Governor Proclaims PR.2, Amendment to Abolish Slavery will be on the Ballot in November

Yesterday Governor Scott released a the following Declaration:
“I, Philip B. Scott, Governor of the State of Vermont, do proclaim Proposal 2 is herewith noticed to the voters of Vermont and forthwith shall be published in accordance with the provisions of Title 17 Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 32, Section 1844 and shall be voted upon on the same date as the general election on November 8, 2022.”
Why?  It was his constitutional and statutory duty. Section 72 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution and Chapter 32 of Title 17 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated require the Governor to give public notice of the proposed amendment by proclamation prior to the submission of the proposed amendment to a vote by the people for ratification and adoption.

Allies and leaders from Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and Vermont Interfaith Action will hold a press conference on Friday Morning at 10:30 to launch the Abolish Slavery Vermont Campaign, calling on Vermonters to vote “Yes” on Proposal 2, the constitutional amendment stating that slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited. While Vermonters and the nation have been taught for generations that the state was the first to abolish slavery we now know that no state constitutionally permitted slavery before Vermont. Vermont’s constitution permits slavery of folks under age 21 and individuals bound by their own consent. The Vermont constitution has also always permitted the enslavement of those bound for payment of debts, damages, fines, costs or “the like.”  Exception clauses of 25 other state constitutions and Thirteenth Amendment have been informed by these exception clauses in the Vermont Constitution, leading to the introduction of convict leasing in the US.

The Abolish Slavery Vermont Campaign focuses on human rights and connects the institution of slavery to its legacy – systemic racism. Political and economic inequality along racial lines and across all society exists today because of the legacy of slavery. This amendment goes to the heart of a 245 year old crime against humanity. It also addresses the existence of and the ongoing impact of the thirteenth amendment exception clause.  The thirteenth amendment exception clause has led to prison (industry) proliferation, skyrocketing incarceration and hugely disproportionate numbers of Black Americans being locked up.

Following the press conference, the campaign is sponsoring a community cookout with barbecue and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, lawn signs, stickers, and T-shirts, remarks by campaign leaders, music, and games. Other events will be sponsored throughout the weekend. See for details.

The legislature has spoken on the matter and now the Governor has spoken.  Now it is time to hear from the people. Should we amend the Vermont state constitution with the following language? 

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

1. Show up at the events listed below
2.  Sign up to volunteer at one of the events
3.  Support this effort with financial support – Give
4. Visit our site –
Don’t miss part II of “Slavery By Another Name” TONIGHT at the Richard Kemp Center, on Zoom and streaming on our fb page.


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).

Other #AbolishSlaveryVT Activities 

Sat., June 18,
Bringing the Word

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.

8:00 PM till 10:00 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 Arts
  • Worship 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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