Racism in America Forums

The Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, Mount Mansfield Community Television and
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Hosted by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 273 Vermont Route 15, Jericho, Vermont, at 7:00 PM

Moderated by the 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. The Racism in America Forum will focus on both Vermont and the nation with the intent of providing a model for each state to address its own history pertaining to racism and bigotry. The Forum offers monthly (and sometimes more frequent) occasions where topics of uppermost importance to people of color are shared and discussed with the hope of attracting allies and fostering positive change for all Americans. 


Racism in America Potluck Forums – 2021/2022 Schedule

COVID-19 NOTICE – We are most thankful to Angelike Contis, Director of Mount Mansfield Community Television, who has graciously provided video coverage for the Racism in America Forums. She has kindly provided access to all Racism in America Forums dating back to our first forum in September 2018. So, if you find yourself with nothing to do during this pandemic separation, check out the Racism in America Series page on the Mount Mansfield Community TV website.


The 2021-2022 Forum schedule will be online virtual gathering, so please register in advance at https://goodshepherdjericho.org/racism-in-america-forum/ 

October 13, 2021: What Is Critical Race Theory? Kathryn Dungy, Professor of History at St. Michael’s College will share her perspective on this controversial topic. Recommended Reading: Critical Race Theory: Key Writings that Formed the Movement, edited by Kimberle Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, and Kendall Thomas

October 27, 2021:  Voting Laws Since the 2020 Election, Alec Ewald, Professor of Political Science with a focus on American Politics and Constitutional law at the University of Vermont, with discuss changes in voting laws within the United States following the very contentious 2020 Election, why they were enacted, an how they could affect future statewide and national elections, especially as they relate to people of color. Recommended Reading: The Voting Rights War by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall

November 17, 2021: Being Native American in Vermont and 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

December (date to be determined): Young and Black in Vermont, Black high school students will share their experiences on a topic of their choos related to being Black in one of the whitest states in the nation. Recommended Reading: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum; Black Faces in White Places by Randal D. Pinkett, Jeffrey A. Robinson, and Philana Patterson

January 26, 2022: Barbara Jordan, I Dared to Be Me, presented by Shades of Truth Theatre of Harlem, New York City. This play by Michael Green provides a glimpse into the extraordinary life of the first woman to represent Texas in in Congress, who was also Black and Lesbian. Recommended Reading: Barbara Jordan: American Hero by Mary Beth Rogers

February (date to be determined): Black Clergy in Vermont: What are the experiences and challenges of clergy of color in one of the whitest states in the country? Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown, Rev. Dr. Alberta C. Wallace, Rev. Mark Hughes, Rev. Dr., Leon Dunkley, and Rev. Devon Thomas, The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge. Recommended Reading: Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes 1753-1833 by John Saillant; The life, Labors and Travels of Elder Charles Bowles: Free Will Baptist Denomination by John W. Lewis, Alton E. Loveless (editor)

March 2, 2022: Black People Confused for White: What are the experiences and feelings of African Americans who look white? We shall meet with a panel of individuals who will share their stories. Recommended Reading: A Chosen Exile by Allyson Hobbs; The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, James Weldon Johnson

March (date to be determined): Policing, Public Safety and People of Color: What progress has been made regarding policing and public safety in Vermont, and what are the lingering challenges that must be addressed? Michael Schirling, Commissioner of Public Safety, Heather Simon, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Council and head of the Vermont Police Academy. Recommended Reading: 21st Century Policing

April 6, 2022: Civil Rights and a Conservative Supreme Court, Alec Ewald, Professor of at the University of Vermont, will return to discuss the historically conservative leaning of the Supreme Court and the effect of its rulings upon people of color.  Recommended Reading: Packing the Court: The Rise of Judicial Power and the Coming Crisis of the Supreme Court by James Macgregor Burns; Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America, by Adam Cohen

May 18, 2022: 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


office@goodshepherdjericho.org | (802) 899-3932 | Jericho, Vermont

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