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VBSR Virtual Town Hall on Racial Justice
July 1, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join VBSR for an important discussion on racial justice in Vermont. This event will feature three Vermont leaders who will share their insights and experience working to address equity and justice issues in our state. Speakers will answer questions from the VBSR community, and also discuss opportunities for Vermont’s business leaders to support the BIPOC community and promote racial justice in their workplaces, communities, and beyond.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have always been guiding principles of social responsibility and the triple bottom line, and for 30 years VBSR has worked to advance these principles through organizational change and public policy. We also recognize that when it comes to racial equality, equity, and justice, we are just beginning. Businesses large and small have an important role to play in championing this work, and we invite everyone across VBSR’s network to join us as we continue the ongoing journey of self-education and action to ensure a just and equal Vermont.
This virtual town hall on racial justice will be the first in a series of VBSR-hosted educational programming focused on supporting Vermont businesses with understanding systemic racism and the implicit biases we carry, recognizing the inequities that continue to persist in Vermont, forming authentic partnerships that support people of color, and embodying equality and justice in all aspects of our work.
Meet our speakers:
Executive Director of Racial Equity, State of Vermont
Xusana Davis serves as the State of Vermont’s Executive Director of Racial Equity. She was appointed to the position in June 2019 by Governor Phil Scott. In her role, she works with state agencies to identify and address systemic racial disparities and support the state’s efforts to expand & diversify Vermont’s population. Prior to joining the State of Vermont, she served as Director of Health & Housing Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and as the Director of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council.
She holds a Juris Doctor with a concentration in International Human Rights Law from New York Law School, where she also directed a civil liberties education program for low-income and minority youth. She studied Anthropology and Philosophy at Fordham University, earning the Rev. J. Franklin Ewing, S.J. Award for writing on the relationship between global human rights violations and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS. Xusana is a first-generation U.S.-born Latina, and has always been passionate about promoting open access to government for all people, regardless of their background or place of origin. She is fluent in Spanish, and her name is pronounced like the phrase “Seuss on a”.
Sherwood Smith, Ed. D.
Senior Executive Director for Diversity & Engagement and Director of the Center for Cultural Pluralism, University of Vermont
Dr. Sherwood Smith grew-up in New Jersey, when to college in Washington and Indiana. Since 1995, he works at the University of Vermont (UVM). He now serves as Senior Executive Director for Diversity & Engagement and through the Center for Cultural Pluralism he coordinated and provided professional development for faculty and staff on issues of cultural and social justice. Sherwood is a Co-Founder & Partner of CQ Strategies, LLC, a collective of 5 partners providing training and consulting services on cultural competency, implicit bias, and organizational change.
Before moving to Vermont, he worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, Penn State’s Assistant Director of Residence Life and has done trainings with universities, local public radio and television, co-edited 2 books, several book chapters and presented at many national conferences. His concern for issue of culture and social justice are driven by his life experiences and supported by his family and friends.
President, Rutland Area NAACP
This webinar will be held via Zoom, and registration is required.
Details on how to join the webinar at the scheduled time via your computer or by phone will be sent to you via email confirmation upon registering for this webinar.
Sponsorships are available for VBSR’s webinars. Please reach out to Toby Aronson to learn more, at: [email protected]
If you would like to submit a question for our speakers, to be asked during the Q&A session of this town hall event, please submit your question here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H7VD66W
Question submissions will be accepted through Friday June 26th.