From October 25 - November 2nd the Vermont Workers' Center held seven workshops around the state on Anti-racism & Building A Social Justice Movement with trainers from the Catalyst Project. Participants included high school and college students, teachers, union leaders, state employees, retirees, Americorp volunteers and Vermont non-profit staff. Here's what one participant sent us:
"I just got back from the Anti-Racist Conference with the Catalyst Project and am so energized! I brought 8 kids and an ELL teacher, all of whom are interested in taking the knowledge they learned today and bringing it back to our school. Barre has not traditionally been kind to people of color, even though they have a history of heavy immigration to the area, including radicals from Italy and France. For most of us, it isn’t fear or not liking those that are not like us that creates the racism, but sometimes a pure lack of knowledge or ignorance. I’ve seen an increase in behaviors from students who are listening to some incredible hate filled attacks on Blacks and other people of color in the media and are not real sure what to do with this information. They are confused. This conference has helped me harness some ideas to help direct these students with the help of our now core group of anti-racists! One student said she learned more about history today than she has in entire classes. Another said her head was spinning she learned so much. There was learning on the part of the adults in the room, as well. Our students brought a perspective that could not have been replaced.
Thanks Worker's Center for bringing this important Anti-Racism Conference to central Vermont."
— Amy Lester, School Counselor, Spaulding High School and Barre Technical Center