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Rainbow Lifelong Learning Institute Boston

Fall 2017 Brown Bag Speakers Series

Tuesdays throughout our Fall 2017 semester, Rainbow Lifelong Learning Institute Boston will offer a series of Brown Bag Speakers.

Brown Bag presentations are free of charge and do not require registration to attend. Both students in our courses and non-students are welcome to participate.Brown Bag Lunch

Brown Bag speakers are scheduled during the lunch period between the morning and afternoon Courses for that day. As the name suggests, participants are welcome to bring a bag or box lunch to eat during the speaker's talk.

Presentations will run from 12:15pm -1:15pm Tuesday afternoons at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 630 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, MA. Please use the Mass Ave entrance to the church to attend both Brown Bag talks and courses.

Please note that we do not leave the door to the church unlocked during courses or lunch time talks. However, we will post a sign with a cell phone number on the door for you to call for entry if you arrive after the start of your course or Brown Bag talk.


Rainbow LLI Boston's Fall 2017 Brown Bag Speakers

Date: September 5

Forest In the FallTitle: Forest Therapy

Synopsis:  Tam and Nadine will explain what Forest Therapy is and talk about the history of Shinrin-yoku. Please join us to learn what happens on a Forest Therapy Walk and the many health benefits of connecting with nature.

Presenters: Tam Willey of Toadstool and Nadine Mazzola of New England Nature and Forest Therapy Consulting.

Tam is a trained Forest Therapy guide in Practicum with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs.  She has first hand experience of the healing benefits of spending time in nature, and found her way to Shinrin-yoku/Forest Bathing and has since gained a deeper understanding of the scientific framework for how deepening our connection with nature can enhance well-being and support healing.  She has extensive experience working with LGBTQ Youth, including BAGLY and The Theater Offensive's True Colors.  Tam is excited to share this accessible practice of taking in the forest atmosphere by guiding Forest Therapy Walks for all. 

Nadine is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Trainer and Mentor with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Her training includes special knowledge in guiding people of all ages in Shinrin Yoku, "Forest Bathing," Walks. As a cancer survivor, practicing good self-care is Nadine's most important guiding principle for herself. She has come to know the healing and support that nature can offer us through her own personal wellness journey. She is joyous to be sharing Forest Bathing with the community and creating environments for Forest Therapy.

Date: September 12ACLUm Marchers

TitleFighting for Civil Liberties in the Age of Trump

Synopsis: The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is pursuing an aggressive Freedom Agenda in the Bay State.

Come learn about how you can get involved to defend our core freedoms and expand access to liberty and justice for all.

Presenter: Kade Crockford

Kade Crockford is the director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Kade focuses on strengthening civil rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century. Kade writes and edits the Privacy Matters blog, available at PrivacySOS.org/blog.


Date: September 19

Title: Dealing With Loss

A discussion of the grief process, and how necessary it is, both for the loss of a loved one or someone special in our lives, as well as for other losses that may get short shrift in how we think about it. Every loss must be grieved. 

We will discuss the process and tips for coping and healing.

Presenter: Roberta Robinson

Roberta is the Director of Marketing and Outreach for the Geriatric Division of the Cambridge Health Alliance and the Elder Service Plan of the Cambridge Health Alliance, a PACE Program. She has more than three decades of experience in the field of Elder Services. Prior to her career in Elder Services, she worked in law for eighteen years.

Roberta is the host of the YouTube Channels Health is Wealth and Legacies, a Journey through the Interesting Lives of Elders. These shows can also be viewed on local access TV. See channel listings and show times here.

She was caregiver to her own mother.  This experience not only raised her level of awareness as to the desperate need for, but also awakened her interest, passion and dedication to, care of the elderly.

Roberta is also a Reiki Master Teacher; past President of the Board of Directors for Center for Balance, an Integrative Medicine Healing Center; President of the Steering Committee for Holy Spirit Catholic Community; a Hospice Volunteer; a Member of the Multi Cultural Coalition on Aging; and Co-chair of the Metro East Alzheimer Partnership, formerly known as the Somerville-Cambridge Alzheimer Partnership.

Date: September 26  Caring for a LGBT friend

Title: Caring for a Friend in the LGBTQ Community: Why it is important, how to set healthy boundaries, caring for oneself, building a support team, and how to let your wishes be known to friends in advance

Synopsis: As research shows, many LGBTQ older adults age alone for a variety of reasons.  Being a caregiver for a friend in the LGBTQ community happens quite often and the importance of that role will be discussed.  

We will also discuss how to maintain healthy boundaries and to care for yourself if you are or do become a caregiver. 

Additionally, we will discuss the importance of having a support team in place, along with documenting care wishes should your health decline and friends are called to assist with your care.

Presenter: Cheri Callanan

Cheri Callanan is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and Certified Dementia Trainer whose career includes being the Director of memory care programs at both Sunrise Senior Living and Senior Living Residences, and most recently working for the LGBT Aging Project as their Community Education Specialist. 

Cheri has a B.A. in Liberal Arts (specializing in Holistic Psychology) from Lesley University and a Master’s Certificate in Gerontology from Pacific University.  She has completed the Caregiver Support Group Facilitator and the Habilitation Train-the-Trainer programs with the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Cheri enjoys spending time with her 3 grown children and family, socializing with her friends, being creative, and being in nature.

Date: October 3

Title: Parting Gifts

Parting Gift

Synopsis: What will happen to your body after you die?  All of us think about burial, cremation, green alternatives.  Should we donate organs?

Have you ever thought about donating your body for medical students to learn?  2017 presents many choices for people if they move in this direction.

Read the fascinating article about the anatomical donation program Rob directs at Boston University at: www.bu.edu/bostonia/fall09/parting-gifts/.

Presenter: Rob Bouchie

Rob Bouchie has spent 17 years as director of anatomical gifts at Boston University School of Medicine. His background originally was in finance, and how he got from there to here is a story he will share with us.


Oct 10 - Mid Semester Break. No Classes or Brown Bag Lecture

LGBT Alphabet Soup

Date: October 17 

Title: If I Were Twenty, Would I Be Queer?


Why are some LGBT people unsupportive of gay marriage? What are the stereotypes and misinformation that queer-identified people have about our older generation of lesbians? What exactly does queer identity mean? Why exclude transwomen from lesbian meetings and events? And what is the “alphabet” generation (LGBTQQINS)?

Given the current political climate and the threatened loss of civil rights and protections of LGBT people, it is more important than ever to increase understanding, overcome cross-generational disagreements, and achieve solidarity.

The talk will discuss the differences between pre-movement (those who came out before Women’s Liberation) and movement lesbians (those who came out as a result of the feminist movement), and will also address gay marriage, queer identity, current “alphabet” identities,  inclusion of trans people, and the stereotypes and misinformation that serve to keep older and younger LGBT generations apart.

Presenter: Sarah Pearlman

Sarah Pearlman is a long-time teacher, writer, and activist—nationally recognized for her pioneering role in establishing a psychology of lesbians.    

Sarah was selected by the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues (American Psychological Association) as the recipient of the 2011 Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution.

She is the author of Mother-Talk: Conversations with Mothers of Lesbian Daughters and FTM Transgender Children (published by Demeter Press) and The Lesbian Erotic: Bad Girl Persona and Other Poems. She is currently active in Boston’s LGBT elder organizations and a founder of Boston OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change).

Date: October 24

TitleHelping You To Understand Medicare

Medicare Questiion MarkSynopsis:  Medicare can seem overly complicated for many of us.  During this presentation, which is taking place during Medicare Open Enrollment, Mark Heumann will highlight any significant changes to Medicare that will occur in 2018.

He will also review Medicare changes that occurred for same sex married people since the federal legalization of same sex marriage.  There will be time for general questions about Medicare or Mass Health.

Presenter: Mark Heumann

Mark is one of the founding members of the Rainbow LLI and participates in the maintaining the organization.

Since retirement, he has made a career change from being a project manager to playing lots of bridge and tennis.  He also volunteers as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) tutor and has been a Medicare/Medicaid SHINE  (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) counselor for the past 6 years.

In a previous life Mark worked with documentary films including distributing films, founding STAR film library and working with the Angry Arts Collective.  In 1982 he made Pink Triangles with a collective of 9 people that came together to make a film about homophobia

Date:  October 31Jyl Lynn Felman Pic

Title: Jyl Lynn Felman: Reading/Performance

Synopsis: Jyl  will be reading/performing from new work.  She’s been one of the more popular Rainbow teacher’s and presenters.

Presenter: Jyl Lynn Felman

Jyl Lynn Felman is a playwright, writer and performance artist. She is the author of HOT CHICKEN WINGS, short stories; CRAVINGS, a memoir, and NEVER A DULL MOMENT: TEACHING AND THE ART OF PERFORMANCE.   

She’s performed her one-woman shows, TERRI SCHIAVO, INC., BURNING IN CUBA, VOICES and SILICONE VALLEY across the country including Prague, the Czech Republic and Havana, Cuba.   IF ONLY I’D BEEN BORN A KOSHER CHICKEN aired on C-SPANs performance series. Productions of her plays include “Oh Daddy, Poor Daddy” in The Seven Deadly Sins Festival, Concord, NH and “Birdie” in The Universal Theatre Festival, Provincetown, MA and the SWANN Day Festival, Boston, MA.  An edited staged reading of GIRL KICKS GIRL was selected for the 9th Women Playwrights International Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, 2012.  
She is also an accomplished teacher, at Universities and at Rainbow LLI.  Check out her web site at: www.jyllynnfelman.com.

Date: November 7

Elder AbuseTitleElder Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation

Synopsis: Domestic violence and sexual assault are serious problems in our society. Many people view these issues as solely "younger people” issues and fail to realize that they occur during all stages of life. Domestic violence and sexual violence in later stages of life present unique challenges to survivors. Understanding elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation can better equip you to help yourself or others experiencing it.

Presenter: Carolyn Lewis is is a licensed clinical social worker and the Abuse in Later Life Advocate at North Shore Elder Services in Danvers, MA.

Carolyn received her degree from Salem State University and has several years of domestic violence and sexual assault work experience with all age ranges, as well as experience in Hospice and outpatient therapy. She started another master’s program this past August in public administration with a concentration in gender based violence.

Carolyn is originally from North Carolina and enjoys dancing and being outdoors.

Date: November 14Yankee Swap Santa

Title: Social: Pre-Holiday Celebration with Re-gifted Yankee Swap

Join us to celebrate the end of the semester with a good old fashion Yankee Swap. Please gift wrap a USED item from around the house that you'd like to give away, bring it with you to the November 14th Yankee Swap, and let the fun begin!

The emphasis will be on the process and not practicality, so the goofier or the gaudier the gift, the more fun we'll have trying to give it away!  Spending money on an item to give away will be considered "cheating!" The idea is to laugh, not give something useful.  It is the perfect occasion to pare down, and get rid of that thing you haven’t known what to do with.  A perfect lead in to the holiday season.

Check out our upcoming courses!

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