Race & Identity

Students from Lynda Siegel's ESL class are learning water safety through a free course at the Greater Burlington YMCA.
Doug Bishop/Greater Burlington YMCA, courtesy

For many Vermonters, swimming is learned early and central to summer fun. But for children who are new to the United States and still learning English, swimming can be a completely foreign concept.

Patients and staff at the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury around 1900.
Courtesy, Vermont State Archives

Vermont's prominent role in the American eugenics movement of the early 20th century is an often overlooked part of the state’s history.  The state's brutal history of sterilization, forced institutionalization, and racist pseudoscience is the focus of a new academic paper by our guest.

Poutine is a dish of French fries, cheese curds and gravy.  The dish's modern perception as a Canadian dish, rather than Quebecois dish, is the subject of a recently published paper by UVM graduate student Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet.
juliedeshaies / iStockphoto.com

Poutine originated in Quebec, but over time has come to be seen by many as a Canadian dish. One University of Vermont student is now making the case that this modern association of poutine with Canada at large is an instance of cultural appropriation.

In the early 20th century, Vermont was among a group of states that had policies on the books based on eugenics — the idea that the human population could be controlled to bring out what were considered "desirable" characteristics.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Advocates for criminal justice reform hope a new law will curb racial disparities in police stops and incarceration rates.

This past weekend we celebrated Memorial Day to honor fallen servicemen and women. I myself am daughter of a decorated Vietnam veteran, and while I don’t attend parades, I do pause and reflect on the price our service members pay to preserve our freedoms.

Nina Keck / VPR

At Rutland's Mount St. Joseph Academy, school officials have been working hard to grow and diversify enrollment. And despite some bumps along the way, their efforts seem to be paying off.

Susan Hartman at the VPR Studios in Colchester
Meg Malone / VPR

One of the state's leading advocacy organizations for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community has new leadership: Susan Hartman is executive director of the Pride Center of Vermont as of May 1.

Reports of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. are up 86 percent so far this year, according to a study released by the Anti-Defamation League. And with that increase comes a new wave of interest in a decades-old German law reinstating German citizenship to Holocaust refugees and their descendants.

Lindsay Raymondjack Photography / Courtesy Vermont Stage

Adoption is emotional process that's even more layered when parents adopt a child from another culture. The family's attention to race, privilege, language and cultural expectations will be forever changed. Those are some of the themes of a current production by Vermont Stage.

A Vermont State Police cruiser watches for speeding drivers on I-89 in September 2015.
Steve Zind / VPR

Last spring, analyses of five years of data revealed clear racial disparities in Vermont State Police traffic stops. But after conversations with the troopers whose stops showed the greatest disparities, state police officials say they’ve found no instances of implicit or explicit racial bias.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Erica Hecht now lives in Stowe, but was born in Hungary in 1934. She is a child survivor of the Holocaust, and Hecht's mother converted from Judaism to Catholicism in an attempt to protect her family from persecution.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Sunday began the annual observance of Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for victims and survivors of the Holocaust.  In communities around Vermont, people gathered to share their own families' history of escape and survival from the genocide of Jews during World War II.

Martin: All Are Welcome

Apr 24, 2017

When I was a kid, I learned in school that the United States was the best country in the world because we were a melting pot. No matter where you came from, no matter your color, creed, or bank account, you could come here, learn English, work hard, and become an American.

Jared Barbosa is an Elementary School guidance counselor who was raised by a professional soccer player. His dad, Manoel “Boom Boom” Barbosa, competed all over the world before settling down in Nashua, N.H.

Jared says professional soccer was his dad’s ticket out of poverty in Brazil. College soccer was his ticket to economic mobility.

He doesn’t think high level sports should exclude low-income kids.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

House lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would update the state’s fair and impartial policing policies, and create a new 15-person board to oversee racial justice issues in Vermont.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

From his ceremonial office in the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier, Republican Gov. Phil Scott sent a clear message to Washington that Vermont police will not be part of the Trump administration’s efforts to arrest and deport people who are living in the country illegally.

Vermont State Police announced Friday that 45 members of federal, state and local law enforcement, including members of the Montpelier and Barre City Police, participated in this week’s arrests.
deepblue4you / iStock.com

For the first time, traffic stop information for Vermont's local police and sheriff’s departments has been collected and posted online.

The State Police Committee for Fair and Impartial Policing and Community Affairs is releasing their data on traffic stops from 2016.

Rep. Kiah Morris, left, has asked Gov. Phil Scott to issue an executive order to address the issue of systemic racism in state government.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Lawmakers appear poised to pass legislation this year that would create a centralized board to oversee issues of racial justice in Vermont.

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