Transforming People and Communities
The Board, staff, and volunteers of Vermont Interfaith Action are heartbroken and horrified by the shooting of three Palestinian men in Burlington. Such violence and the hatred it represents has no place in our communities. As people of faith, we stand in compassion and solidarity with the young men who were targeted by this uncalled for and inexcusable action, and we pray for their full and speedy recovery. We are thankful for local law enforcement's apprehension of a suspect and urge them to investigate with vigor the possibility of a hate crime. We call upon all persons of good will to stand against hatred in any form and to treat everyone in our communities as human beings with the peace, dignity, and respect we each deserve.
Windham County VIA clergy and leaders hosted a discussion to address climate change two weeks ago.
Bill McKibben was our featured speaker. He is an author, environmentalist, and co-founder of 350.org, the worldwide climate action group. Following McKibben, there was also an in-person panel featuring Vermont State Senator Becca White, co-chair of the Legislative Climate Solutions Caucus; Dr. Becky Jones of 350Brattleboro; and Alex Wilson, author, environmentalist, and founder of Green Building magazine.
The event ended in a public forum to discuss ways to take climate action from the grassroots in our communities up to the policy level at the Statehouse.
There will be follow-up on this event and the possibility of forming an organizing committee to pursue climate action. To find out more, contact Mike@viavt.org.
Last month we launched our innovative initiative called "Safer Together Solution Burlington." Conducted in partnership with Healthy Cultures Education and Research Fund, this is a pilot program to bring neighbors and the police together to assess and improve public safety in the King Street neighborhood of Burlington.
The first step in this project is to hear from those who live and work in the neighborhood, which we did by taking a simple survey door-to-door during several hours last week. Using King Street Laundry as our base, we heard from lots of folks who feel that they are not always listened to. We even caught the attention of the local press, with stories on WCAX and WPTZ.
The next step will be to compile the results and present them at a community member, then to recruit neighbors to serve on a Task Force to address the one issue that emerges as the top concern. The Task Force will be given training and guidance in cultural change and community organizing by Healthy Cultures and VIA.
The months-long process is designed to culminate in impact on the public safety concern as well as building trust between community members and the police. For more information or to become involved, please contact Debbie.
On September 6th, 55 people hungry for justice in Vermont gathered to receive training in community organizing, hear about VIA's issue successes, build relationships, share a meal, and worship together.
The 8th Annual VIA Statewide Convention benefited from dozens of highly energized, participatory people, and the gathering added to their motivation and commitment.
Be sure to join us next year if you missed it! In the meantime, take a look at the Issues Video and some of the other materials on the resource page of our website.
VIA leaders shared about the work that they have been a part of in 2022 and what that means to them. Take a listen and get involved!
Visit our Events page to see what meetings are coming up and how you can be part of this work.
Feel free to contact VIA staff for more information or if you have any questions.
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