Brattleboro Area

Spring 2023

Welcome to our OLLI Brattleboro Area program. This semester our in-person program will be a 3-part series, held from 2-4pm Sundays on the dates listed below at the Next Stage Arts Project, 15 Kimball Road, Putney, VT.

Please note: there will be an online option available this semester – Each of the 3 lectures will also be livestreamed on the dates listed below for attendees who prefer to view the lecture presentation online via Youtube link. You will have the option to choose online or in-person when you register. For those who choose the online option, you will receive a reminder email one day prior to the lecture date which will include the link to the livestream via Youtube and brief instructions.

Can We Trust the People When It Comes to Reproductive Rights?

Presented by Meg Mott, Constitution Wrangler

This 3-part course examines the history and strategy of securing reproductive rights in the United States. If the Courts can’t resolve the abortion issue, maybe the People can do a better job. With the Dobbs decision, the Supreme Court passed the baton back to the states. Surely, a democratic society can reach a better decision than one imposed by the Courts. But are we ready? This series considers the judicial history of reproductive rights, the best arguments on both sides, and the work we need to do to govern ourselves in a pluralist society.

March 5, 2023: The Supreme Court’s role in reproductive freedom

The rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey may have delivered victories to the pro-choice movement but the decisions themselves galvanized the opposition. We’ll consider the pros and cons of using the federal courts to enact progressive legislation and what 50 years of judicial rule did to our democratic muscles.

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March 12, 2023: What are the People saying about abortion?

The Supreme Court tried to resolve the abortion debate using novel constitutional reasoning. On the streets, the political arguments were couched in terms like “freedom” and “murder.” In between those two realms, a lot of people were thinking hard about abortion policy. We’ll consider the best arguments on both sides from the perspectives of libertarians, progressives, and conservatives (Yes, that will include prolife progressive arguments and prochoice conservative arguments.)

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March 19, 2023: What Do We Need to Deliberate Well?

For this final presentation, we’ll consider two case studies. The first from Boston, circa 1990, when women on both sides of the abortion debate met to build trust after the assassinations at two abortion clinics. The second from Ireland where a predominantly Catholic country legalized abortion through citizen assemblies. We will consider what these two cases tell us about the capacities needed to co-exist vigorously.

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Presenter Information: After twenty years of teaching political theory and constitutional law to undergraduates at Marlboro College, Meg Mott has taken her love of argument to the general public. Her award-winning series Debating Our Rights on the first ten amendments brings civil discussions on contentious issues to public libraries and colleges. Meg’s mission (found on states that “(a)ll of our most contentious politics eventually end up before the Supreme Court. Whether it is abortion, gun control, capital punishment, gay marriage, or the rights of corporations, the debate is eventually framed using explicit passages and implicit principles from the Constitution. My goal is to teach ordinary citizens how to think through the various constitutional issues in a specific controversy.”

Health & Safety: UVM sponsored non-credit functions/activities/offerings, whether held at UVM or at a non-UVM facility or location, are governed by the same health and safety policies. As such, UVM expects event participants, visitors and guests will be vaccinated. Masks are optional and welcomed. If the event is taking place at a non-UVM venue, consideration must be given to the requirements of the host site and the more stringent requirements will apply.

In case of inclement weather, please listen to 96.7 WTSA-FM or consult, or visit our Facebook page (Brattleboro Area Osher Lifelong Learning Institute-OLLI).

Where We Meet: Next Stage Arts Project, 15 Kimball Hill Road, Putney, Vermont.

Directions: Next Stage is located at 15 Kimball Hill Road* in the village center in Putney, VT, directly across the street from the Putney General Store; 15 minutes north of Brattleboro, just off Exit 4 of Interstate 91. From the exit, follow the signs for the village, proceeding north on Route 5 (Main Street) until you see the Putney General Store. You may park on Main Street, and there is ample free parking located just north of the Putney General Store in the Basketville/Putney Mountain Winery lot.**

*GPS USERS BEWARE: If you are using GPS to get to 15 Kimball Hill Rd., Putney, be aware that some units may erroneously direct you to another village. To avoid this, you may wish to use 133 Main Street, Putney, VT as your GPS destination.

**Please refrain from parking in front of the Putney General Store or in The Gleanery Restaurant parking lot as these parking spaces are needed for their patrons.

NEW REGISTRATION PROCESS! We can no longer take any payments at the door/onsite. All attendees/members must pre-register prior to the start of the program.  

Semester Membership: Sign up as a member and attend the full 3-part series for $20! Individual lecture fee is $8 each.

To register, click on the “REGISTER NOW” button below and you will be brought to our online system where you can register using your credit card for the semester membership ($20) or for individual lecture(s) ($8 each).

Prefer to pay over the phone? Just call our UVMOLLI office at 802-656-5817 during regular business hours to register with your credit card.

If you would like to pay by check (PLEASE NOTE: must allow 10-14 days from date of mailing check to receipt & processing): Complete the form on the site brochure mailed to you or this registration form (PDF, opens in a new window) and send with your check payment (made out to The University of Vermont) to:

UVM OLLI Registration Office
23 Mansfield Ave
Burlington, VT 05401

QUESTIONS: For questions about the program or Brattleboro Area Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, please call Ruby McAdoo at 802-387-5593, or e-mail

Become a member today!

Membership in the Brattleboro Area OLLI entitles members to attend programs in our other OLLIs throughout Vermont. And, if you are currently a paid member of a statewide site (Fall or Spring only), you can take OLLI UVM campus programs at the member rate; just call 802-656-5817 to get the special discount code to use when registering for a UVM campus class.

Brattleboro Area Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is sponsored locally by Next Stage Arts Project and Putney Community Cares