State News

Student Anti-Racism Network receives grant to foster anti-racist school systems

Local schools participating include Woodstock Union High School, Harwood Union High School, West Rutland High School, Proctor High School, White River Valley High School and Thetford Academy

The Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network recently received a $1,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Spark Connecting Community grant program. The grant will help further the network’s mission of promoting anti-racism in schools through student leadership.

“We envision a Vermont that acknowledges how racism is historically and institutionally embedded and takes seriously our ethical obligation to end racism,”  said Kyle Mitchell, student member, Middlebury Union High School.

The Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network was founded this summer to bring a diverse group of students together from around the state to advocate for anti-racist educations. It endeavors to make an impact by undertaking projects in schools, such as encouraging curriculum changes and changes in statewide school policies.

One idea for using the VCF grant money is to purchase racially inclusive and anti-racist books that amplify diverse voices for elementary schools around Vermont. They then may go into schools via Zoom for a powerful activity and discussion based around the books, led by students in the network.

“Racism is driven by mindsets, unconcious biases, and how our brains are structured so if we can get young people into anti-racist habits early on, it is likely that these habits will stick with them into adulthood,” said Olivia Miller, student member, Champlain Valley Union High School.

The Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network represents eight of the 14 counties in Vermont: Addison, Windsor, Chittenden, Washington, Rutland, Windham, Bennington, and Essex. The high schools include: Middlebury High School, Woodstock Union High School, Mount Mansfield Union High school, Champlain Valley Union High School, South Burlington High School, Harwood Union High School, West Rutland High School, Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School, Vergennes High School, Proctor High School, White River Valley High School, Montpelier High School, Arlington Memorial High School, and Thetford Academy.

The goal is to have representatives from every county with an emphasis on students and teachers of color. Any student,  teacher or student group interested in being involved should email [email protected]

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