March for Science DAY

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Together We Rise CT- Building Bridges for Justice & The Valley Stands Up are excited to annouce that we will be hosting a Satellite Event for the March for Science!! We’re excited to bring together scientists, farmers, bee keepers, musicians, local artists, renewable energy experts, environmental activists and community members to CELEBRATE science & champion robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity! We will unite as a nonpartisan front to explore all that science has taught us and the future of possbilities!

This event is FREE & accessible to all! There will be lots of kid-friendly, hand-on activities, experts who will share their experiences, refreshments & snacks by donation!


10-11am Satellite Vigil for March for Science
10-12pm Music by The Grays!
12-1pm Beginner’s Yoga with The Inverted Tree Yogi
10-2pm Lots and lots of Booths including

The After Life!
Donate Life Connecticut
Connecticut Green Burial Grounds
New Nature Arts

Animals & Birds!
The Connecticut Audubon Society
Maybe some baby goats!

Eightmile Wild & Scenic River Watershed
Farms & Gardens!
Hay Farm House
Provider Farm
East Haddam Land Trust
Ballek’s Garden Center
UConn Extension Master Gardener Program

Conservation Groups!
Appalachian Mountain Club Connecticut Chapter (CT AMC)
East Haddam Conservation Commision

UConn Home & Garden Education Center

The Sanctuary at Shepardfields & EcoArcitecture!
CT Solar Challenge

other tables will have scientists who will teach you about
1. How the shape of wind turbines is related to performance
2. Expolring statistics! Looking at how statistics can be misused, with misleading graphs, correlation vs causation and more!
3. Birds of a Feather- Looking at the challenges of removing oil from feathers
4. CitizenScientist! Examples of ways in which the general public can get involved with science through joining existing programs such as FrogWatch, FeederWatch, Horseshoe Crab Monitoring, etc. Many of which involve assessing impacts of climate change.
5. Green Your Period- In a lifetime a woman will create ~62,500 POUNDS of waste- we’ll explore eco-alternatives to reduce waste

2-4pm Earth Day Poetry Read-In

If you would like to be part of this experience by hosting a booth, please fill out a booth application form here:

Activism Teach-In Details

registerhereWe believe that “knowledge is power”, that facts matter, and that for all of us to be effective activists, we need to enhance our knowledge and build our skills. Therefore, Together We Rise CT, is hosting an Activism Teach-In, where experts from across Connecticut will speak from their experience and teach to the following topics. ASL Interpreting services will be provided, however the venue is not handicap accessible- we apologize as this is the only venue we could find.  We will work towards live streaming the event for those who cannot attend.  If we can make any additional accommodations please send an email to


11:15 -11:30 a.m.- Arrival & Parking
11:30 -11:35 a.m.- Welcomes & Orientation to the Space
11:35 -12:20 p.m.- How to Talk to Your Legislator & Make An Impact- Michele Mudrick
12:20 -12:45 p.m.- Meet Your Neighbors at Lunch
12:45 -1:35 p.m. -The Lives of Undocumented Kids in CT & How to Help- Edwin Colon
1:35 -1:40 p.m.- Stretch Your Legs
1:40-2:30 p.m. -Demystifying the State Budget & Fight for Children- Derek Thomas
2:30-2:35 p.m. – Breathing/Stretching Exercises
2:35-3:25 p.m. – Intersectionality 101: What is it & How to Center our Work around It- Kristianna Smith
3:25-3:30 p.m.- Closing & Thank Yous

Here’s more about the experts who we’ll hear from
mmudrick-11Michele Mudrick works to bring the concerns raised by Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ to the Connecticut General Assembly and executive offices, particularly in the legislative process. She also works to organize local church members to make sure their voices are heard on issues of concern. A Connecticut native, Michele has worked with the Christian Activities Council as a congregational organizer. She has also served in organizing or fundraising positions with the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, the Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice, and United Action of Connecticut. Educated at Stonehill College and the University of Bridgeport, she spent five years as an elementary school teacher.

uconn-ec-award-2-15Edwin Colon joined the Center for Children’s Advocacy in 2011. He is an expert on the very specific Federal law and Connecticut procedures for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), which helps abused, neglected or abandoned immigrant children regularize their immigration status. In addition to providing legal representation for new arrival children and training Connecticut attorneys on this very specific work, Attorney Colon advocates in the public schools on behalf of youth who need educational support, are suffering from issues that keep them from academic success, or are involved with the juvenile justice system. He holds a JD from UConn School of Law and a MSW from UConn School of Social Work. He has worked with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Services, providing support for individuals and families involved with the foster care system, and with the Department of Children and Families as an Investigations and Treatment Social Worker on child abuse investigations. Attorney Colon has held faculty positions at the UConn School of Social Work and at Capital Community College, Hartford. Edwin Colon was named a 2013 “New Leader in the Law” by the Connecticut Law Tribune and one of the “50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut” by Latinos United for Professional Advancement in 2014 and 2015. He is a director on the board of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association.

dtcqajvrDerek Thomas serves as a Fiscal Policy Fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children. Mr. Thomas served as Senior Policy Analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families since 2012, where he focused on state-level economic analysis and policy work to support mobility for low-income families. Mr. Thomas’ research was cited by The Guardian, a Reuters series on income inequality, and the U.S. Department of Labor, and he earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs and a Master of Public Affairs in Policy Analysis from Indiana University.

1422934321288Kristianna Smith is an experienced educator and impassioned theatre artist & a founding partner of Via Arts LLC, an arts service company currently operating in Connecticut, that believes it is their social imperative to share their creative survival tools with people who, like them, continue to traverse their paths toward a greater understanding of humanity.
She has spent the past decade working with youth, educators, and the elderly reinvigorating the human experience through theatre arts. Kristianna attended the University of New Hampshire, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Secondary Education. After college, Kristianna was accepted as the 2011-2012 Education Resident for Long Wharf Theatre’s Next Stage Program.
Most notably, she has trained educators in both Arts Integration and Social Justice Theatre. This work has specialized in using the arts to reach students in traditional and non-traditional classroom settings.



Happy Valentine’s Day! We can’t imagine a better present for all our #localactivists than some #RevolutionaryLove! #Savethedate for our Activism Teach-In on March 4th at 11:30am at Hadlyme Public Hall. Check back tomorrow for profiles of our presenters! Here’s a few hints- One of our speakers is one of the “50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut” & another has served in organizing or fundraising positions with the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance and another has research that was cited by The Guardian!!

All levels welcome. Bring a yoga mat and wearflexible clothing. For questions, call 12-415-1829.-3.png

We are Powerful!!


WE DID THIS!! 3,447 tampons (est. cost $670.25) and 2,831 pads (est. cost $550.47) for a total of 6,278 items est. cost $1,220.70!!! (along with hand sanitizer, wipes, and adult diapers!) were donated today as part of #PROJECTPERIOD for homeless women in CT! Thanks to Two Wrasslin’ Cats for collecting donations & for offering a FREE drink to everyone who donated! Thanks to everyone who took positive action for #reproductivehealth today!! Thanks to Young Women Rising & NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut for organizing us! #togetherwerisect #stillwerisect

Shapeshifter Poems- Lucille Clifton


the legend is whispered
in the women’s tent
how the moon when she rises
follows some men into themselves
and changes them there
the season is short
but dreadful shapeshifters
they wear strange hands
they walk through the houses
at night their daughters
do not know them


who is there to protect her
from the hands of the father
not the windows which see and
say nothing not the moon
that awful eye not the woman
she will become with her
scarred tongue who who who the owl
laments into the evening who
will protect her this prettylittlegirl


if the little girl lies
still enough
shut enough
hard enough
shapeshifter may not
walk tonight
the full moon may not
find him here
the hair on him


the poem at the end of the world
is the poem the little girl breathes
into her pillow the one
she cannot tell the one
there is no one to hear this poem
is a political poem is a war poem is a
universal poem but is not about
these things this poem
is about one human heart this poem
is the poem at the end of the world

The Bridge Poem- Donna Kate Rushin

The Bridge Poem- Donna Kate Rushin (1981)
I’ve had enough
I’m sick of seeing and touching
Both sides of things
Sick of being the damn bridge for everybody
Can talk to anybody
Without me Right?
I explain my mother to my father my father to my little sister
My little sister to my brother my brother to the white feminists
The white feminists to the Black church folks the Black church folks
To the Ex-hippies the ex-hippies to the Black separatists the
Black separatists to the artists the artists to my friends’ parents…
I’ve got the explain myself
To everybody
I do more translating
Than the Gawdamn U.N.
Forget it
I’m sick of it
I’m sick of filling in your gaps
Sick of being your insurance against
The isolation of your self-imposed limitations
Sick of being the crazy at your holiday dinners
Sick of being the odd one at your Sunday Brunches
Sick of being the sole Black friend to 34 individual white people
Find another connection to the rest of the world
Find something else to make you legitimate
Find some other way to be political and hip
I will not be the bridge to your womanhood
Your manhood
Your human-ness
I’m sick of reminding you not to
Close off too tight for too long
I’m sick of mediating with your worst self
On behalf you your better selves
I am sick
Of having to remind you
To breathe
Before you suffocate
Your own fool self
Forget it
Stretch or drown
Evolve or die
The bridge I must be
Is the bridge to my own power
I must translate
My own fears
My own weaknesses
I must be the bridge to nowhere
But my true self
And then
I will be useful
-from This Bridge Called My Back
edited by: Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua

Let America Be America Again- Langston Hughes

Read in memory of Trayvon Martin on what would have been his 22nd birthday

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes. Used with permission.

Thank you to the over 25 people who came to our African-American Poetry Read In yesterday! we read and heard works from a variety of black poets who we will feature each day this week so that we all can reveal and reflect in the power of poetry.

Marilyn Turner reading the below poem 

“Snapping Beans” by Lisa Parker
I snapped beans into the silver bowl
that sat on the splintering slats
of the porchswing between my grandma and me.
I was home for the weekend,
from school, from the North,
Grandma hummed “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”
as the sun rose, pushing its pink spikes
through the slant of cornstalks,
through the fly-eyed mesh of the screen.
We didn’t speak until the sun overcame
the feathered tips of the cornfield
and Grandma stopped humming. I could feel
the soft gray of her stare
against the side of my face
when she asked, How’s school a-goin?
I wanted to tell her about my classes,
the revelations by book and lecture
as real as any shout of faith,
potent as a swig of strychnine.
She reached the leather of her hand
over the bowl and cupped
my quivering chin;
the slick smooth of her palm held my face
the way she held cherry tomatoes under the spigot,
careful not to drop them,
and I wanted to tell her
about the nights I cried into the familiar
heartsick panels of the quilt she made me,
wishing myself home on the evening star.
I wanted to tell her
the evening star was a planet,
that my friends wore noserings and wrote poetry
about sex, about alcoholism, about Buddha.
I wanted to tell her
how my stomach burned acidic holes
at the thought of speaking in class,
speaking in an accent, speaking out of turn,
how I was tearing, splitting myself apart
with the slow-simmering guilt of being happy
despite it all.
I said, School’s fine.
We snapped beans into the silver bowl between us
and when a hickory leaf, still summer green,
skidded onto the porchfront,
Grandma said,
It’s funny how things blow loose like that.

WHY focus on #blackpoets?

Because writer’s of color are underrepresented, below is an analysis done by Roxane Gay.

“The numbers are grim. Nearly 90% of the books reviewed by The New York Times are written by white writers. That is not even remotely reflective of the racial makeup of this country, where 72% of the population, according to the 2010 census, is white. We know that far more than 81 books were published by writers of color in 2011. You don’t really need other datasets to see this rather glaring imbalance.”


Videos of Our Speakers & Newspaper Links

WOW! We were incredible blessed to have over 500 people join us in East Haddam for our Women’s Vigil.  It is powerful to move from our isolated, modern lives to join together in community and show that both at the local and national level that we have power.

By Request we’ve uploaded the two videos we have of our speakers (If you’d like to be a videographer for our next event please let us know).

Colleen Shaddox, Speaks to the Needs for Rights of Children

Sandy Broadus, Speaks to the Deep Need for Intersectionality in our Activism

To see a video of Kate O’Boyle speaking check out the beautiful video at the bottom of this article by The Day


News Coverage

Thank you to our local East Haddam News for covering the event- we will make the link available when it is online


Thank you to Ann Gamble at the Shoreline Times

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Thank you to Kathleen Schassler and the Middletown Press

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Thank you to WFSB for covering the event

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Thank you to the below News Organizations for spreading word about the event beforehand


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