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BRATTLEBORO — The First Wednesday Lecture series, a collaboration between the Vermont Humanities Council and Vermont public libraries will resume online this week via Zoom.

The 2020-2021 series will open with “Merely Bystanders: The Psychology of Courage and Inaction,” Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson’s examination of the factors that lead most of us to stay silent in the face of bad behavior, and how this tendency allows such acts to continue.

Sanderson will provide practical strategies that we can all use to speak up and take action. Catherine Sanderson is the Poler Family Professor and Chair of Psychology at Amherst College, and author of Why We Act: Turning Bystanders Into Moral Rebels.

The virtual talk will be presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday, with recordings of the event subsequently available on the VHC Facebook and YouTube channel. Register for the live event, which includes an opportunity for questions and answers by attendees, at

The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held every month from October through May in nine communities statewide, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. The statewide underwriter for the First Wednesdays 2020-2012 series is the Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries. The Brooks Memorial Library programs are sponsored by the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library.

For more information, contact Brooks Memorial Library at 802.254.5290 or visit