African American men continue to die at the hands of law enforcement. Frustration fuels senseless murders of law enforcement and the nation becomes further divided. Nationally, over one-third of the seven million people incarcerated or otherwise under the supervision of corrections are African American. Vermont, statistically leads the nation with one in 14 African American males incarcerated in State prisons. Vermont is 5th in the nation for state prison black / white differential at 10.5.
What are our next steps in addressing the racial divide in Vermont and the Disparities in the Criminal Justice System and beyond? Black lives Matter Vermont and Justice For All announced an alliance to address racial disparities in Vermont.
For immediate Release:
Montpelier, Vermont, July 12, 2016 – Black Lives Matter Vermont and Justice For All today announced a partnership to increase awareness and intensify efforts in addressing racial disparities in Vermont. In light of recent national events and latest reports of disparities in the criminal justice system, concerns have emerged in Vermont.
Ebony Nyoni of Black Lives Matter Vermont said, “We must continue to advance the cause for what we know to be just. We can’t allow ourselves to be distracted with the narrative that somehow our cause is wrong because a person, seemingly suffering emotionally and unassociated with our cause resorted to misguided actions against law enforcement”, referring to the unrest in Dallas.
A report released last month by Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing Project placed Vermont as the nation leader with a rate of one in 14 African American males in State Prison and ranking fifth highest in the nation with a black / white differential of 10.5. 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.
The partnership will conduct their first Joint Action Meeting 7:00 PM, Thursday evening at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier. Community members are invited to attend and get involved with action items that are currently being planned or underway and/or bring their own ideas. “There will be several activities that community members can participate in at the meeting, including an Action Phone Bank”, Allyson Sironi, co-founder of Justice for All, commented. “People have been feeling hopeless and asking what, if anything can be done.” Film Viewings and Social Justice Reviews with various candidates are being planned across the state and various recommendations have been put forward for state and local government to take action. Ebony Nyoni commented, “There is a place for everyone to get involved to address institutionalized racism in Vermont.”
“Our partnership is an important one that will dramatically impact the institutionalized racism and associated racial disparities throughout Vermont. Black Lives Matter!” Mark Hughes, Co-founder of Justice For All commented.
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.
Mark Hughes, Co-founder, Justice For All
o: (802) 532-3030