Think & Drink Bangor 2016

Nocturnem Draft Haus, Bangor

Back to Think & Drink

6:30 - 8:00 pm on September 20, October 18, and November 15

Think and Drink posterWe’re psyched to get going with Think & Drink in Bangor! It may not get the amount of press that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War did, but this year is also the 150th anniversary–of the 14th Amendment, one of the “Reconstruction Amendments” that helped to reshape the United States’ political terrain. The 14th Amendment, in case you don’t remember (we had to do some reading up ourselves), focuses on citizenship, due process, and equal protection. And so in 2016, we will take the idea of “citizens” and “citizenship” and dive deeply using the environment, race, and the election as our lenses.

Darren RancoOur super clever MC Darren Ranco returns for a second year. Darren is Department Chair of the University of Maine Native American Studies Department.

The 2016 Think & Drink series will be on September 20, October 18, and November 15 at Nocturnem Draft Haus on 56 Main St in downtown Bangor.

Citizens and the Election

Tuesday, November 15
6:30 – 8 pm
Nocturnem Draft Haus, Bangor

We’re going to spend our final session talking about the election and its results. One of the foremost privileges of citizenship is the right to vote. Did you feel empowered as a citizen during the election process? What do the results say about our nation right now?


Sherri MitchellSherri Mitchell

Executive Director, The Land Peace Foundation

Sherri Mitchell was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, magna cum laude and received her Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. Sherri has been an advocate for Indigenous Rights for more than 20 years.

Jim Melcher

Jim Melcher

Professor of Political Science, University of Maine at Farmington

Jim Melcher was born and raised in Madison, WI, one of America’s most politically active cities. He’s taught at UMF since 1999 and teaches a wide range of courses on American politics, government and political thought. He also serves as pre-law adviser. He has become known throughout the University of Maine system for his work on the Maine Public Policy Scholars program, and has become a frequent “voice of the University” in his numerous interviews as a political expert with media both within and outside Maine.


Past Sessions

Citizenship and the Climate

Tuesday, September 20
6:30 – 8 pm
Nocturnem Draft Haus, Bangor

Author and environmental activist Rebecca Solnit has referred to global climate change as a form of “extreme, horrific, longterm, widespread violence.” Systematically, the industrial and consumption practices of the world’s wealthiest nations and many of their leading corporations are creating devastation, drought, and famine the world over, increasing social and economic inequalities both globally and among their own citizens. Leading climate justice activists remind us that environmental crisis today encompasses not just the “universal” problem of alarming and permanent changes to the global ecosystem but also a politics of race, class, nation, and indigeneity. This conversation will allow us to explore these issues, while pushing us to expand our ideas of citizenship and to incorporate ecosystems into our all of our discussions.


Andy BurtAnne “Andy” Burt

Founder, Down to Earth Storytelling Project; Film Producer and Activist

Andy has worked for years in the faith community to bring attention to climate change issues with such organizations as Maine Interfaith Power and Light, Green Sneakers, and the People’s Climate March. Down to Earth is the name of Andy’s most recent initiative, a storytelling project working to gather the genesis stories of climate justice activists across the state, which she will then turn into a film.


Steve TrainSteve Train

Lobsterman, Long Island, ME

After majoring in small business at Northeastern University in Boston, Steve Train returned to his home state of Maine, answering the call to continue his family tradition of lobstering. A full-time resident of Long Island sine 1991, he owns and operates a 46-foot Jarvis Newman lobster boat named “Wild Irish Rose,” hauling 800 traps year-round. Find Steve on Twitter at @fvhattierose.

Unequal Citizens

Tuesday, October 18
6:30 – 8 pm
Nocturnem Draft Haus, Bangor

By design, early American citizenship was a profoundly unequal institution. Its founding document is not the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the self-evident truth of human equality, but a  Congressional Act—the United States Naturalization Law of 1790. In defining as eligible for naturalized citizenship only those who were legally white, “free”, and of good character, the act excluded both slaves and free blacks, as well as indentured servants, Asians, and indigenous Americans. Even after the race revolutions of Emancipation and Reconstruction, citizenship laws continued to exclude Native Americans and Asians until well into the twentieth century. And not until the Civil Rights Act did federal law intervene to mandate that citizenship in practice live up to its promise. 

Even in this era of formal racial, gender, and sexuality-based equality, many Americans have unequal access to the privileges and protections of citizenship . “Unequal Citizens” will examine the persistence of inequality in some of our country’s largest and most influential institutions, where gender, race, or sexuality have impeded the ability of some to fully realize their potential within those institutions. “Unequal Citizens” will examine the persistence of institutional inequality and points of alliance among official and grassroots efforts to transform them. 


Jamie Bissonette LeweyJamie Bissonette Lewey

Jamie Bissonette is Abenaki. She is the chair of the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission and coordinates the Healing Justice Program for the American Friends Service Committee in New England. She is one of the founders of the Healing and Transformative Justice Center that gathers, supports and shares essential healing methodologies. There are many projects that address individual healing—this project focuses on healing of whole communities or nations. She also sits on the board of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which focuses on the needs of families who have lost their children to the gun violence in Boston.

Sam Portera

Sam is the Bangor area organizer for Maine People’s Alliance, whose mission is to bring individuals and organizations together to realize shared goals. We focus on leadership development to increase the number of citizen leaders prepared to work for positive social change. They are known for our ability to do grassroots organizing and education that reaches more than 100,000 Mainers each year.