local Example of Expanding Militarism” with Eileen Andreoli (Winooski) from Stop the F35 Coalition / Save Our Skies VT. Presentation Description: The future F35 basing in Burlington VT is the real-time, local manifestation of the consequences of the militarization of our society. The powerful campaign to increase the militarization of our region attempts to rationalize the destruction of Vermonter’s homes and environment, the endangerment of residents’ health and safety, and the loss of property values as acceptable collateral damage necessary to support its mission. In an effort to protect Vermonters from this tragedy, opponents of the basing have entered into lawsuits seeking full disclosure on the true human costs of the F35’s projected negative impacts to over 6,600 Vermonters and their neighborhood communities. This presentation will explore the F35 issue, from the first scoping meetings to the present time, and the status of the current lawsuit. Attendees will learn why this decision will be so harmful, as well as ways to continue to fight this inappropriate basing and protect Vermont, its environment and its people from this planned destruction of our residential communities.
“Recognizing, Addressing and Working to End White Fragility” with Kyle Silliman-Smith (Burlington) from The Peace & Justice Center. Presentation Description: This group activity is focused on white fragility - the struggle for dominant communities to tolerate discussions on race without feeling shame, guilt, or victimization. In building a world beyond war it is vital to address racism because the way we conduct war is fundamentally based in racism and the propagation of discrimination. In this effort to move beyond war and create a peaceful environment it is critical to ensure that people in white skin understand that the current, widely held idea of what racism is, is inauthentic and incomplete. There will be a group discussion on concrete steps people can take to disrupt the cycle of white fragility in the hopes that people will better understand how the power and privilege of white skin combined with complacency perpetuate racism and other systems of oppression.