Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Meeting Overview (9/15/08)

Last night's meeting was a blast! Thanks so much to all of you who participated and have committed to putting together a fantastic Hunger Banquet to raise awareness and solidarity for hunger, poverty, and injustice right here in Burlington.
A special thank you goes out to the folks at Burlington Bay Market and Café for hosting us.

We had several new faces join us last night and after brief introductions, Nathaly shared a bit about Oxfam's work on the international scale and the work of the Vermont Oxfam Action Corps at the local level.

During August's meeting, participants decided on hosting a Hunger Banquet in Burlington to engage the community regarding hunger and poverty. However, due to the number of new folks in the group, it was important to discuss this again to confirm it was something people thought was worth the time and energy to put together. Kathy, Lee, Natalia, and Colin had all attended Hunger Banquets hosted in the past and could share a bit regarding their experiences. Each person could attest to how powerful the experience had been for them, but we still wanted to ask ourselves what the purpose of the event would be.

Were we seeking simply to build awareness about hunger?
Were we looking to draw more folks into the Action Corps?
How valuable would this sort of one-time event be in the bigger scope of things?

We had to stop to compare the benefit of preparing a Hunger Banquet as opposed to engaging in other types of local action. In the end, we decided to move forward with the event planning, as long as we remained mindful about making the experience be more than just another thought-provoking event and to connect it with real action.

We selected the first weekend in December (one night from the 4th - 7th) in order to keep it within the holiday season when folks are more likely to reflect on these issues and agreed to reconvene to work out logistics and make some major thematic decisions regarding guest speakers or panelists, general order of the program, and take-home message in two weeks time.

  • Participants will be compiling ideas over the next few weeks via email. To weigh in on the conversation, contact Vermont@OxfamActionCorps.org.
  • Kevin will be looking into using the the St. Andrew's Church meeting space as the event venue.
  • Colin & Nathaly will be working out a budget for the event from what is available to the Oxfam Action Corps.

Monday, September 29th @ 6PM
UVM's Davis Center (location tbd)

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