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Racial Justice Program – Peace & Justice Center

Racial Justice Program

Racial Justice Program

The Racial Justice Programs seek to spread awareness about the inequity people of color face in Vermont and to build understanding and collaborations to undo racism. There is a focus on helping those who experience white privilege meaningfully engage in racial justice work. We challenge the practices and behaviors that support white supremacy culture while offering support and programming specific to those most harmed by oppression.

Internal organizational commitments including the leadership of and accountability to a paid Racial Justice Advisory Committee made up of people of color. Additionally, our board of directors decided in 2014 to maintain a minimum of 50% people of color. We have been successful since late 2015 and the PJC membership changed the by-laws in 2016 to reflect this commitment. The Board of Directors and the staff spend time doing anti-oppression work personally as we unpack, examine, and address any positions of power and privilege we hold. We also commit 30 minutes of each board meeting to anti-oppression work generally focusing on racism. While racial justice is just one of our programs, we do all of our work through an anti-racism and intersectional lens.

Educational work including workshops, discussion groups, films, and other presentations. We offer these to the public around the state and we also partner with different groups who contract us to work with them. This has included schools, colleges, faith-based institutions, and businesses. See our list of workshops in the Educational Program Catalog. [LINK]

Infrastructure support people of color: We have structures in place that lend support to other groups doing racial justice work, especially those lead by POC. This includes free meeting space for these groups, priority promotional support, and reduced or free educational programming.

Equity and accountability in policing: We address equity in policing as members of an advocate group for the Fair and Impartial Policing policy of the State of Vermont, the Racial Justice bill coalition, and CaleoVT (Council for Accountability in Law Enforcement Officials). We also filming the monthly Burlington Police Commission meetings in order to provide transparency and accountability to the public around issues of bias and use-of-force protocols. (Much of our work around policing fits in both or Racial Justice and our Peace Programs.)

Video lectures and interviews focused on racial justice issues and awareness, including racial justice actions, events and discussions in Vermont.