Event Blog

International Women’s Day: 9am-1pm Saturday March 10, 2018:  Norman Williams Public Library

Come join WSJI for a day of learning, celebrating, and speaking out in support of all women everywhere!

Outline for the Day:


A Story of Transformation
Listen to Gabriella Netsch’s decade-long story of transformation. She will highlight the challenges and opportunities she’s experienced as a transwoman in the Vermont education system and as a successful small business owner.

Presenter:  Gabriella Netsch, VT small business owner

10:05-11:40am:  Option 1

10:05-10:45am Sexual Violence and Rape Culture
In the #MeToo era it is important to consider various ways that modern society condones and perpetuates objectification, shaming, victim blaming and all the behaviors collectively known as “rape culture”. This presentation will explore the various aspects of rape culture. You will also learn about a promising new definition of consent, growing in acceptance among young adults, that has the potential to create a powerful and positive paradigm shift in how we all communicate with each other.

Presenter:  Caoimhe Lyons, WUHS Senior

10:55-11:40am Rape Culture and what we can do about it 
Kate Rohdenburg will facilitate a rape culture spectrum activity that highlights all of the little things that aren’t often recognized as contributing factors to violence and helps us imagine a world wherein the foundations of gender-based aggression cease to exist.

Facilitator:  Kate Rohdenburg, Program Director WISE Upper Valley

10:05-11:40am: Option 2

10:05-11:35am Write Now for Change: A Writers’ Workshop
This fun, meaningful writing workshop uses the time-tested device of writing from a “prompt” to explore your ideas, creativity, and power. Participants will then be invited to share what they wrote with the group. The goal is to recognize the value of each of our voices as a means of self discovery, connection, and social activism. This workshop welcomes anyone who wants to write from the heart and for positive change. Please bring something to write on/with, and leave all self doubts at the door. Note:  This workshop is limited to 10 participants so please e-mail woodstocksji@gmail.com to reserve your space.

Facilitator: Joni B. Cole, Author and Founder of The Writer’s Center of WRJ


Take a Break with Chair Yoga
Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY): this is a chance to learn a little about how some simple practices can be helpful for all of us, no matter what our experience, and try them out. We will get a little overview of TCTSY and do a short practice. This will be an opportunity to focus on our own, unique experience and appreciate our bodies and selves. No special clothing or fitness level is necessary or expected. Come as you are!

Facilitator: Abby Tassel, Associate Director, WISE Upper Valley


Muslim Girls Making Change
Muslim Girls Making Change will close out our celebration with a powerful spoken word poetry reading. Weather permitting, this will take place on the Woodstock Green, kicking off a Vigil for Women’s Rights.

Visit muslimgirlsmakingchange.weebly.com


Opening statement from the 19 August 2017 Vigil for Love on The Green:

“We gather in the understanding that we are all the same and equal.  We revel in laughter and joy with good friends and family; want beautiful and meaningful experiences for our children; and feel deep loss when our loved ones pass on.  We all experience our humanity the same and yet people of color have experienced rape and genocide for centuries, and continue to endure trauma, violence, and oppression all because of white supremacist ideology and the racist systems that have long proliferated in American Society.  Let us share a moment of silence to reflect on and pay honor to Black scholars, writers, artists, activists, and every day individuals whose insights, sacrifices, and perseverance allow for us to gather here, acknowledging the need to cultivate a new American way of life based on love and affirmation of diversity in all its forms.

“Today’s vigil is about holding space for us all.  Space for those who have suffered from white supremacist practices to grieve, be witnessed, and held in love and admiration.  Space for those who have benefited from white supremacy and stood by unquestioning and in silence, like I have, to embrace the embarrassment, shame, discomfort and disgust that comes from being complicit, and to work through these necessary emotions without appeasement to authentically commit to anti-discrimination and anti-hatred in thought, speech, and action.  We gather to hold space for allies and survivors; we gather in hope that those with hate change their ways; we gather to celebrate the diversity of our multifaceted identities, which nourish our collective humanity.

“Thank you for being here today, and on behalf of the Woodstock Social Justice Initiative, I invite you to fill this space with your messages of love and diversity celebration.  Welcome in the spirit of love.”

–Mary Ellen Solon, Co-founder WSJI