“We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”
“Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons,
We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”
– Ella Baker, as quoted by Bernice Johnson Reagon in Ella’s Song
The events of this last week precipitated by the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis are now seared into our collective conscience as Americans. Our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd’s family and friends, the people of Minneapolis, and all who are afflicted by deadly racism.
All of us at Vermont Humanities are determined to respond. As our friend Rep. John Lewis says, “Just as people of all faiths and no faiths, and all backgrounds, creeds, and colors banded together decades ago to fight for equality and justice in a peaceful, orderly, non-violent fashion, we must do so again.”
Our Statement about the Death of George Floyd
We’re determined to find ways to help and ways to communicate through the lens of the humanities.
Opportunities to Help
Suggestions on actions you can take in response to the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Please send us your ideas so we can add them to the list.
Dr. Laura Jiménez joins Vermont State Librarian Jason Broughton to examine ways to lead effective discussions centered on diversity and antiracism.
Tim Wise, one of the leading anti-racist writers and educators in the country, gave a stirring keynote presentation at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Burlington for a ceremony remembering the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As monuments come down across the US, some decry that history is being erased. But what (and whose) history do monuments contain? Using several American and European monuments as examples, UVM Art History professor Kelley Di Dio explores why, when, and by whom these monuments were made, and considers what should be done with them.
In response to the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor from Middlebury College created a musical composition. This video features selections from that recording as Dr. Taylor discusses his journey towards using music as an avenue for advocacy and activism.
Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson examines the factors that lead most of us to stay silent in the face of bad behavior, and how this tendency to stay silent allows such acts to continue.
Video: Rajnii Eddins shares his poetry and discusses how our stories can be used to confront racism and other injustices, affirm diversity and equity, and initiate community dialogue.
Video: Join Jarvis Green, producing artistic director at JAG Productions, as he leads a discussion with poet Major Jackson, choreographer Felicia Swoope, and writer Desmond Peeples about being Black culture bearers in Vermont during this time of protest and pandemic.
Video: a conversation on the condition of Black theatre during a time of death, betrayal, and global pandemic. Jarvis Green, producing artistic director at JAG Productions, leads a discussion with award-winning playwrights Keelay Gipson and Stacey Rose.
Video: Drawing from his documentary film “Man on Fire,” Middlebury professor James Sanchez discusses the rhetoric of white supremacy and suggests ways communities might address bigotry.
Video: Yale historian David Blight, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History for his biography “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” tells Douglass’s story: an escaped slave who became one of the leading abolitionists, orators, and writers of his era.