Race & Identity

The Vermont Statehouse with snow around it.
Henry Epp / VPR File

Last week the Vermont House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing “the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. and Vermont Black communities.”

But Rep. Kiah Morris, a Democratic lawmaker from Bennington, told Vermont Edition she was stunned by some of her colleagues’ comments made before and after the resolution was passed.

Montpelier High School's raising of a 'Black Lives Matter' flag has met with strong reactions across the country.
Ian Noyes / for VPR

The raising of a Black Lives Matter flag at Montpelier High School made news across the country and garnered a range of reactions from support to anger. We're talking about the deeper meaning of that symbolic action and how people have viewed it locally, statewide and nationally.

  

An art professor just spent four days publicly painting a six-foot-tall portrait of Trayvon Martin, the black teen whose murder in 2012 polarized the country and ignited a debate on racial profiling and civil rights.  

A new podcast aims to amplify the voices of LGBTQ Vermonters of color. It's called Brown 'n Out and it's hosted by Reggie Condra.

A recently passed Vermont House bill addresses questions of parenthood that are not covered by existing state law.
Cogent-Marketing / iStock

When Vermont's Parentage Act was passed in 1984, same-sex marriage and assisted fertility were not issues contained in the law. A bill recently passed by the House attempts to provide Vermont's judiciary with updated guidelines on matters of legal parenthood.

A complaint filed by Ismina Francois in 2016 has put a magnifying glass on working conditions for employees of color at the state-run psychiatric hospital in Berlin.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

After allegations of racial harassment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin, Gov. Phil Scott says his administration is reviewing workplace conditions at the state-run facility.

New works in progress by black playwrights will be performed this weekend in the Upper Valley. The festival is sponsored by JAG productions, a relatively new black theater company that’s been drawing audiences across western New Hampshire and eastern Vermont.


A complaint filed by Ismina Francois in 2016 has put a magnifying glass on working conditions for employees of color at the state-run psychiatric hospital in Berlin.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

A new investigation paints a disturbing picture of workplace harassment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin, where some African American staff members say they've been subjected to "offensive and racist comments" by co-workers.

Montpelier High School's board has voted unanimously to fly the Black Lives Matter flag in February.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

During the month of February, Montpelier High School will fly a Black Lives Matter flag outside the school.

Juan Conde, a first-year medical student at UVM, speaks to reporters about how the DACA program allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

As Congress debates immigration legislation, there's ongoing uncertainty for a group of immigrants who've received protections under the program known as DACA.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Over a thousand demonstrators took over the streets of downtown Montpelier Saturday afternoon as they marched from City Hall to the Statehouse. Organizers are calling it the March for Our Future.

courtesy

With the news last week that the Trump administration is ending their protective status, more than 200,000 people from El Salvador currently living in the United States are facing deportation.

The President is the country’s Commander-in-chief – and as such, has a responsibility to ensure that his – or her - behavior and actions are always a model of inspiration for the most professional and probably the most racially diverse military in the world.

Meghan Markle at a public event Tuesday Jan. 9, 2018. Commentator Steffen Gillom suggests Markle's engagement offers an opportunity to consider "a fundamental question about race and language."
Dominic Lipinski / AP

As media outlets follow the engagement of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry – they’re choosing to focus large amounts of attention on her ‘exotic’ biracial identity.

The Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity is looking for nominations for people to include on a new mural in downtown Burlington that will feature people of color who have been important in Vermont's history.

Troubled times lead to grand schemes.

Recently, pundits like David Brooks of The New York Times have called for a new national history to be taught in schools as a way preserving American unity.

The New Hampshire Department of Justice is launching a new Civil Rights Unit to strengthen its enforcement of anti-discrimination law. The move is one of two equity and inclusion efforts announced by Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday.

Baxternator / iStock

Vermont’s police departments face a workforce shortage as older officers approach retirement. Some forces are in year-round recruitment mode, as they could see 20 to 30 percent of their officers retiring in the near future. Experts say more diversity in police ranks could increase the public’s trust and cooperation, which creates safer communities.

In the kitchen of a small colonial house in Springfield, Mass., Edanry Rivera and Louis Mitchell do-si-do around a coffee maker, handing off the creamer and reaching for a refill.

"Coffee is the lifeblood of my very existence," says Louis Mitchell, 57, a bald transgender man with a graying goatee.

Mitchell owns this home. Rivera, a 27-year-old trans woman, rents a room. Many days, to avoid scoffs, stares and physical threats, Rivera never leaves the house.

"Once I step out there, it's war, sometimes, with people," Rivera says.

Katherine Welles / iStock

Who gets to call themselves "Vermonters"? We're having a conversation about newcomers, old-timers, and those who have been in Vermont for generations.

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