Word on the Street is…

Defending and Implementing Policy; Changing Lives

The Vermont Racial Justice Alliance Says…


You can see all of the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance 2019 Legislative Solutions here.  

What Equity Looks Like
 Join us to get the comprehensive update on where we are and where we are going with addressing racial equity and diversity in Vermont. We will conduct group discussions and provide breakout sessions to provide folks a space to do the work.

Hate speech and overt racism is on the up rise. Recent legislation is seeking to address racial disparities across all systems of government and “mitigate systemic racism”. The Governor passed an Executive Order (18-04) last year in his effort to address racial equity and diversity in state government. For the first time in 242 years, our legislature has introduced language to de-constitutionalize slavery and a bill is being introduced that will create a commission to determine the feasibility of slavery reparations. Efforts are underway this session to (like 30 other states) illegalize racial profiling; expand the Human Rights Commission and standardize use of force data collection, policy and training.

24 February, 2019
3:00 – 5:00 pm
First Congregational Church
38 South Winooski Avenue

Bring the kids.
We’ll bring the snacks.


  • Opening the Space / Welcome and Introductions
  • Keynote Address – The Work and the Journey of Racial Equity
  • The Challenge with Racial Equity in Vermont
  • Progress Report. Forecast
  • Breakout sessions
  • Follow-up and Q&A
  • Comments and Questions for the bill sponsors
  • Responses and remarks
  • Discussion
  • Closing the space

Legislator invitations
Senator Debbie Ingram – invited
Representative Brian Cina – invited
Senator Andrew Perchlik – invited


The proposal to amend to the constitution; eliminating slavery (Proposal 2) was taken up in Senate Government Operations Committee last month and testimony continued today.  This week the Vermont Episcopal Diocese and the Governors Workforce Equity and Diversity Council joined the Vermont League of Cities and Towns in support of removing language that legalizes slavery in the constitution.

It’s time that we have a talk about how we classify those who are incarcerated, Vermont Correctional Industries, labor (including youth and migrant) and DCF (including Woodside).  Check here and see who’s on the Senate Government Operations Committee.  Here are some action items:

  1. Email Senate Gov Ops at this address: vermont-senate-government-operations@googlegroups.com
  2. Leave a message @ 828.2228
  3. Sign up to testify with the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance or leave a statement

H.3, the Ethnic and Social Equity Studies Standards for Public Schools bill (H.3) was passed out of House Appropriations Committee and it passed out of the House unanimously.  The Senate Education Committee, with amendment approved the bill and it is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Thanks to all who showed up, testified and supported the bill.  We expect the bill will likely arrive back in the House next week.  Reach out directly to the Coalition for specific actions and updates.

NO Taxation and Regulation Without Reparations Campaign
We call for automatic, no cost expungement of cannabis related criminal records; immediate release of those incarcerated for cannabis related crimes; exclusion of cannabis related crimes as impediments to opportunities for employment and access to public services; training and start-up assistance in the hemp and cannabis industry; access to land ownership and the appointment of a Reparations Commission to study and consider a state apology and further reparations.

We believe it to be morally wrong to profit from cannabis before addressing the harm caused by unfair laws, policing and prosecution which has lead to the current socioeconomic disparities of black and brown and poor people. Will you join us as we work to ensure justice for some of our most vulnerable?  Here is how you can help:

  1. Sign the petition here. 
  2. Donate to the support cannabis reparations here.
  3. Contact the Senate Judiciary Committee via email here:  vermont-senate-judiciary@googlegroups.com

Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement Campaign 
Last week House Judiciary held a public hearing on the Fair and Impartial Policing Policy (FIPP).  The scope of this hearing was largely focussed on police’s failure to implement policy or undergo policy and implicit bias training.  They did not specifically address law enforcement oversight.  A judiciary discussion on law enforcement implementation of FIPP is not oversight.   Please support the Campaign for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement

Here is the Petition for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement


Join the Racial Justice Alliance today.  Please ensure that you complete the brief application and sign and return the agreement. 

Note: Only partner organizations and individuals who will serve on coordinating committees are required to sign the Alliance Agreement

  Click HERE to Donate 


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