Social Action Corner
Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation Land Removed From Federal Trust by Dept. Interior
When the Bureau of Indian Affairs informed the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in Massachusetts of a U.S. Department of the Interior order to disestablish the tribe’s reservation and remove its land-in-trust status on March 27, it triggered a crisis for the Tribe or, as an April 17 Harvard Crimson article describes it: “A Crisis Within a Crisis.” Many faith organizations have condemned the DOI order and have issued statements of support for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. This crisis calls us to build bridges and relationships across our faith families to ensure that our voices are raised in ways that lead to justice for the Wampanoag Tribe.
The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury (FCCOWT), through its Racial Justice Ministry team, reached out to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to facilitate communication and offer support. As a very first step, we propose to Listen. We have scheduled a Listening Session on May 4th at 2:00 PM via Zoom with the tribal leadership as they articulate their fundamental sovereign rights to their land and their authority to govern those lands (a link will be shared with all those who express interest). We also wish to listen as they list ways that non-tribal organizations across the Cape (and the state) can effectively support the Tribe.
The FCCOWT’s role is to invite faith communities and other organizations from the Cape and the Islands to this Listening Session.
The Listening Session will incorporate:
· Background educational materials (we will be sending out links to the session a few days before and encourage participants to log in 15-30 minutes before the start of the session to take advantage of the materials).
· The Tribe’s presentation
· Answers to your questions, submitted in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Messages of support for the Wampanoag Tribe
If you would like to participate in the Listening Session or show your support, please send the following information to email@example.com:
· Your name
· Name of organization
· Point of contact for your organization (name, e-mail address, phone number)
WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US!
Rev. Cathlin Baker
First Congregational Church of West Tisbury
PO Box 3111, PMB 3000
West Tisbury, MA 02575
Join Us for a Virtual Town Hall
Tuesday, May 5th at 7:00pm
"Community Violence During COVID-19"
With staff and participants from
College Bound Dorchester and ROCA
Join ROCA and College Bound Dorchester for a panel discussion on violence prevention during and after COVID-19. Hear about each program’s model for addressing and preventing violence and how they are carrying out their mission during the pandemic.
While so much has come to a stand still as a result of COVID-19, gun violence has not stopped. For too many communities, shootings continue to be a part of daily life. Learn about two organizations working to change that narrative for communities most impacted by gun violence.
Click here to register for the Zoom event. You will receive an email with the link before the event.
MVHC has joined the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
As an umbrella organization, the Coalition brings together organizations and institutions across MA to end the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our communities and takes the lives of so many of our citizens.
The Coalition supports the following principles:
1. Universal background checks at point of sale every time a gun is sold, including private sales and gun shows.
2. Limit HANDGUN sales to one per month in order to deter straw purchasing and make it harder for gun traffickers to acquire multiple guns in a single transaction.
3. Share records of adjudicated commitments for mental health and substance abuse with the National Instant Check System as required by federal law
4. EXPAND the existing suitability standard that currently applies only to the issuance of a License to Carry to the issuance of FID cards as well.
5. Require law enforcement authorities to attempt to determine, every time a gun is involved in an injury or death, who owned the gun and where the gun came from; to maintain that data in a statewide database, and to share that data with public health researchers, policy makers, other law enforcement agencies and the general public
HOUSES OF GRACE,
the winter shelter program sponsored by our island faith communities, is looking for new adult volunteers.
There are two shifts of two volunteers every night. You can sign up for shifts with friends. You can sign up for one night a week, or one night a month. It is easy and it is TRANSFORMATIVE!
Everyone must attend ONE information session.
If you would like to volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also make DONATIONS by check to:
Permanent Endowment for MV
PO Box 243
West Tisbury, MA 02575
Please write “Houses of Grace” on the memo line.
Green Team Opportunity
We have recently reactivated the MVHC Green Team and are looking for members who are interested in projects related to reducing energy usage, increasing recycling and reducing waste at our facility.
Please contact Paul Rashba at 914-474-9787 if you are interested in joining this effort.
Join the MVHC Social Action Committee !
* human rights * social justice * world peace * civil liberties
* religious freedom * famine * poverty * anti-semitism
* building alliances * public forums & panels * URJ resources here
Help to feed the hungry by filling the purple box in the lobby with nonperishable food items. The Island Food Pantry is now also accepting donations of Gift Cards to Stop&Shop, for more flexible help for families in need.
Bonnie George, MVHC Food Pantry Volunteer
If you do not have enough food, please note that the Island Food Pantry can now offer grocery store Gift Cards, in addition to their stock of boxed and canned foods.
Gleaning - Food waste is a huge problem nationwide - 40-50% of the food we grow is never eaten. On the island we have at least 20,000 pounds of potential crop waste each year. Every week a group of volunteers meets at one of our participating farms and helps to carefully pick, and pack up that week's crop. Our generous island farms share surplus such as lettuce, bok choi, zucchini, apples, potatoes, and squash, which are then delivered free of charge around the island to those who need it. Since we rely on volunteers to do this important work, please contact Jamie if you're willing and able to help, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for harvest alerts. To volunteer, see the web site for Island Grown Initiative's Gleaning program here, or contact Jamie O'Gorman at email@example.com.
MVHC Racial Justice Project
The Social Action Committee's Racial Justice Project explores ways to be effective allies in eliminating racism and in making our Hebrew Center fully welcoming of diversity. See our new web page, under the "Community" tab on the MVHC web site. Here is the direct link.
We Stand Together
We Stand Together Martha's Vineyard is an ongoing social action organizing effort that meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the West Tisbury library. To learn more, attend a meeting or see their Facebook page.
One of the organizers describes it this way:
"... as an evolving and energized grass-roots group that is driven to protect our most vulnerable people on-island and off by educating ourselves in civics, actively engaging with local and state appointees and elected officials, voicing and protesting the continued rise of hatred, and becoming activists, thus growing awareness of and interaction with our political leadership on both sides of the aisle. Our mission is to educate ourselves, to reach out and understand our changing culture, and to unite and organize as a community. "
February was Black History Month
Visit the African American Heritage Trail on the Vineyard !
Explore the new National Museum of African American History and Culture here!
Summer Food 4 Kids Program
The Social Action Committee would like to thank the following volunteers who assisted the pilot program of the Summer Food Service Program this summer. This program supplied lunches to children throughout the island. Volunteers helped package lunches and distribute them to hungry children. Their efforts are to be lauded and appreciated, many thanks.
Robert Herman, Chair
Vicky Hanijian Kate Upson
Belinda Eichler Lori Sue Herman
Mardi Moran Bonnie George
Bob George Sally Cohn
Sharon Kleinberg Beth Green
Richard Kleinberg Richard Cohen
Debra DeLorenzo Allison Cohen
Batya Diamond Susan Pratt
Toni Kauffman Carol Early
"Hate Has No Business Here" Poster Campaign
Good article on our campaign in the MV Times here.: