Perfect Picnic and Hangout

It’s been well over a year since TPA hosted an in-person gathering, and it turned out to be a perfect day to reconnect under the trees at Mitchell Park. To keep things simple, everyone brought their own food, drink, and chair. That way we could concentrate on hanging out with no muss or fuss. In case you missed the fun, put July 18th on your calendar for a summertime TPA picnic.

Fourth Friday Apr 23 – The Connectivity Project

For Earth Month

The Connectivity Project – films and conversation
Friday, April 23, 2021, 7pm-9:00pm
Please RSVP to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

Do you ever wonder, “Does what I do make a difference in the world?” The answer is YES, it does! Science and indigenous traditions all acknowledge the interconnected nature of our existence. As everything in this life is connected, every action we take has the potential to reverberate through the world as we know it. 

By exploring the ripple effects of our actions in an interconnected world, the CONNECTIVITY PROJECT series highlights how different cultures and traditions from around the world, and even science, embrace the importance of interconnectedness. As we follow inspiring individuals who are making a difference in the lives around them, we see these connections exhibited all around us.

We’ll show the three short Connectivity Project films and take some time after each one to explore questions and what our own contributions can be.  See the trailer…

The films: 
Interconnections
 examines how different cultures and faiths from around the world have a common, time-honored awareness of an interconnected way of being. 

Plants Have Wings looks into the amazing realm of plants and their pollinators. The film follows the story of an inspired bicyclist who is a champion supporting threatened Monarch butterflies.

Speaking Out! shows how activism is combined with interconnectedness. Inspired by the work of Love Canal activist Lois Gibbs, an indigenous high school student learns to speak out and advocate for the right to clean air for her family, school, and community in North Portland, Ore.

Tribal Justice – Feb Fourth Friday / Films of Vision and Hope

Friday Feb 26, 7-9pm
For the Zoom link, please RSVP to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com

This month we’re continuing our series on criminal justice reform with Tribal Justice, which highlights an underreported but effective criminal justice reform movement in America: the efforts of tribal courts to create alternative systems of justice.

NOTE: We apologize for the audio issues some attendees experienced at last month’s film.
We plan to do more testing this time to identify any problems in advance
!

More than 300 tribal courts are spread across this country. In California, two formidable women lead the way. Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe on the north coast, and Claudette White, Chief Judge of the Quechan Tribe in the southern desert, are creating innovative systems that focus on restoring rather than punishing offenders. Their efforts are helping keep tribal members out of prison, preventing children from being taken from their communities, and stopping the school-to-prison pipeline that plagues their young people.

Abby is a fierce, lean, white-haired elder who has dedicated her life to humane justice. Claudette represents a new generation of Native American lawyers who are revisioning justice. The film introduces Abby and Claudette, then then follows several cases both in and out of their courts. Taos Proctor is facing a third strike conviction when we meet him in Abby’s court in 2013. While on parole from San Quentin, he was arrested with methamphetamine, a third felony. We follow Taos, a boisterous bear of a man, over two years as Abby and her staff help him complete court programs and rebuild his life.

A thousand miles south, Claudette invokes the Indian Child Welfare Act to reunite a nine-year-old boy with his family. Meanwhile her teenage nephew, Isaac, faces two felony charges for breaking into cars. Because his case is in state court rather than tribal court, he becomes a classic case of the school-to-prison pipeline.

This film will help you understand tribal courts and their role in the survival of Indian people. The filmmakers also hope it will inspire those working in the mainstream legal field to consider new ways of implementing problem-solving and restorative justice, reducing incarceration rates and enabling offenders to make reparations and rebuild their lives. See the trailer…

‘Like Any Other Kid’ – Jan Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope

Friday Jan 22, 7-9:30 pm
RSVP to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com for the Zoom link

This month Fourth Friday/Film of Vision and Hope starts a new film series on transforming the criminal justice system. This month the series will start with Like Any Other Kid, which provides a rare glimpse into the use of non-punitive, therapeutic programs to change behavior and help youth re-enter their communities.

Special guest Paul Bocanegra will lead a discussion following the film. At age 17, Paul was sentenced to life without parole for involvement in a gang related crime. He served 25 years in adult institutions including 12 in solitary confinement. Released just a few years ago, Paul is now a member of the San Mateo County Juvenile Justice Commission as well as a drug and alcohol counselor and a co-founder of the ReEvolution Group non-profit. Paul will share his remarkable story and his passion for reforming the juvenile justice system.

Like Any Other Kid follows the intimate relationships between incarcerated youth and staff in three unique facilities across the country over the course of three years. Based on the Missouri approach, where love and structure — instead of punishment — are used, these programs guide and teach youth how to take responsibility for themselves.

Through scenes of conflict, vulnerability, reflection, commitment, and joy, the film highlights both the challenges and the promise of humane approaches to working with troubled youth. As the youth transform before our eyes. Like Any Other Kid shows us the great potential of these youth if we let them be just that: like any other kid. See the Trailer…

Third Friday – Virtual Holiday Gathering

Friday December 18, 2020
7pm-9pm
Please RSVP to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com for the Zoom link

Time to gather together (virtually) to celebrate our wonderful community and mark the end of the year. It’s been quite a ride this year, between the COVID pandemic, wildfires, economic upheaval, and political turmoil.

Though we can’t gather in person, we can Zoom in for a virtual potluck and celebration!

Bring a candle if you have one to help set the mood.

Come with your own ‘shop-your-kitchen’ dinner so we can dine together virtually.

Bring your favorite holiday beverage (tea, hot chocolate, eggnog, wine) so we can toast to the accomplishment of making it through the year!

Many lives have been lost this year, human and non-human. Is there someone you would like to acknowledge? Bring a photo or something that reminds you of the person or animal, or a memory to share.

And let’s reflect together: How have things been for you this year? What have you learned and how have you grown? What do you want to carry into the new year?

See you on the 18th!

Third Friday – Nov 20: The Third Harmony

Friday November 20, 2020
7pm-9pm
Watch and discussion party
Please download and take a look at these questions before we see the film.
For the Zoom link, text stepup to 31996

For Third Friday this month, join TPA and Rita Guess from Step Up and Do Something! for a close look at nonviolence and how it works.

The Third Harmony explores the important role that nonviolence plays in the wider struggle to develop a “new story” of human nature. Contrary to the “old story”, scarcity, competition and violence are not inevitable. Rather the universe is conscious and purposeful; we are spiritual beings, and cooperation and collaboration are our natural way of interacting.

The film points out what each of us can do to facilitate the fulfillment of Mahatma Gandhi’s promise that nonviolence could “oversweep the world” and allow us each to find personal fulfillment in the process.

We are the Radical Monarchs – Film and conversation – Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope

Film and discussion
Friday October 23, 7pm-9:30pm
RSVP to be able to join the Zoom gathering

How do you get engaged, empowered women who can fight for social justice? Start when they’re girls.

radical monarchs

‘We Are The Radical Monarchs’ profiles an extraordinary organization based in Oakland that transforms the Girl Scouts model into an force for social awareness and action for girls of color. The film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units including being an LGBTQ+ ally, preserving the environment, and disability justice. The group was started by two, fierce, queer women of color, Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest, as a way to address and center her daughter’s experience as a young brown girl. Their work is anchored in the belief that adolescent girls of color need dedicated spaces and that the foundation for this innovative work must also be rooted in fierce inter-dependent sisterhood, self-love, and hope.

The film follows the first troop of Radical Monarchs for over three years, until they graduate, and documents the Co-Founders struggle to respond to the needs of communities across the US and grow the organization after the viral explosion of interest in the troop’s mission to create and inspire a new generation of social justice activists.
See the trailer…

This week Fourth Friday: John Lewis – Get in the Way

Film and discussion
This Friday 9/25, 7pm-9:30pm
RSVP to be able to join the Zoom gathering

Good news! Our very first Virtual Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope screening is this Friday. We are very excited to partner with Rita Guess from Step Up and Do Something to present John Lewis: Get In The Way.

Follow the courageous journey of John Lewis, the civil rights hero, congressional leader, and human rights champion whose unwavering fight for justice spanned the past 57 years. The son of sharecroppers, Lewis grew up in the segregated South and rose from Alabama’s Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill. His humble origins have forever linked him to those whose voices often go unheard.
See the trailer…

Please RSVP to Victoria Armigovarmigo@earthlink.net so we know to let you into the Zoom session.

To join: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82068791085

Meeting ID: 820 6879 1085
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,82068791085# US (San Jose)

All Hands on Deck for COVID Response

It’s a time of extraordinary need in our local community. Everyone’s life has been turned upside down by COVID but none more so than undocumented families who have lost work in construction, restaurants, landscaping, child care, and maintenance. These families face enormous struggles in the best of times, but now the need is much greater, especially because they can’t get unemployment benefits or stimulus checks.

As part of my work with the Kafenia Peace Collective, I helped surveyed undocumented families in our network about their needs. We learned that the overwhelming need is for rent assistance. The statewide moratorium on evictions provides a little breathing room, but that’s all. Back rent will still be due once the moratorium is over.

To pitch in and help, Kafenia is raising money with partners Live in Peace and Dreamers Roadmap in East Palo Alto. In our first round of fundraising, we were able to help a dozen families meet their rent requirements for April.

The need is much too great to be solved by any one person or organization, but it’s very rewarding to be taking action and helping ease the pain for real families in our community.

You too can help out and be part of the COVID solution, even as you shelter in place.

  • Look at the practical suggestions in this Palo Alto Weekly column that I co-authored with others on the Kafenia team.
  • Help out financially if you can. Go to the Live in Peace website. After adding your credit card information, select ‘Kafenia’ under Additional Information.
  • Help with COVID response. If you’d like to roll up your sleeves and help out with the COVID effort, please send me an email (barbaraweinstien2@gmail.com). We especially have a need for Spanish speakers who can help with phone and text outreach.

—Barbara Weinstein

check recipients

Let Them Eat Dirt – March Fourth Friday/Films of Vison and Hope

Film and conversation
Friday, March 27, 7:30-9:30 pm.
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
FREE, donations appreciated

Let Them Eat Dirt: The Hunt for Our Kids’ Missing Microbes

Learn about how good health just might begin with kids playing in the dirt.

Allergies, obesity, asthma, diabetes, auto-immune and intestinal disorders are all on the rise, with the incidence of some diseases doubling every ten years. New research points to changes in the ecosystem of microbes that live on and inside every one of us — our microbiomes — as a major cause. But how could one’s gut microbes increase the odds of developing conditions as radically different as asthma and diabetes?

Based on the book by B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D. and Marie-Claire Arrieta, Ph.D., Let Them Eat Dirt features families, doctors, and researchers who are sleuthing out what’s harming our microbes — and what we can do to reverse this dangerous trend.
See the trailer…

Let them eat dirt