Brewer Center for Civic Learning & Community Engagement

Welcome to the Brewer Center

The Senator Stephen M. Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement promotes positive social change and healthier, more vibrant communities through innovative programming and partnerships that benefit our community and Mount Wachusett Community College.

The Brewer Center’s programs engage students, faculty, and staff with the community through:

  • service learning
  • volunteerism
  • internships/co-ops
  • civic outreach

With individuals, organizations, and businesses in north-central Massachusetts as our partners, we achieve true impact and deliver tangible outcomes through programs and initiatives such as The Democracy Commitment and United Way Youth Venture.

Brewer Center Hours and Contact

We are available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Wednesdays from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Brewer Center is headquartered in Room 152 at the Gardner Campus. You can reach us at (978) 630-9219 or via community@mwcc.mass.edu.

Brewing Conversations

Brewing Conversations

The Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement is excited to announce our Spring 2021 lineup for dialogue topics. Our dialogue series has now also received a new name, Brewing Conversations!

  • February 2 – Black History Month
  • February 16 – Conspiracy Theories
  • March 2 – Women’s History Month
  • March 23 – Bilingualism
  • April 6 – Hey Short Tree, It’s Your Earth Day
  • April 27 – Why Pronouns Matter

Please be on the lookout for calendar invites to these dialogues soon or keep an eye out on InvolveMount.

Interested in suggesting a future topic? Fill out our Qualtrics form: Dialogue Topic Suggestions – Brewer Center

Explore some of our recent community dialogues here:

Brewing Conversations

First Generation Students Dialogue from MWCC Media Services on Vimeo.

For more information on how the Rx/Visions Programs support First Generation students (as well as students who come from low income background and/or have documented disabilities): https://mwcc.edu/current-students/trio-student-support-services/

More about National First Generation Day: https://firstgen.naspa.org/engagement/first-generation-college-celebration

The History of Thanksgiving from MWCC Media Services on Vimeo.

Resources

The video watched at the beginning: https://youtu.be/K7jLeBWMA0U

History Channel History of Thanksgiving https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

Five Harvest Festivals Around the World https://www.britannica.com/list/5-harvest-festivals-around-the-world

The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story and the Lasting Damage They Imbue https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/thanksgiving-myth-and-what-we-should-be-teaching-kids-180973655/

The Full Story School https://www.thefullstoryschool.org/about-us

Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities

Ginny’s Helping Hands and Food Pantry
Leominster, MA
● Distributing baskets 11/20
Call: (978) 537-1387 to volunteer

Loaves and Fishes
Devens, MA
● Distributing Dinners 11/22 10AM-1PM & 4PM-6PM
Email: Volunteer@loavesfishespantry.org to volunteer

Help for Our Community, INC
Masonic Lodge, Fitchburg, MA
● Meal Packaging, cooking, 11/25 8AM
Call: (978) 846-6426 to volunteer

Catholic Charities
Worcester, MA
● Holiday Meal Delivery 11/25
Volunteer Hotline: (508) 860-2232

Bishops Holiday Dinners
Worcester, MA
● Serving a hot Thanksgiving meal 11/25 12PM
Call: (508) 798-0191 to volunteer

Catholic Charities Thanksgiving Basket Hand-Out Locations:
● 196 Mechanic Street, Leominster, MA 01453 | 978.840.0696
● 10 Hammond Street, Worcester, MA 01610 | 508.798.0191
● 79 Elm Street, Southbridge, MA 01550 | 508.765.5936
● 200 Main Street, Milford, MA 01757 | 508.234.3800

Government Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-total-admin-rate-total

https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine

https://covid19.nih.gov/

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) (hhs.gov)

https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines

  • Emergency Use Explained

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under an EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. Taking into consideration input from the FDA, manufacturers decide whether and when to submit an EUA request to FDA.

Once submitted, FDA will evaluate an EUA request and determine whether the relevant statutory criteria are met, taking into account the totality of the scientific evidence about the vaccine that is available to FDA.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines rigorously tested?

Yes. Clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of study participants to generate the scientific data and other information needed by FDA to determine safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the FDA.

Initially, in phase 1, the vaccine is given to a small number of generally healthy people to assess its safety at increasing doses and to gain early information about how well the vaccine works to induce an immune response in people. In the absence of safety concerns from phase 1 studies, phase 2 studies include more people, where various dosages are tested on hundreds of people with typically varying health statuses and from different demographic groups, in randomized-controlled studies. These studies provide additional safety information on common short-term side effects and risks, examine the relationship between the dose administered and the immune response, and may provide initial information regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine. In phase 3, the vaccine is generally administered to thousands of people in randomized, controlled studies involving broad demographic groups (i.e., the population intended for use of the vaccine) and generates critical information on effectiveness and additional important safety data. This phase provides additional information about the immune response in people who receive the vaccine compared to those who receive a control, such as a placebo.

Medical Sources/Professional Organizations

Killer COVID Vaccines? What VAERS Really Tells Us About Coronavirus Shots And Blood Clots | American Council on Science and Health (acsh.org)

https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/covid-19-vaccine-development

https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/what-doctors-wish-employers-knew-about-covid-19-vaccine-mandates

News/Opinion Sources (Proceed with caution – ALWAYS do the homework to understand if there is a bias to reporting and what that bias can mean!

FDA asks for 55 years to complete FOIA request on Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine | FiercePharma

FDA Says It Now Needs 75 Years to Fully Release Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Data (theepochtimes.com)

https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/wait-what-fda-wants-55-years-process-foia-request-over-vaccine-data-2021-11-18/

COVID-19 a Pandemic of Fear ‘Manufactured’ by Authorities: Yale Epidemiologist (theepochtimes.com)

Welcome (openvaers.com)

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/13/1063923911/supreme-court-again-leaves-state-vaccine-mandate-in-place-for-healthcare-workers

Resources

https://mwcc.edu/covid/

https://masscc.org/massachusetts-community-colleges-announce-vaccine-requirement/

https://www.vaccines.gov/

https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/

Summer Series 2021

Spring 2021 Dialogues “Engage Beyond Voting”

Resources:

As promised in that conversation, here are the sources that were used by the Brewer Center, and additional resources shared by others. Feel free to reply all to this email if you have sources as well.

From the BC:

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-gun-policy-global-comparisons

https://www.statista.com/statistics/476409/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-weapon-types-used/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/02/14/ar-15-mass-shootings/339519002/

https://www.center4research.org/copy-cats-kill/ 

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-gun-policy-global-comparisons 

https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/colorado-king-soopers-shooting/index.html 

https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/ 

https://gunsandamerica.org/story/19/08/04/what-is-a-mass-shooting-why-we-struggle-to-agree-on-how-many-there-were-this-year/ 

https://www.cnn.com/2015/10/02/world/can-legislation-prevent-mass-shootings/index.html 

From others:

-Please see the attached PDF resources on this email sent by Professors Jim Bigelow and Katie Wahrer.

-Racial profiling: https://www.aclu.org/other/racial-profiling-definition

-Talking with children about gun violence: https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/table-talk/gun-violence-mass-shootings

-Toxic masculinity - https://mwcc.kanopy.com/video/tough-guise-2

-One of the parents of a child who was killed at Sandy Hook started the Choose Love Movement where she created and distributes a FREE social emotional learning curriculum for schools.  https://chooselovemovement.org/

-"Ricochet", by Richard Feldman, longtime NRA Lobbyist is an inside look at how the NRA leadership (Wayne Lapierre) shifted their focus from promoting training and responsible firearms ownership to fighting all gun legislation.

-"Lost Boys: Why our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them" by James Garbarino, PhD. is a book on mass shootings and the complex causes.  Garbarino, unintentionally, has become the academic authority on mass shootings in the US, as he does lengthy local research after each event.

Fall 2020 Dialogues “Check to Elect”

The Brewer Center and the MWCC Community are focused on finding actionable steps we can begin taking to change the cycle of racism, intolerance, and for many, the status quo. As such, we have held a number of discussions to listen and learn from each other as we move forward. The recorded discussion below is focused on how to speak to children about racism. More resources for discussion and education can be found on this page The Mount Blog: Resources for Discussion and Education on Racial Issues. We are updating this collection of resources continually.

Dialogue - Talking to Children About Racism from Mt Wachusett Community College on Vimeo.

Other Community Activities

 

Invest in Your Community at MWCC

Director of the Stephen M. Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, Shelley Errington-Nicholson, talks about service learning at MWCC.
“If you have the opportunity to participate in service learning, don’t hesitate.”

Taryn Holly, Physical Therapy Assistant

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