Connect 

"Connect" is CAN's internal newsletter for staff, interns, volunteers, board members, and anyone else who would like to receive bi-weekly updates regarding highlights, announcements, and ongoing training/professional development updates. Welcome and join us in our virtual community-building endeavor!

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Have a restful break =)


Highlights

  • At CAN, we celebrate the fall harvest with yummy community potlucks! Our directors got creative this year to safely celebrate and build community and all of our Harvest Parties or Harvest Kit Pick-Up events were a success.

  • Our kids love to play board games - what has been their favorite this semester?

  • GBC staff also unwound with some bonding and team building time through playing Overcooked together - do you have a favorite multi-player video game?

  • Creekside Court created a safe outlet for their students to let out all of their big feelings with a box crushing exercise.

Have you noticed this semester has been really challenging for everyone- moreso than usual? The effects of COVID have really intensified all of the other challenges we have been facing for a long time. I wanted to highlight the box crushing exercised today because your students might be feeling all of the big feelings right now at your sites too and that is OKAY. One thing we can all practice is acknowledging that things are hard right now and we're not going to just snap back into normal life after a really long and tough season COVID and many systemic failures have created.


We might not be able to fix all of these problems, though we try to help with some, and we can't make the harder feelings go away, but we can offer spaces where students know they can come and they can just be and they know they are cared for no matter what; spaces where they can keep up with school work, have a good snack, hang with some cool people, and feel safe to let out all of their feelings and know that they are still welcome and loved. It's not always easy, but showing up with grace and compassion today and tomorrow and the next day is always the next right thing. That goes for all of us- not just our students. Take good care of yourselves, too. We see you and your commitment and are so very grateful for all of you.

Announcements

Oh, Sweet December Children - we can't wait to celebrate you!

  • Jazzy Rivas Dinkins (Bryant After School PA) - December 2

  • Tasneem Berki (Bryant Market PA) - December 3

  • Aidan Hayek (Creekside After School PA) - December 10

  • Sky Woodman (Bryant Director) - December 19

  • Mike Blackwell (Bryant After School PA) - December 23

  • Delaney Tabucchi (Creekside After School PA) - December 29

Round up these December babies and give them a big birthday kiss!


Upcoming Staff Meetings- The next couple of months, our meeting schedule as of right now will look as follows:

  • November 26, No Meeting: CAN is closed

  • December 3, Management Meeting: 1-2:30pm

  • December 10, All Staff* Meeting: 1-3pm

  • December 17, Management Meeting: 1-2:30pm

  • December 24, No Meeting: CAN is closed

  • December 31, No Meeting: CAN is closed

*All staff & interns are welcome to join but only Directors & VISTAs are obligated.

CAN On the Holidays-

  • November 24-26 - CAN is closed

  • December 2 - Last day of ASP for most CAN sites (Bryant will go another 2 weeks)

  • December 6-10 - Prep for Holiday Parties

  • December 13-16 - CAN Holiday Parties

  • December 22-January 2 - Bryant Market Closed

  • December 24 - CAN Closed

  • December 31 - CAN Closed

Community center hours will vary between December 23-January 3. Please contact your supervisor if you are unsure what work expectations are =)

You can also view our more dynamic schedule on CAN's Google Calendar: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/u/2?cid=aW5mb3JtYXRpb250ZWNobm9sb2d5QGNhbndhc2h0ZW5hdy5vcmc


Google Calendars are a helpful tool CAN uses so we can make updates and share them out with all of our stakeholders in case anything changes!

Tips & Tidbits


Thanksgiving & the National Day of Mourning


Thanksgiving & National Day of Mourning are full of tension. The foundation of Thanksgiving is built on harmful lies, but the spirit of the holiday (if separated from its history) - the concept of pausing to give thanks - can be a restorative practice.


The foundation of the National Day of Mourning is a response to the harm caused by colonizers and those who view the start of Thanksgiving through a colonized lens, and the spirit of the holiday - the concept of pausing to mourn the harm and trauma colonization has caused - can be a restorative practice.


Holding both holidays at the same time feels impossible, and maybe it is. There is a lot of tension caused by this duality. As much as I want to, I don't think I can cherry pick what I want to about the Thanksgiving holiday and throw away the rest because even if I use my privilege to try to look away, it doesn't mean the harm is magically gone.


Sitting in that dissonance is extremely uncomfortable. But one thing humanity has learned and we see over and over again is that dissonance always propels the narrative forward into a harmonious resolution- the natural state of the universe. Dissonance is uncomfortable, but it is also powerful.


This week, I encourage you to practice the duality of holding gratitude and grief in the same space. What is one takeaway you receive from sitting in this tension?


Some actions or practices that might help move us toward harmony from Ecko Aleck, an Nlaka'pamu Warrior Womxn on Pentlatch Territory:

  1. Refrain from furthering the harmful and incorrect narrative of “Thanksgiving”.

  2. Amplify the voices of the people whose ancestors this genocidal celebration began with. Who are they and how do their descendants need your allyship?

  3. Celebrate Indigenous strength and excellence with Native American Heritage Month (November) and every month!

  4. Instead of supporting corporations during the holidays and on days like “Black Friday” that only serves the 1%, support Indigenous owned businesses. Vote with your wallet and focus your buying power through economic reconciliation and intention.

  5. Know whose land you live, work and play on. Acknowledge and internalize your findings.

  6. Learn pronunciations of that land and language — this is the original language of the lands you now call home.

  7. Educate two friends or family members

  8. Ask those two friends or family members to do the same

Decolonizing "Thanksgiving": A Toolkit for Switching the Narratives of History

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Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments (or highlights, announcements, etc.), please email Katie at klampen@canwashtenaw.org.


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