Jessica Weitz

Moments of awkwardness

As a community, we often believe ourself to be beyond issues of discrimination that are still very real and happen daily. Sometimes these issues are not blatant, but they are ever-present.

Having heard that the Brattleboro Union High School school board has proposed to cut Mikeala Simm's position as director of diversity, equity, and social justice, I would like to share this essay written in 2017, based on the daily experiences of people of color in our community. I strongly oppose this high school budget cut and would strongly support diversity curriculum that starts in kindergarten.

I warn you that this commentary might leave you with more questions than answers. But that feels appropriate because it is really about how we can live more from our complexities, the undefinable aspects of ourselves, than from generalizations and assumptions.

How can we listen more for who the being is in front of us? Pause to see where our words might fall in conversation? How important language is in how we think about ourselves and others?

These were the thoughts buzzing through my head after talking to a friend about her experience of being a person of color and in an interracial marriage in the Brattleboro area. The current political climate has proven to be just the motivation I needed to sit down to talk and write.

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On another shooting

I pause this morning in the quiet, empty house to hold the pain, like a warm hand on my cheek. What to say to our children?

One of the first things I do to wake up my daughter on a school morning is to turn on her radio. She likes to listen to Keene's pop station with a really funny morning duo. The first words I heard on this first Monday in October were, “There...

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A community’s beautiful holding

Going through the experience of a child with treatable cancer is an exercise in flexibility and patience, a painful and stress-filled act of faith for the whole family

We plot out each day, week, year with the understanding that our well-laid plans could be unravelled in a matter of minutes. Sometimes it is a simple change, like car trouble or a variation in the weather. Other times it is an accident, illness, or unexpected death that will...

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Brooks Memorial Library is an essential service

The most dramatic library cuts are up for discussion this week, but my whole tenure at the library has been under level funding at the best points and cuts at the worst. The current proposal is to cut two full-time positions from the library, which would cut our staffing by one-third. I am not going to go into detail about the general value and history of public libraries. I will just mention that I got a master's in Library and...

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Princess Pageant could be much more inclusive

When my daughter asked if she could participate in the Brattleboro Winter Carnival Princess Pageant this year, I was very hesitant to say yes. My sense was that pageants, in general, support a very narrow definition of beauty and talent for girls. I work hard as a parent in this culture to find ways for my daughter to feel valued for who she is - and not for whether or not she is skinny, perky, or sexy. But I thought,

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