Alliance and Partners Host Forum on Public Health Emergency – Racism

For Immediate Release:
April 6, 2022

Media Contact:
Miha Longmore

Vermont Racial Justice Alliance (VRJA) announces plans to launch the Richard Kemp Center in Burlington, Vermont.

Burlington, VT – Last week, the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance (VRJA) was joined by Abundant Sun and nuwave Equity Corporation to host the first session of a sustained initiative addressing a statewide public health crisis and emergency – racism.

The initiative named “Moving Forward; Racism Still a Public Health Emergency” was  convened to provide collective clarity and purpose in a unified approach and ongoing  accountability in eradicating systemic racism. The VRJA and partners offered a clear problem statement, a definition of systemic racism, a value proposition and conducted a breakout session where the various organizations offered  updates and discussed progress and challenges.  Of the organizations present were UVM Medical Center, Howard Center and Champlain Housing Trust and 20 + others.  “The transition from vocal commitments to actionable solutions is the most critical part of creating meaningful change. It is encouraging to see the signatories that committed to this very public resolution, come together in community to share, and keep themselves accountable. It is a great first step in the long battle against systemic racism.”  said Emiliano Void, CEO of nuwave Equity Corporation.

The VRJA continues to put forward statewide training, education and policy proposals to address systemic racism. Community engagement and support includes programs and services in underserved communities and cultural empowerment initiatives, including the Richard Kemp Center.  Dr Jude Smith Rahele commented “This is the perfect time for us all to galvanize into taking the next level of action. There is a great sense of collaboration and community amongst us all. We need to continue to deepen our understanding, formulate dynamic actions and ensure sustainable outcomes that will strengthen Vermont’s civic society and cultural development.”

The Burlington City Council approved a Resolution declaring racism is a citywide health crisis on 29 June, 2020; a Declaration that racism constitutes a public health emergency in Burlington and Chittenden County was signed by the Burlington mayor, VRJA and 30 other organizations on July 16, 2020; and  a Joint Legislative Resolution that racism constitutes a public health emergency in Vermont was passed on May 20, 2021.

Rev. Mark Hughes of the VRJA said “It is important to understand that declarations and resolutions are just one of the many tools that we have at our disposal to commit to the work.  The real work must be carried out personally, organizationally and in our communities on a daily basis.  The real work requires a redistribution of political and economic power.”  Meetings of the coalition will be on a monthly basis in moving forward.


About the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance 

The mission of the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance is to secure sustainable power, ensure agency and provide security for American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS), while embracing their history and preserving their culture.

About Abundant Sun

Provides balanced and safe environments where people explore and synthesize new information, ideas and possibilities that help positively transform their lives and businesses.

About nuwave Equity Corporation 

nuwave is committed to fundamentally transforming the spaces and places it touches and creating more equitable outcomes.  They bring together various organizations leveraging different skill sets to create systemic solutions to battle issues that are systemic in nature.

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