Why Social Justice Reviews?
Should there be a discussion on racial justice with of candidates across the Vermont?
Racial justice has been a sensitive but important topic as the political, racial and social crosswinds blow across America but Vermont has been deafeningly quiet on the matter. Justice For All, a racial justice organization is leading the effort in having these discussions with the candidates across the state.
For immediate Release:
Montpelier, Vermont, July 5, 2016 – Justice For All, a racial justice organization, has announced that they are currently conducting “Social Justice Reviews” with various candidates across the state, ahead of elections. Elizabeth Parker, a member of the Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Church in Vermont (focusing on dismantling racism) said “these reviews give us an opportunity to initiate a dialogue with the candidates on the challenges relating to institutionalized racism, including racial disparities in the criminal justice system and mass incarceration.”
A report released this month by Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing Project placed Vermont at number one in the nation at a rate of 1 in 14 African American males in State Prison. The reports of Dr Jack McDevett of Northeastern University and Stepahanie Seguino of UVM indicate that in the past five years, the situation in Vermont has actually worsened concerning racial disparities related to traffic stops and searches by State, Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski and UVM police.
Ebony Nyoni, Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Vermont said, “We are interested in understanding the candidate’s views on these issues. Our hope is to also gain their commitment to addressing justice system racial disparities as a high priority issue.” The first of these forums was conducted on June 22nd where a panel reviewed Francis Brooks, Anthony Pollina, Ann Cummings and Ashley Hill. The video can be found on Onion River Community Access (ORCA) and the Justice For All website.
Mark Hughes, Co-founder of Justice For All said “Our hope is that lawmakers in Vermont will mandate the transparency and accountability required to identify points of discretion in the entire criminal justice system and demand commitment to metrics, policy, training and corrective actions from law enforcement as well as prosecutors, judges and defenders as required to ensure that Vermont lives up to it’s narrative of openness and fairness. “
About Justice For All
Justice for All is a Vermont-based, racial justice non-profit organization that identifies and dismantles institutionalized racism and facilitates healing and empowerment in Vermont communities. They ensure justice for all through community organizing, research, education, community policing, legislative reform and judicial monitoring. To this end they address systemic issues such as racially biased policing and racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Below is the the Social Justice Review of Washington County Democratic candidates.
We found the event to be both informative and productive.
Show-times (ORCA) for the Washington County Democratic Senatorial Social Review are below:
Mon 7/11 9:05 AM
Sat 7/16 6:00 PM
Mon 7/25 9:09 AM