Aquinnah: Black History Month, Polished Dental, Island Health Care, and ACE MV

—MV Times

February is Black History Month. It’s a time to educate yourself on history, and to inform yourself about what is happening right now. At 10 am on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Oak Bluffs library, a coalition of the Martha’s Vineyard League of Women Voters, the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the M.V. Museum, and the Oak Bluffs library is presenting an annual event, free of charge.

Along with brunch, this year there will be a conversation with Bonnie Boswell, executive producer at PBS, attorney Bryan Stevenson, and Pastor James Lawson about why certain groups of women in this country disproportionately experience higher mortality rates related to pregnancy and childbirth. Finding out the facts about this should be a priority for anyone concerned with the health industry, and for everyone who cares about the true importance of equity and justice for all. Come and educate yourself. I know some of the statistics, and they are hair-raising. I’m going, and if anyone else from Aquinnah wants to ride with me, let me know.

Attention Island residents, 18 years or older, who do not have access to dental care. From Feb. 19–22, and again from April 15–19, Polished Dental will be at the First Baptist Church Parish Hall in Vineyard Haven providing free dental cleanings to Island residents 18 years or older who do not otherwise have access to dental care. Sponsored by Vineyard Smiles and supported by the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation and the Island Boards of Health, this is a terrific opportunity. To register, text 978-549-0659 (please, do not call), or email And while we’re on the subject of healthy teeth and gums, Marina Lent, Aquinnah health agent, informs me that Island Health Care is on the brink of setting up a dental clinic. I’m sure they’ll let us know when they’re up and running.

Another terrific opportunity is being offered up by ACE MV. They have just started a “Wellness Workforce Career Explorations” program. If you are considering a job or career in healthcare, and have questions about next steps, training, education, or job opportunities, contact ACE MV directly. They have already had their first meeting, and space is limited, but this is a way to tap into meetings with industry leaders, a dedicated program adviser, tuition support for related coursework and training (CNA, medical assisting, and more), career counseling and job placement support, and for an ACE MV Career Exploration Certificate of Completion. Visit to register.

Birthday greetings go to both Tysonnae Aiguier-Bolling and Wunotuway Vanderhoop Powell on Feb. 3.

That’s what I have for now, on this gray Saturday afternoon. Please make sure you let me know any news or items to report by writing to Remember that I write this on Saturday mornings for the following Thursday publication. Take care. Stay well.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Kathie Olson,