We had a successful first program with about 25 people attending, including a reporter, Michele Curans, from the Current. Many, many thanks to all who helped make this a successful event. Ross Varney for his advice on public speaking; Diane Crofts for photocopying, set-up, publicity, moral support; Rob Burnham for technical support, publicity; Sally Eames for a great letter to the editor; Jim Marshall and Bob Locke for audio tech help and lending equipment; Bob Gould for listening over and over again to the presentation, moral support and all his help with the presentation. Thank you all!
Margot Siegman, Feb. chairperson, has put together an interesting and informative program. Donna Sylvester, social worker at the Salvation Army will talk about poverty here in Newburyport, Ed Cameron will talk about homelessness, followed by the documentary The Red Wagon (see below for description) and a discussion/question period.
The Red Wagon: Facing Hunger, Review copied from here.
Although maple syrup and idyllic mountains are more likely to come to mind when people think of Vermont than the subject of hunger, the fact is that many Vermonters don't have enough money to buy groceries. Interviewing those who work in or use Vermont food assistance programs such as food shelves, food pantries, and soup kitchens, Jim Ritvo and Dave Raizman's The Red Wagon: Facing Hunger tells the story of people who experiecnce food insecurity every day, many of whom are already vulnerable, including single mothers, children, the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor. Increasingly, middle class residents, either because of layoffs or unexpected expenses, need food assistance too. "Anybody can end up at a food shelf or food pantry," says Wanda Hines, director of the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, echoing a theme expressed by others thoughout the film and the country: namely, that many people are only one paycheck away from needing a helping hand.This awareness motivates the dedicated, supportive food assistance program staff and volunteers, who go to great lengths to allay the stigmatism of asking for help.
Let's all try to attend the Feb. 18th presentation on American Poverty.
If you haven't seen it, go see it. I highly recommend it. A wonderfully acted movie abut homelessness. Heart wrenching, heartwarming.
The Unitarian Church will be having an exciting, informative program on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 12 noon. Please try to attend this presentation.
Welcome our African Neighbors and learn why they have come.
You may see these African neighbors on our streets or in the supermarket. Do you know who are they and why have they come here to our community? At this forum we will meet some of them, young and old. We will be able to learn about the countries these refugees have fled and hear about their lives here. The director of the Shalupe Foundation will talk about the services they provide to teenagers, young adults and families who are here in their Massachusetts centers and their programs for street children and their shelters in the Congo.
Featuring a Conversation about youth and war:
Two young Congolese college students living in the US have made a movie about Child Soldiers. We will be able to watch this movie and talk to some of the young refugees who were part of this experience. Barbara Hildt, founder and director of Youth Empowerment Services and director of Help Increase the Peace, will lead this discussion.
All are welcome from the church and wider community to attend this eye- and heart-opening event. We especially invite young people to come and participate in a youth to youth discussion.
DARFUR/DARFUR is a traveling exhibit of digitally-projected changing images that provide visual education about the richly multi-cultural region while exposing the horrors of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The event will present photographs taken in Darfur by former U.S. Marine Brian Steidle and photojournalists Lynsey Addario, Mark Brecke, Helene Caux, Ron Haviv, Paolo Pellegrin, Ryan Spencer Reed, and Michal Safdie accompanied by traditional Sudanese music. Clips from several documentaries in current production will be shown throughout the event. For more information on some of the films, visit: darfurdarfur.org and The Devil Came on Horseback.com.
Since our last meeting:
Thank you all for joining with me on this program and feel free to call/email with any questions or if you need any help. I will contact the chairpersons as their months approach to make sure everything is all set but unless there is a need, we won't be having any meetings as a group until late spring to start working on the fall programs. I truly believe that education is the key to solving poverty and the more people we educate about the issues, the more people who will make an effort to help solve world poverty.