Support VTPFD Today

Contributions may be made directly to VTPFD by mail at:

18 Town Crier Drive
Brattleboro, VT 05301

or via Paypal at:

https://paypal.me/vtpfdorg
(will appear as ALANA Community Organization, our parent organization’s name)

 

Did you know you can also support Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity by using AmazonSmile to make your purchases?

Just select as your preferred charity, “ALANA Community Organization, Brattleboro, VT” (the parent organization of VTPFD), and every time you make a purchase through AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to VTPFD. It’s that simple, and won’t change the amount you pay.

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Dear Friends and Fellow Vermonters,

With the inauguration of Donald Trump, we are entering times that are certain to try our mettle. Reactionary partisans have been hard at work, rolling back anti-discrimination protections, eroding voting rights protections, and attacking access to healthcare, particularly reproductive care for women, among other depredations. They have inflamed bigotry and intolerance all across the country. They have been emboldened to strike at the very heart of what it means to be an American. The incoming administration idolizes a vision of American homogeneity, hierarchy, and religion which allows for no difference, no debate, no diversity, no inclusion, no equality, no equity, and no mercy.

We must not fail to bolster our defenses against these dangerous ideas, nor to keep our voices raised in opposition, and to do that, we need your help. Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity’s mission is to ensure Vermont’s future as the epicenter for diversity, inclusion, equality, equity, and justice in the United States, and now is the time to redouble our commitment and our action. We do not intend to merely fight a holding action or to wait out the antipathy of those who would rather we be silent; we mean to gain ground, to pursue progress unrelentingly. But we cannot do it alone.

In 2016, Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity:

  • Organized the 5th Annual Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future Conference, bringing influential Vermonters in government and the private sector together to directly and personally act to address issues of multiculturalism in Vermont.
  • Expanded the “I Am a Vermonter” website, highlighting the experiences of Vermonters of color, to aid people in choosing Vermont as a new home or destination.
  • Led the state in educating families to combat harassment and bullying in our schools.
  • Showcased the long history and deep heritage of Vermonters of color through the Vermont African American Heritage Trail.
  • Led our partners in law enforcement, tourism, education, and municipal government to adopt more inclusive and equitable business practices.

And this is just the beginning. Your contribution to Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity allows us to continue, accelerate, and expand these programs and more.

Our initiatives and leadership are fundamentally changing the course of Vermont by convening groups across the public and private sectors to forge a common future and make our state an exceptional destination for an increasingly diverse populace. We are a relationship-oriented charitable nonprofit with a two-decade track record providing expert training and coaching to Vermont, New Hampshire, and upstate New York leaders. We currently serve state and municipal government agencies; business and civic organizations; state, county and local law enforcement agencies; educational supervisory unions and professional associations; and non-profit organizations and faith communities.

The challenges Vermont faces cannot be underestimated. The economic and population growth experienced by people of color is leading the nation, yet income and equity disparities persist. Black people continue to receive the smallest share of income and assets in this country, and even among Asian people, poverty rates exceed those of whites. Vermont’s per capita GDP economic growth rate from 2010-2015 lags the nation by 30%, and our absolute per capita GDP still lags the nation by 14%. From 2010-2015, US GDP grew by 10%, while Vermont’s grew by only 4.2%, and still remains 50th among 50 states.

Vermont’s population has stagnated, declining by 0.2% over the past five years, while the nation as a whole has grown 4%. Vermont is a state which has a reputation for being among the least diverse in the country, but in Vermont, as with the rest of the nation, the non-Hispanic white population is steadily shrinking as a proportion of the total population. Did you know that from 2010-2015, Vermont ranked fifth in most rapid Hispanic population growth, with a growth rate of 25%? By 2050–just 33 years from now, one generation–the Pew Research Foundation predicts non-Hispanic whites will make up just 47% of the US population.

For all the wonderful advantages of living in Vermont, our economy is not keeping pace with the rest of the country, and with global climate change producing record high average temperatures in every year in the past decade, Vermont’s iconic strengths of winter tourism and maple syrup may be in serious jeopardy. Certainly, a generation from now, Vermont is going to look very different from the Vermont of today. As a state with deep agricultural traditions, no one knows better than Vermonters that monocultures are more vulnerable to disruption than diversified cultures.

To lead the trend, to prepare for a robust future, a focus on diversity, inclusion, equality, equity, and justice is therefore unquestioningly an absolute requirement for the revitalization of Vermont’s economy. A rising tide lifts all boats, and it is our job, our duty, to make sure everyone is aboard a worthy craft. We want a bright future for all Vermonters; it is clear that we must demonstrate that Vermont is an attractive, welcoming, and safe place for people of color and for people of all vulnerable populations to live, work, visit, and enjoy, a place that not only tolerates diversity, but welcomes it, actively seeks it, nurtures it, and protects it.

An economy is not an abstract, amorphous idea; it is people, and an economy is only as strong as the bonds and interactions between them. The greatest barrier to the trust upon which all relationships are founded is fear of the unknown, and the fastest way to break down that fear is familiarity. We believe a sustainable future for Vermont is predicated on the state being a desirable destination for an increasingly multiracial, multiethnic, and multilingual America. Individuals in this emerging American majority want to reside, work, recreate, and invest in destinations known for inclusive and equitable treatment of residents and visitors alike.

The importance of building a robustly healthy and vibrant Vermont through inclusion and sensitivity to the issues facing Vermonters of all descriptions has been brought into sharp relief during this past election. Our children deserve to enjoy a resilient and cohesive Vermont, so we must rededicate ourselves to the hard work of fairness and inclusion to make our state an exceptional home for all.

Please join us now, by contributing your tax-deductible donation to Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, for the sake of all Vermonters and for the sake of Vermont’s future.

Contributions may be made directly to VTPFD by mail at:

18 Town Crier Drive
Brattleboro, VT 05301

or via Paypal at:

https://paypal.me/vtpfdorg
(will appear as ALANA Community Organization, our parent organization’s name)

 

In sincerity and solidarity,

Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity