In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “This is no ordinary time.”
The Center for Health and Learning believes it is time to make a clear statement about equitable respect and caring for all people in this American society, of which we are a part. All people should know they belong and are valued, and as the Umatter® message says, “You have a place in the big picture.”
“We” – white, black and brown people on the Board of Directors and employed by CHL – stand together as allies. When one of us suffers, we all suffer, and we lose a part of our collective humanity that makes us whole people and a whole community.
All forms of systemic racism must stop, including the systems that perpetuate police violence and brutality. We watched the painful, visual and auditory rendering of the death of one of our black citizens at the hands of a police force meant to serve and protect us all. Violence in all forms in our society does not fit into the big picture of a society that functions under democratic principles and values of care and concern.
The economic ravages of COVID-19 and violence in society have come together to expose just how much needs to change about social attitudes in America. CHL denounces the culture of white supremacy and systemic racism that leads to school to prison pipelines, mass incarceration, police violence, and poverty, and inequitable access to resources. We express our support to those who are protesting peacefully across the United States, demanding an end to police violence and justice.
We know that entire communities of color have historically been harmed by systemic racism and oppression, and underserved by discriminatory policies and budgets. While we have all experienced a lot this spring, the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the impact that the disparities in health outcomes that COVID-19 has had in communities of color. Recently, the Vermont Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued the Disparities in School Discipline in Vermont highlighting disparities in disciplinary policies toward black and brown children in Vermont, which runs in parallel process to research across the country. The relentless, centuries-old, racism and oppression that fueled the coopting of Black lives in America must end. We all deserve the opportunity to succeed and thrive
The current situation requires each of us to place attention on what needs to change. CHL works across sectors to impact the individual level of health among students in the educational system, patients in the health care system and those who are part of our social services systems. Today, we commit to ensuring that CHL’s programs, grants, systems and practices align with these commitments:
- Proactively address our own unconscious biases as a team through the ongoing commitment to planned trainings, dialogue, and consistent communication about assessing how we are becoming anti-racist as an organization and individuals;
- Deeply listen to and learn from Black, Indigenous, and other people of color through our projects with educational, health care and community partners;
- Ensure that the sentiments expressed herein are reflected in our work, staffing, recruitment policies, and operational decisions;
- Hold ourselves and our grantees, partners, and stakeholders accountable for making progress toward equity and justice for all.
On behalf of the Board and Staff of CHL,
JoEllen Tarallo, Ed.d., MCHES, FASHA, Executive Director
Board of Directors:
- Yvonne Alberts
- Michael Cohen
- Hal Colston
- Frank Dike
- Gene Fullam
- Jason Mott
- Jane Schreiber
- Karen White
- Chiang Wong
- Catherine Diduk
- Melissa Farr
- Sara Haimowitz
- Debby Haskins
- Eric Jones
- Gwen Mousin
Resources for further learning, study, and action.
- Brown Douglas, Kelly, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, Books, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2015).
- Cone, James H., The Cross and the Lynching Tree, (New York, NY: Orbis Books, 2011)
- DiAngelo, Robin, What Does It Mean To Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy, (Peter Lang Publishing, 2012).
- DiAngelo, Robin, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism, (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2018).
- Roediger, David R., Working Toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White, The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs, (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2005).
- Ibram, Kendi X., Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, (New York, NY: Nation Books, 2015).
- Baptist, Edward E., The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2014).
- A Conversation with White People on Race
- Africa’s Great Civilizations Amazon Prime Video
“A Framework for Race-Related Trauma in the Public Education System and Implications on Health for Black Youth.” Journal of School Health, 2018
PsychHub made these electronic materials available, including organizations, book recommendations, and online resources.
The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) recently released a statement calling for an end to all forms of racial discrimination across the world.
ACLU of Vermont
Justice for All
Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante
Peace & Justice Center of Vermont
Rights & Democracy VT
The Root Social Justice Center
Vermont Racial Justice Alliance
Partnership for Fairness and Diversity