Vermont Imprisons African Americans at High Rate

More than 10 percent of the people in Vermont prisons are African American. Just 1 percent of people in Vermont are black. Curtiss Reed is director of the Brattleboro-based Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity That's a statewide group that fights
racism and has full-time employees. On February 22, he told the Valley Post, "Last week I testified to the (Vermont) House Judiciary Committee on behalf of H. 535." That House bill would pay for a study to try to find out why black people are so much more likely to be imprisoned in Vermont.

Springfield Incinerator Hearing is April 5

Why did an incinerator corporation recently choose Springfield, the biggest city in western Massachusetts (population 156,000) as the location for a new incinerator? Could the choice be related to the fact that Springfield is home to a much higher percentage of people of color (48 percent) than most cities and towns in the region? The percentage of families in poverty in Springfield is more than double the national average. Maybe the incinerator company’s lawyers thought poor people of color would be less likely to put up a fight. They were wrong.

Rally Against Racism in Northampton

A rally for Jason Vassell was held on August 6 in Northampton following an evidentiary hearing related to a Motion to Dismiss filed by Vassell’s attorneys at the county courthouse there. The former UMass student was involved in an altercation with two non-UMass students in the Southwest dormitory complex on February 3, 2008. The rally was in support of the motion filed on Vassell’s behalf and to hear further information regarding recent court finagling over the defense’s discovery process.

Community Confronts Racism: Organizations look toward a meaningful, long-term understanding of issues

Since the past spring and early summer, several organizations have initiated events and programs to address and confront an undercurrent of racial tension in the region.

A group of youths calling themselves the Nigger Hanging Redneck Association (NHRA) showed signs of activity in Vernon, Guilford and Brattleboro and at the Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS). Three minors were linked to the NHRA in an incident involving harassment of a group of ethnic minorities at the Brattleboro Transit Center in June.