In recent weeks the Jewish calendar has reminded us we must fight for the oppressed, and to never forget how powerful hate can be in the hands of evil. The themes of Passover and Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) resonate deeply against the backdrop of current events and continue to offer valuable lessons in how we conduct ourselves as a community. It is our responsibility as Jews to be up-standers and speak out against injustice, violence and hate.
We have all seen the tragic news about attacks and murders of Asians and Asian Americans in recent months in Georgia, in California, in New...
Dear Gov. Scott, Sen. Leahy, Sen, Sanders, Congressman Welch, Mayors, Friends, Colleagues:
Members of our Asian American community are dying. In Atlanta, a white man walked into three spas and murdered eight people. The victims were ambitious business owners, dedicated and hard-working mothers, newlyweds, and best friends remembered for being shy and unfailingly loving. Their names are:
Hyun Jung Grant
Soon C. Park
Yong A. Yue
Delaina Ashley Yaun
Paul Andre Michels
Since the beginning of this global pandemic that has ravaged our nation and disproportionately...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard later this month will consider inking a $32,000 pact with a consulting duo who would help municipal and police officials identify and address systemic racism within the town, and engage with the community on issues of racial justice, public safety and law enforcement.
The proposed contract is with Tabitha Moore Consulting LLC and Lisa Ryan. Moore is the former head of the Rutland Chapter of the NAACP, and Ryan is program manager for the Rutland County Community Justice Center at BROC Community Action.
Moore and Ryan are being recommended to the board by...
Racism is a public health issue. Black communities and other communities of color have higher rates of newborn death, childhood illness, women dying in pregnancy and childbirth, and shorter lives with higher rates of severe illness. Porter, as a healthcare organization, has an imperative to address the racism and inequities built into our system.
As an organization, we believe there is more we can do to be intentionally inclusive and equitable. We acknowledge that we can do more to make sure all members of our community feel welcome and have equal access to our services. We are committed to...
MIDDLEBURY — Director Bess O’Brien will discuss her documentary film “I Am From Here” at a Zoom Webinar on Tuesday, February 16, at 7 p.m. The webinar will be hosted by the Middlebury Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women).
O’Brien is an award-winning filmmaker and theatre producer. In 1991, she co-founded Kingdom County Productions with her husband Jay Craven. Joining O’Brien in the discussion will be Nicholas Leslie, Youth Program and Engagement AmeriCorps Member for Addison Central Teens and 2019 graduate of Middlebury College.
O’Brien was commissioned by the Vermont NEA...
RUTLAND — In honor of Black History Month in February, the Rutland Area branch of the NAACP is holding an essay contest for high school students in Rutland, Bennington, and Addison counties. Students can write 150-500 words, directed toward other young people, on the topic of antiracism — their own commitment to it, or encouraging their peers to undertake its practice. Winners will receive a Visa gift card, with $250 going to first place, $200 to second and $150 to third.
Along with this contest, the branch also distributed a Black History Month resource packet to all school districts in its...
I am incredibly disappointed by the discussion around the BLM flag at Mt Abe, and feel compelled to speak up. This is about holding our institutions accountable. This is about taking responsibility for our words and actions. And while it may seem extreme to some to draw a line between little old Mt Abe and insurrection in our Capitol, it’s not. Every person who acted as terrorist in D.C. on Wednesday was once a child who was given messages about how to treat others. And when we tell our children and youth that if they are uncomfortable acknowledging that black lives matter they can stay home...
MIDDLEBURY BUSINESS OWNER Matthew Delia-Lobo was one of three members of the group IDEAL (Invest, Divest, Educate, Abolish, Liberate) who gave the Middlebury selectboard a presentation on the history of systematic racism and its continuing impact today.
Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — The members of the Middlebury selectboard asked for a tutorial on white supremacy and the root causes of racism.
And that’s just what they got on Oct. 13 — a thorough primer that left town officials moved and searching for more information in the quest for racial justice in Addison County’s shire town and beyond.
The presentation, titled “Racism in Vermont,” was delivered by members of Middlebury IDEAL, which stands for “Invest, Divest, Educate, Abolish, Liberate.” The group is a collective of Middlebury-area residents working to “reduce systemic harm by creating new policies,...
MIDDLEBURY — Brandon resident Bashiru Abdulaziz on Sept. 3 met up with the two Middlebury police officers who had ordered him to “raise your hands” during their investigation of a false report they’d received about an armed Black man detaining a woman at gunpoint off Mary Hogan Drive on June 22.
This was an opportunity for the officers and Abdulaziz to metaphorically shake hands and chart a new path for community policing.
As previously reported by the Independent, Abdulaziz was approached by Middlebury Police Officers Bill Austin and Jared Harrington and a police dog at the town recreation...
For too long, white Vermonters have thought of ourselves as untouched by racism: It’s taken several high-profile and despicable actions for us to really understand how vicious racism is right here in Vermont. The age of denying that we have an issue is over. We must listen humbly to those who have been telling us for many decades that there is one Vermont for white people, and another for everyone else.
It’s time to take steps to ensure that all Vermonters can access the benefits our state has to offer regardless of race.
First, we must each have the courage to understand how deeply...