Northshire Bookstore to host roundtable discussion on racism

MANCHESTER, Vt. – On Saturday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, the Racial Justice Alliance of Burr & Burton Academy, in conjunction with the Rutland area NAACP, will be hosting a panel discussion on the ongoing rise of white supremacy movements, anti-Semitism, and racism in Vermont.

Multiple hate symbols have been found locally within our community. How is this happening in our state? Why aren’t more people aware of the rising movements? What are the driving forces behind the increases in intolerance towards “the other?” What can we as townspeople and neighbors do? What is the responsibility of our educational system and our various levels of government in helping to stem the tide of hate and hate-based crime? Hear from panelists, who are experts on these topics, ask questions, and be part of this important conversation.

Panelists include Rabbi Michael Cohen, rabbi emeritus of Israel Congregation of Manchester; Tabitha Moore, president of the Rutland Area Branch of the NAACP; and Mia Schultz, member of the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic Studies and Social Equity in Schools working group, as well as a fourth panelist who is an expert on Vermont hate groups.

President of the Rutland Area Branch of the NAACP, Tabitha Moore is also a training coordinator at the University of Vermont, a member of the Vermont State Police’s Fair and Impartial Policing Committee, and a member of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council’s Fair and Impartial Training Committee.

Mia Schultz’ seat on the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic Studies and Social Equity in Schools working group is a result of her activism in her own community in Bennington promoting the rights and voices of people of color in the schools. The Vermont Coalition was formed to advise the Vermont Board of Education in its new mission to adopt ethnic and social equity standards statewide.

Rabbi Cohen is a long-time environmental activist, has written extensively about the Middle East peace process in North American and Middle Eastern publications, and has been a visiting faculty member at Bennington’s Center for the Advancement of Public Action since spring 2012, teaching classes on conflict resolution.

Founded in 2019, the Burr and Burton Academy Racial Justice Alliance is a student-run organization that aims to increase racial equity awareness through education and to take action against racism in the school and surrounding community.

After the event, Northshire Bookstore will be offering copies of “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi to attendees.

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