Posted by Carrie Fenn on Jan 13, 2021

Photo courtesy of The Shelburne News

Emma Marden is our guest today. Emma is a freshman at CVU, and was the organizer of the Black Lives Matter flag raising and march at Shelburne Community School. 

January 13, 2021

Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg Rotary via Zoom

Linda Barker, Carrie Fenn, Sam Feitelberg, Linda Gilbert, France LeBlanc, Nancy Danforth, Laurie Burke, John Hammer, Chris Davis, Keith Walsh, Ric Flood, Denis Barton, John Pane, Jonathan Lowell, Susan Grimes, Roz Graham, Dan York, Bob Sanders, Jim Donovan, Joan Lenes, Howard Seaver, Diana Vachon

Guests: Megan Flood, Emma Marden, Barbra Marden

Nancy has our opening words

MLK December 5, 1957

“God grant that right here in America and all over this world, we will choose the high way; a way in which men will live together as brothers. A way in which the nations of the world will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. A way in which every man will respect the dignity and worth of all human personality. A way in which every nation will allow justice to run down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. A way in which men will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. A way in which men will be able to stand up, and in the midst of oppression, in the midst of darkness and agony, they will be able to stand there and love their enemies, bless those persons that curse them, pray for those individuals that despitefully use them. And this is the way that will bring us once more into that society which we think of as the brotherhood of man. This will be that day when white people, colored people, whether they are brown or whether they are yellow or whether they are black, will join together and stretch out with their arms and be able to cry out: “Free at last! Free at last! Great God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Carrie will take the bulk of the kid’s winter clothes to the Sustainability Academy and Susan will take the rest of the adult stuff to the new warming shelter in Burlington.

Rotaries are buying cheese and distributing it to food shelves all over the state. Shelburne Farms has been donating to the Shelburne food shelf. 

In fundraising efforts, raffle today stands at $9320, letter $7375

The cafeteria program is covered right now. For those who want to volunteer, consider becoming a backup for when scheduled volunteers can’t make it.

Resolutions? First paying job?

Denis was a stock boy, Ric would help his dad, who was a funeral director, pick up dead bodies, John Pane answered fan mail for the New York Yankees, Linda Gilbert held women’s hands during ob/gyn exams, Jonathan worked with his dad in his practice processing blood draws. 

Emma Marden is our guest today. Emma is a freshman at CVU, and was the organizer of the Black Lives Matter flag raising and march at Shelburne Community School. 

This effort all started with Emma going to a rally in Charlotte. She was really impressed and went to the organizers and asked for help in putting a march together in Shelburne. She would meet with Charlotte organizers to develop digital posters and rally her friends to join. Her mom, who is on the school board, suggested that she coordinate the march with the BLM flag raising. It all fell into place. Talking about race is a scary topic and a lot of schools have been hesitant. There’s more awareness at school, more resources and the school board is in the process of hiring a director of equity and inclusion, as well as counselors to talk about race and the movement. It was a great feeling to have accomplished the march and realize the power that kids have. She is now involved in a refugee outreach club at CVUHS. 

The hardest part of the effort was reaching out to the various entities- police dept, fire dept, school board members etc. She had to overcome fears and barriers that she had created for herself as well as the logistical issue of coordinating town groups. Her sense is that most kids of color experienced some racism, and she felt that kids of color were often singled out as trouble makers and sent out of the classroom to a greater degree than their white peers.  One of the first things people naturally notice is the color of people’s skin so there’s no getting away from that, but a lot of changes have been occurring in terms of awareness over the last five years. Kids are trying to help their friends understand and confront racism, and helping them to recognize racism.

Resources for people who would like to educate themselves on systemic racism include Just Mercy, How to be an Anti-racist, Me and White Supremacy, The Hate You Give.

She feels that more kids are getting involved and wanting to be a part of big change in America. 

We’ll be donating a copy of the Hate You Give to all three libraries.

Susan Grimes offers our closing words from Bob Kerrey:

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

Have a great week, stay safe, stay healthy!

Respectfully submitted,

Carrie Fenn