Race & Identity

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.

Every inch of the dinner table is covered with food. There are holiday basics like turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and then there are family specialties like samosas.

Hawo Ahmed, 24, scans the options, pointing out a spicy sauce her sister made to eat with the pooris, a sort of savory pastry. Then she comes across an American dish and asks, “I don’t know about this, what is this?”

“This is cranberry sauce,” one of the family’s guests says with a laugh.

The FBI released hate crime statistics for 2016 which showed that nationally and in Vermont, the number of reported hate crimes rose. In Vermont, there 25 reported hate crimes last year, up from eight in 2015.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Reported hate crimes increased across the country and in Vermont last year, according to data released Monday by the FBI.

Shela Linton, co-coordinator of the I Am Vermont Too project shares one of her microagressions.
courtesy, I Am Vermont Too

In a collection of provocative photographs people are seen holding white boards with messages that include: "I am not an exchange student." "You look so ethnic." "I am only into black guys." "No I'm not adopted." "You're good at sports because you're black." "Your hair is so different. Can I touch it?" All these photos include the hash tag #IAmVermontToo.

Growing up in small-town, mid-century America, some of my friends were Girl Scouts. So I wanted to be one too - mostly to get the green uniform and Thin Mint cookies.

Some will be surprised to learn that The Crying Game, Like Water For Chocolate, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Life is Beautiful, Garden State and Pulp Fiction are just a few of the large and diverse group of films that were produced by Miramax, Harvey Weinstein’s production company. And while they all remain classics in their respective genres, they unfortunately will now be forever associated with the taint, or stain, of scandal.

As you turn off busy Route 7 in Ferrisburgh and pull into Rokeby, the historic home of the Rowland Robinson family, you might think that you’re entering a different world

But you’re not.

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