Think & Drink: Bangor 2015

Series theme: Redefinition

Dates: Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 12
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Paddy Murphy's, 26 Main St., Bangor
Cost: FREE! No tickets required. Everyone welcome.

Bangor mural

Darren Ranco

Join host Darren Ranco (University of Maine Native Studies Department Chair) and different panelists each month at Paddy Murphy’s in Bangor as we chew over the ways in which we redefine ourselves as individuals and as a community: through organizing, environmentalism, and food. This event is free and open to the public.

Sept. 17, 2015: Redefining organizing


Barbara KatesBarbara Kates, Community Organizer, Maine-Wabanaki REACH

Maine Community Organizer Barbara Kates is performing outreach and education, and organizing communities in northern Maine to participate in the TRC.

Barbara has worked in the private sector of Maine’s child welfare system for more than 20 years as an organizer for foster parents, and as director of a program supporting grandparents, aunts and uncles to keep children in the family and out of the foster care system. She has worked with Wabanaki families and other families caring for Wabanaki children.

Barbara volunteers with organizations in her Bangor community, including a support group of grandparents raising their grandchildren. She has been a long-time activist for peace and justice.

Carly AndersenCarly Andersen, Board member, Bangor Greendrinks

Carly Andersen is a native of Pittsburgh, PA with a B.A. in English from Furman University and a J.D. and Environmental Law, Science & Policy certification from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. After several years working in Big Law, in 2012 Carly moved from Pittsburgh to Maine with her husband Karl and their pet catfish “Catfish”. In 2013, Carly joined the team at Natural Resources Council of Maine in Augusta for 8 months as an intern and contractor to work on environmental outreach and legal research, strategy, and energy policy developments in Maine communities. After a move to Bangor in 2014, Carly joined the law firm of Bloomer & Russell P.A. as an associate attorney and also quickly found herself energized and involved in many local initiatives to better Bangor, especially the local Greendrinks chapter. She joined the Board of Directors of Bangor Greendrinks in May 2015 and was elected Secretary in August 2015. In her down time, Carly hikes, skis, reads, knits, sings, and sometimes updates her food blog,, which documents her love of cooking with an emphasis on local Maine foods and farmers’ markets. Find her on Twitter: @carinthekitch.

Oct. 15, 2015: Redefining environmentalism


Sherri MitchellSherri L. Mitchell, Executive Director, The Land Peace Foundation

Sherri L. Mitchell was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian Reservation, at Indian Island in Maine. Sherri received her J.D. and a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. While at the University of Arizona, Sherri served as President of the University of Arizona’s Native American Law Student Association and as Treasurer of the National Native Law Student Association. She also served as President of the UA -ACLU and Vice President of the University of Arizona’s Human Rights Organization. Sherri received her BS from the University of Maine, magna cum laude, where she received the Outstanding Student Achievement award from her Department.

Over the past ten years, Sherri has worked as an Educator for the Maine Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division; a law clerk at the United States Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, in Washington DC; an associate with Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan, LLC. in Boulder, Colorado; and, as a legal analyst/advisor to Indigenous and Aboriginal groups across the United States and Canada, from her office in Tucson, Arizona.  In 2009, Sherri’s work on nation-state complicity with Indigenous human rights violations won her the Maloney-Dunn International Human Rights and Humanitarian Award.

Prior to law school, Sherri worked as a Business Counselor and Development Coordinator for Four Directions Development Corporation and as the Development and Communications Director for the Maine Women’s Lobby. In addition, Sherri worked as a Community Development and Cultural Awareness Consultant from 1996-2008, which provided her with the opportunity to work with Tribal groups across the United States. She was appointed to the Maine Commission for Community Service in 2004; served on the board of the Maine Council for Adolescent Health from 1999-2000; and, served on the Board of Trustees for Maine Initiatives and their Major Grants Committee. Sherri was an advisor to the Maine Youth Voices Underage Drinking Program and she was a recipient of the Maine Governor’s Community Service Award in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Sherri has served as a program coordinator to the American Indian Institute’s ‘Healing the Future Program and has been a participant of the Institute’s Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth since 1995. She is an alumni member of two prestigious American Indian Leadership Programs: The American Indian Ambassador Program and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program.She is also a published poet, scholar and philosopher.

Nickie SekeraNickie Sekera, Assistant Director, SOLO Wilderness Medical School; Fryeburg Water District Trustee

Nickie Sekera is the assistant director of SOLO, the founding school of wilderness medicine in the United States.  Nickie came to that position after working in medical clinics in conflict zones of Eastern Burma in a mutual aid capacity.  Her work with ethnic minority populations of that region, whose oppression for their natural resources continues to this day, lead her to ongoing commitments in human rights advocacy.  After spending eight years in a leadership capacity on the Board of Directors of the US Campaign for Burma in shaping foreign policy through building a grassroots movement, she decided to take her experiences and act locally.  

Inspired by her young son’s inquiry process, Nickie switched gears from Capitol Hill-based work to activism within the climate justice movement, focusing on water privatization issues in rural Maine. She was the founder of the Community Water Justice network and most recently elected as a Trustee to the Fryeburg Water District. She is a mentor and adviser to several youth leadership projects and works closely with her son on leadership skills to meet the demands of the next generation.

Nov. 12, 2015: Redefining food


Maria GirouardMaria Girouard, Health and Wellness Coordinator, Maine-Wabanaki REACH

Maria Girouard of the Penobscot Nation is a historian and an expert on the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act. She holds a master’s degree in history.

She is a community organizer and environmental activist, and she volunteers for her community, coordinating the People’s Garden Food Sovereignty Project.

Maria is a 2015 recipient of the prestigious Maryann Hartman Award for her advocacy work on the preservation of cultural heritage and rights of the Penobscot Nation.

Myron BeasleyMyron Beasley, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and American Cultural Studies, Bates College

Dr. Myron M. Beasley teaches courses at Bates College ranging from Cultural Politics, Introduction to American Cultural Studies to Food, Performance and Community. As the 2010/11 Recipient of the Whiting Foundation Fellowship he was able to complete his ethnographic work on gender, economic development, and foodways of Haiti. He was also the recipient of the 2010 Andy Warhol Artist Writers Grant for his recent research about living artists in the Africa Diaspora. Myron’s recent critical ethnographic work explores “Women who cook on the streets of Jacmel Haiti” and Haitian underground food economies.

His work has led him to fieldwork in the Morocco, Brazil and Haiti which have appeared in several academic journals including Text and Performance Quarterly, Performance Research and Food and Foodways. He is also an international curator at the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and his installations have also appeared internationally, particularly his “Ritual, Sacred Spaces, and the Body: Men of African Descent and the Performance of Sexuality” at Performance International-PSi 6 and his short film work on food and ritual in Brazil at the UMAMI Food and Art Festival. He has been awarded, both nationally and internationally, for his outstanding teaching.

Sponsored by:

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Inspired By:

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