Support Racial Justice in VT


CCP’s Racial Justice Discussion on March 21, 2021, resulted in three ways to support Vermont’s BIPOC population.

  1. ACLU – Despite decades of efforts to curb police violence and address systemic racism, it is clear how much remains the same. Data consistently show that Vermont law enforcement stops, searches, and arrests Black and Brown people at disproportionate rates, and the number of Vermonters killed by police has increased over the last several decades, with 2019 being the deadliest to date. The ACLU and a diverse group of Vermont-based organizations have released this ten-part action plan for police reform in Vermont. We are calling on lawmakers to take bold action to limit the unchecked power of police and make much-needed investments in Vermont communities. And we are asking our supporters to make their voices heard. (Ann N.)
  2. COVID Vaccines in Prisons – For additional information and email addresses, please see “Covid Vaccines in Prisons“. (Ann O.)
  3. Stimulus Money Donation Ideas – Vermonters received additional stimulus checks, and some of us were in a financial position that allowed us to use those checks to support needed causes in our community. Some suggestions from members of Session for worthy organizations for those able to donate were developed. We selected organizations that serve BIPOC Vermonters and reflect our discussions, resources list, and studies, and hope this short list will stimulate your thinking. We encourage you to come up with your own ideas for groups and causes that need financial support. An updated list is available here: “Stimulus Checks“. (Virginia)

Black Heritage Trail of NH – (Elinore)
• Support BIPOC businesses by shopping at one of the businesses that are marked BIPOC OWNED on this list, or check out this list, (Virginia & Frank)
• VIA/Racial Justice Alliance – CCP has formed a small group of interested people who are working with Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA), First Congregational Church, College Street Congregational Church, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, and All Souls Interfaith Gathering. Members of all congregations have identified two major issues: Public Safety and Economic Empowerment – business and housing. We are working with Mark Hughes of the Racial Justice Alliance to address these areas of particular concern. (Mary Beth)
• IPL presented an online film about clean air called “Unbreathable”. recommended by VTIPL (Vermont Interfaith Power and Light). (Ron)
• VBSR (Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility) held a conference and 80% of those attending signed up for workshops regarding racial justice issues in the workplace. The organization developed a plan to work with 12 local organizations on these concerns – spaces for such training filled quickly. The business community is taking recent racism/white privilege concerns seriously in VT. (Frank)
• Battery Park Protests/Racial Justice Alliance – In response to the Battery Park protests, Marjorie MacNeill reported meeting with the Burlington VIA Clergy Caucus to speak with Mark Hughes of New Alpha Church and the Racial Justice Alliance in Burlington. He reported that several serious efforts for change regarding racial injustice are underway in Burlington but that the “movement building” effort to protest police behavior in Burlington is complex to resolve. VIA Clergy Caucus will continue to meet with Rev. Debbie Ingram.
• Valerie V. spoke about information she and other Winooski residents received from the school district concerning student, administration, and school board involvement as they all become aware of the student experiences of racism within the school setting. All are taking it seriously including much student involvement and discussion at school. She is impressed with the thoughtful and determined involvement of the students.
• Several people mentioned that we should be aware of national efforts to shut down racial justice/white privilege education in schools, businesses, and organizations funded by the government.
• Visit the “Stopping Stones” in front of Ski Rack that commemorate the history of slavery in Vermont. Video of the commemoration may soon be available. (Sue)
• Participate in the weekly Silent Vigil outside St. Paul’s each Sunday from 1-1:30 pm. Social distancing is in practice. Bring a non-perishable food item. Mary Beth and Tom Barritt and Ron and Joy McGarvey participate frequently with St. Paul’s folks.
• Sign the Faith in Action Declaration: Faith in Action White Faith Leaders’ Declaration.
• Consult comprehensive resources on how to work for change. Two excellent resources are: Justice in June and 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
• Support black businesses. Find them on We Buy Black.
• Donate to organizations working for change. Two possibilities include: Southern Poverty Law Center and Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative
• Join local organizations working for change. Ann Naumann is working in Richmond and Franklin County for Justice and Equity are two opportunities.
• Visit the Peace and Justice Center for resources (Frank recommends)