New Sites Added to the Vermont African American Heritage Trail for 2017

2017-06-14 (1)

The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity are pleased to announce that new sites have been added to the Vermont African American Heritage Trail. The additions include the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, as well as Buffalo Soldiers Historic Markers in Colchester and Essex. The new sites appear in the updated brochure for the heritage trail released in April 2017.

The Clemmons Family Farm is one of the oldest and largest African American-owned farms in Vermont and has been in the family since 1962. The 148-acre property includes six historic farm buildings, prime farmland and forest on the shore of Lake Champlain and serves as an African American heritage and multicultural center.

“Few things excite the mind of a traveler more than the discovery of some new bit of knowledge in some unexpected place,” said Curtiss Reed, Executive Director of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity. “As African American history and Vermont are not top-of-mind associations, visitors will be pleasantly surprised at the depth of the intertwined history between persons of African heritage and Vermont dating back to the 1600s, long before the founding of Vermont as a state.”

The Vermont African American Heritage Trail takes visitors to museums and cultural sites where exhibits, films, tours and personal explorations illuminate the lives of African Americans for whom the Green Mountain State was part of their identity. This trail was established four years ago to celebrate the historic and new populations of Africans in Vermont and to promote the attractions associated with their achievements and contributions to visitors and residents alike.

The Vermont African American Heritage Trail is an initiative of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, local historical societies and museums.

Efforts to Attract People of Color to Vermont Are Paying Off


By Eva McKend/WCAX, Burlington, VT

It’s a unique resource for people of color relocating to Vermont for school, work or retirement. Now, IAMAVERMONTER.ORG is celebrating its second year online.

The website just got a facelift with expanded sections for careers, culture and recreation. It was inspired by Dr. Dan Balón, who died in January 2013. He was the director of diversity & equality at the Burlington School District and was a tireless advocate in the community.

Curtiss Reed, the executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, told our Eva McKend more about the website, its mission and its results.

Watch the video to see.


To what end diversity?

With no persons of color on the town payroll, Brattleboro Selectboard grapples with remedies.

BRATTLEBORO—The most recent federal census data, from 2015, shows that in Brattleboro, 9.6 percent of the population identifies as persons of color: black, Asian, American Indian, Latin or Hispanic, or of more than one race.

But according to data submitted for the town’s Equal Employment Opportunity report, of the 191 full-time, part-time, seasonal, and on-call municipal staff, 100 percent are identified as “white/non-Hispanic.”

At their May 2 meeting, Selectboard members and Town Manager Peter B. Elwell began discussing the range of issues around the racial composition of the town’s workforce.

That conversation boils down to two questions: Is it okay that the town’s employees, including police and fire department staff, do not reflect the area’s racial makeup? And what, if anything, should town officials do about it?

The conversation started a few months before.

At the Feb. 23 Selectboard Candidates’ Forum, Curtiss Reed Jr., executive director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, posed the first question.

Read the full article at: Begins Statewide Expansion

2017-05-08 (1)


Press Release


For Immediate Release

Contact: Curtiss Reed, Jr.

(802) 254-2972 begins statewide expansion


Brattleboro In an effort to answer quality of life questions people of color may have regarding a relocation to Vermont, Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity has redesigned to capture the experiences of Vermonters of color throughout the Green Mountains.


When launched in 2015 focused exclusively on attracting people to the Champlain Valley region. The relaunched site now seeks to attract people to relocate to other regions as well as the Champlain Valley through testimonials of residents living and working in those other regions.


“The Southeast Vermont region and sections on Culture and Recreation appear for the first time on the relaunched website. The site expansion to Southeast Vermont was partially underwritten by businesses, human service and educational institutions in search of a more diverse workforce, entrepreneurs, and students,” states Curtiss Reed, Jr., executive director for Vermont Partnership.


The executive director of one of the underwriters, the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), Adam Grinold, relates that, “The BDCC believes an economy and community is only as strong as its workforce, and a welcoming, diverse economy and workforce is just as important as a welcoming and diverse community. We’re happy to know both employers and job-seekers will have I Am A Vermonter as a tool to recruit, retain, and attract talent to and within our community.”


Vermont Partnership hopes to bring the Southwest, Central, and Northeast Kingdom regions online within the next 18 months. Visitors to the site can link directly to employment and career opportunities offered by the corporate and institutional underwriters.


Michael Schirling, Secretary of the Agency for Commerce and Community Development, notes, “Mindful growth is essential as we work to make Vermont affordable and economically vibrant.  Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce, entrepreneurs and families are essential to building and growing thriving communities and businesses throughout our state. The portal is a wonderful asset to help achieve those goals.”


For more information on corporate or institutional underwriting call (802) 254-2972 or contact

Community in Action, 5/25, Brattleboro, VT 05301


Southeastern Vermont Community Action invites you to learn more about how to get involved in efforts to protect key publicly-funded programs and reaffirm our nation’s commitment to human rights, opportunity, and democracy. 150-200 participants are expected to attend Community in Action, Thursday, May 25, 2017, from 1700-2000 EDT where they will have the opportunity to connect with over a dozen organizations working to stop cuts to critical programs like Obamacare, Medicaid, LIHEAP (fuel assistance), SNAP (food stamps), Meals-on-Wheels, low-income housing, and more.

Community in Action will feature presentations from Curtis Reed, Jr., of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity (confirmed), State Senator Becca Balint (invited), Lt. Governor Zuckerman (invited), and Congressional staffers, who will provide their perspective on some of the urgent state and federal issues that could have a major impact on our communities.