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Activating Our Hope

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Government

Last month, 9 of us gathered to reflect on Joanna Macy’s ideas presented in the book Active Hope. We began by considering the “spiral of the work that reconnects” and the various stages, including : gratitude, honoring our pain, and seeing with new eyes. The last piece is “going forth” and we left considering our own commitments and ideas for how to bring “active hope” into our lives and our communities.

Some of the ideas for preventing or addressing burn-out that were shared included:

  • – Spend more time outside
  • – Be informed but avoid people who are cynical
  • – The film “A Great Green Fire” was recommended as a provocative overview of the environmental movement – it is available via MaineCat
  • – Engage with arts that promote social change and lift spirits
  • – Ask ourselves, “How can I actually, in some small way… “
  • – Connect in places we’re already connected, including Church, through kids, and in neighborhoods
  • – Engage intergenerationally – consider asking elders to play the role of a steadying force
  • – Have fun while making change
  • – Check out some other resources on this topic (here’s a booklist to start with)
  • – JoAnna Macy’s book World As Lover, World as Self was highly recommended
  • – Learn more about the history of social movements and the “wins” of past movements

Use the comments to share your insights about how to stay hopeful in the face of challenges and stay active in community life.


An invitation to a discussion : “What Is The What”

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture | Government

what is the whatSudan. A country experiencing serious violence now, a country that endured a civil war lasting over 20 years, between 1983-2005.

Valentino Achak Deng shared his story of surviving Sudanese Civil War, refugee camp, and resettlement in the United States with acclaimed author Dave Eggers and Eggers shares the story, in novel form, with all of us in his 2006 book “What Is The What.” While the stories of the “Lost Boys” have changed over the years, “What Is The What” remains an exceptionally important cultural history, narrative of war and survival and the challenges associated with living as a refugee in the United States. Please note: “What is the What” includes vivid descriptions of war related violence and can be a painful – even traumatic – read.

Through a partnership with the Machiah Center and Maine Humanities Council, Portland Public Library welcomes Bates Anthropology Professor Elizabeth Eames to lead a facilitated conversation about the book on June 10th at 6pm. The Machiah Center has provided 25 copies of the book to be checked out and PPL also offers the book as an e-download and audiobook.

To register for the program please sign up at the Reader’s Advisory Desk on the 1st floor of Portland Public Library’s main branch, or sign up with Kim Simmons at  simmons@portland.lib.me.us


Veterans Legal Clinic – Monthly

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Seniors | Government

 

With great thanks to the  Maine Volunteers Lawyer Project, PPL is pleased to announce a new series of legal aid clinics to help veterans access benefits will be held on the first Thursday of every month, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The clinics will take place at the Portland Public Library (5 Monument Square, Lower Level Meeting Room #4). Volunteers will provide free help to veterans applying for VA benefits or appealing a denial. No appointment necessary.

 

VLP and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.

 

The VLP is a joint project of Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the Maine Bar Foundation, dedicated to engaging volunteers in providing civil legal aid. Housed within Pine Tree Legal, VLP has more than 760 students, attorneys and community members volunteering It was established in 1983 to coordinate the volunteer efforts of Maine attorneys and community members volunteering each year and it generated more than $1 million dollars annually in volunteer services.

 

Contact:          Benjamin Y. Jones, Esq.

Phone:             (207) 650-1140

E-mail:             benjaminyoungjones@gmail.com

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