Abolish Slavery Vermont Campaign Liftoff

Abolish Slavery Vermont!  Get ready for liftoff!Long before the 13th Amendment, in 1777 Vermont was the first state to constitutionalize slavery (doing so with three exception clauses). Vermont later entered into the union in 1791 and has held these clauses to present day, giving Vermont the distinction of being the longest holding constitutional slave state in the nation!The Vermont Constitution slavery exception clauses state:“no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person’s own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.”

There is more – Recent polls tell us that only 22 percent of the nation understands that the 13th amendment which allegedly abolishes slavery also has an exception clause.  It states that:  

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The constitutional amendment Proposal 2 question is simple.  Should we amend the Vermont state constitution with the following language?   

“slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”

Slavery is a crime against humanity.  There are no circumstances under which it should exist.  No exceptions.  None. 

Voting YES to Proposal 2 will provide a foundation for addressing systemic racism in our State’s laws and institutions and stand in opposition to the 13th amendment.

Join the effort.  Become an abolitionist!


Rev. Mark Hughes
Executive Director, 
Vermont Racial Justice Alliance
Definition of Systemic Racism

Campaign Launch: Community Cookout

Join us on Friday, June 17th from 10:30 AM till 2:00 PM on the the lawn of First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, 152 Pearl St. for the Campaign Launch.

We’ll start with a press conference and move into a free community BBQ. There will be food, music, remarks from the VRJA and VIA Directors. Lawn signs, stickers, and T-shirts will be available and Ben & Jerry’s will be there to make the afternoon more awesome!  Free-will donations gratefully accepted. 

Register online for a complimentary meal (please pick up your food by 12:30 PM).

Tons of other #AbolishSlaveryVT Activities 

Maximum Impact Poetry
Honoring the launch of Vermont’s Abolish Slavery Campaign husband wife duo Tribal Raine and 
Max Parthas are right out of Sumter with Maximum Impact Poetry and Bringing the Word.  Their collective truth is sober, dynamic and empowering.
Join us for “Bringing the Word”
Sat., June 18,
8:00 PM till 9:30 PM
Richard Kemp Center, 372 N. Winooski Ave.

Register in advance:

Virtual Prayer Breakfast
Sun, June 19 from 7:30 am to 8:30 am, Virtual Prayer Breakfast. Remarks by Canon Walter Brownridge of the Vermont Episcopal Diocese. Register online to join us with your own coffee, tea, and breakfast foods from the comfort of your home.

Stop by our Table
Sun, June 19 from 1 pm to 7 pm, Tabling in Battery Park. Sign up to volunteer for our campaign. Lawn signs, stickers, and T-shirts available.

Panel Discussion
Sun, June 19, 3 pm to 4 pm on the Main Stage at Battery Park, panel discussion featuring Max Parthas, Co-Director of State Operations, Abolish Slavery National Network, and abolitionists from Louisiana and California.
Live Radio Broadcast 
Sun, June 19, 7 to 8 pm, live national radio broadcast on The Black Talk Radio Network of “Abolition Today,” hosted by Max Parthas and Yusuf Hassan, Richard Kemp Center, 372 N. Winooski Ave. To listen live online, use this link.

In Greensboro, you are invited to the following:Tabling on Sat, June 18 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, before a concert featuring the East Coast Inspirational Singers at 6:30 pm at the Highland Center for the ArtsWorship service on Sun, June 19 at 10 am at the Greensboro United Church of Christ, also featuring the East Coast Inspirational Singers, with pulpit guest Rev. Debbie Ingram, VIA Executive Director.

Hartford & White River Jct are rolling out a festival and VIA is planning to table there:

* Sunday, June 19 at Lyman Point Park (167 Maple Street, White River Jct) from 3:30-5:30 pm. Speakers and entertainment: JAG productions; Dia Draper, 15 years leading diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) events in the Upper Valley and now Tuck School DEI Ass’t. Dean; VT Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale; VT Rep. and Hartford School Board Chair Kevin “Coach” Christie; and Maggi Ibrahim, Hartford Schools Equity Coordinator. Food and beverages available.
* Town Meeting Television (formerly Channel 17) has gone back to their pre-pandemic schedule, and both Vermont Interfaith Action and Vermont Racial Justice Alliance host regular half-hour shows. Our first shows back on the air both focused on the Abolish Slavery campaign.

Check out VIA’s “Abolish Slavery” show here.
And view VRJA’s “Juxtaposition” show here.

Any questions? Email VRJA.

Need Help?

Are you experiencing a crisis, in need of immediate assistance or just need someone to listen?  Please go here and complete and submit the form.

We’ll have someone from the Rapid Response team get back to you.

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. 

Vermont Racial Justice Alliance Leadership and Team 

Give here.
Thanks for giving.

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