Racism in America Potluck Forums

The Racism in America Forums are sponsored by The Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and hosted by Good Shepherd. The moderator for these candid, peaceful and respectful discussion is Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas, Pastor.

How far have we come as Americans in confronting racism? This is a topic that remains so intimidating and painful that we prefer not to talk about it in public for fear of what we might say or reveal, or how others might see or treat us. In this forum series, we wish to create a safe space where we can speak openly and honestly as people of good intent who seek the best for each other and our nation as we honestly face the racial divisions of our past and present with the hope of reconciliation.

Each forum is a potluck gathering where we invite you to share a dish along with your thoughts.


Racism in America Potluck Forums – 2019/2020 Schedule

September 19, 2019
What Is Vermont Doing to Combat Racism? State Sen. Debbie Ingram, Attorney General TJ Donovan, Col. Ingrid Jonas, Vermont State Police. Recommended Reading: Act 54 of the Vermont Legislature

October 22, 2019
An Inside Look at Mass Incarceration by a Black Vermonter, Daimeyon Williams, Director of Spectrum’s Multicultural Youth Program, Burlington, VT. Recommended Reading: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

December 3, 2019
Being a Muslim in America, Imam Islam, Islamic Society of Vermont, Recommended Reading: Muslims in America: A Short History by Edward E. Curtis IV. View Imam Islam’s presentation on the Internet Archive.

January 14, 2020
The Future of Social and Legal Policy in a Majority People of Color Country, presented by Xusana Davis, Vermont’s First Director of Racial Equity. – VIEW FORUM HERE, courtesy of Xusana Davis and Mount Mansfield Community TV.

January 21, 2020
The Difficult and Complex Conversation about Systemic Racism, Mark Hughes, Founder and Executive Director of Justice for All and Coordinator for the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance. Recommended Reading: Racist America: Roots, Current Realities and Future Reparations (4th Edition) by Joe R. Feagin and Kimberley Ducey

February 4, 2020
Racism and Migrant Justice, Teresa Mares, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont. Recommended Reading: Life on the Other Border: Farmworkers and Food Justice in Vermont by Teresa Mares.

February 25, 2020
The Intersection of Race and Poverty, Mark Hughes, Founder and Executive Director of Justice for All and Coordinator for the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance. Recommended Reading: The Colors of Poverty: Why Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist by Ann Chih Lin and David R. Harris

March 10, 2020
Let’s Talk about Reparations, Sherwood Smith, Director of the Center for Cultural Pluralism at the University of Vermont. Recommended Reading: The Debt by Randall Robinson, H.R. 40, and Vermont State House Bill 478

April 1, 2020
Civil Rights and a Conservative Supreme Court, Alec Ewald, Associate Professor of American Politics and Constitutional Law at the University of Vermont. Recommended Reading: Packing the Court: The Rise of Judicial Power and the Coming Crisis of the Supreme Court by James Macgregor Burns

May 5, 2020
Being Native American in America, Donald Stevens, Chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. Recommended Reading: Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

May 19, 2020
People of Chinese Descent in America, Karen Lew Biney-Amissah, former Director of Education at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), New York City. Recommended Reading: The Chinese in America by Iris Chang

June 2, 2020
Where Do We Go from Here? A Conversation with Young People of Color (panel to be determined). Recommended Reading: Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority by Tim Wise


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