We Call For Racial Justice Reform And The Removal Of All Reference To Slavery From The Vermont Constitution
The racial climate in The United states continues to deteriorate with shootings of African Americans by law enforcement and even murders of law enforcement officers! Vermont is not immune to the unprecedented racial justice tensions that we are experiencing in the United States. Vermont ranks highest the nation at a rate of 1 in 14 African American males in State Prison (Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing project). Racial disparities in police traffic stops made by Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, UVM and State police have increased over the last number of years (McDevett, Northestern University and Seguino, UVM). Something has to be done here at home to raise the awareness of this crisis. This is the time to advance dialogue and take action on racial disparities in Vermont
Partnering with Black Lives Matter Vermont, Justice For All has launched a Racial Justice Reform Campaign. Together we have created a petition with an action plan to improve the racial justice climate in Vermont. The partnership will also offer film viewings, candidate reviews (panel addressing racial justice) and action meetings (community action planning) in counties across the state. They will also release public television series that will provide an ongoing discussion and updates on racial disparities in Vermont.
We have called for a Constitutional Amendment that eliminates all reference to slavery from the Vermont State Constitution.
“…no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person’s own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like…”
Constitution of the State of Vermont, CHAPTER I. A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE STATE OF VERMONT, Article 1st. All persons born free; their natural rights; slavery prohibited.
We are also calling on legislators to provide appropriate funding to implement effective transparency into the criminal justice system. Grants must also be funded to provide resources for racial justice organizations for research, training and education.
Racial disparities in Vermont touches additionally upon access to housing, educational institutions, access to healthcare, employment and various aspects of the political process. It is for this reason that we are asking that the Governor appoint a Racial Justice Oversight Board with the responsibility of administering a program that continuously assesses, reviews and addresses racial disparities in Vermont.
Black Lives Matter Vermont and Justice For All are conducting a fundraiser to offset the time and expenses associated with the Racial Justice Reform Campaign. We need your support. Please help us at this critical time with this very important work. We will keep you updated on our progress by sharing with you our major milestones
Here is the petition.
Please donate here.