Black Lives Matter

From our Board:

Racism is not new, but there is no wrong time to join the conversation. We, the Board of CVOEO, denounce racism and demand change: in our own lives, in our communities, in our state, and in our country. We are outraged by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black lives. We denounce the systems in our society that perpetuate inequality of every kind, but today, and every day, we stand together with our Black colleagues, partner organizations, and the entire Black community. We agree with what should be an uncontroversial position for all to take: Black lives matter.

And we know taking a stand is not nearly enough.

CVOEO was founded in 1965 to address fundamental issues of economic, social, and racial justice. It is our responsibility and our privilege to support the most vulnerable members of our community. We strive to create opportunities for all people to thrive. There can be no economic independence for all until we dismantle systems of oppression and racism. Although their roots are deep and entrenched, change is possible.

In the coming days and weeks, the focus of our actions will be to learn, listen, and to hold ourselves, each other, and our organization accountable for educating ourselves to be anti-racist, to have frank conversations about race and privilege, to confront racism where we see it, and to build relationships both internally and externally. We will review our own programs to address systemic racial injustice and will devote resources to this fight. We plan to create a Racial Equity Committee, which will include employees and Board members, and to explore creation of a new position within CVOEO, specifically a Race Equity Director. In short, we are committed to doing our part to dismantle this country’s centuries-old system of racial injustice and violence.

Eric Garner. Sandra Bland. Michael Brown. Shantel Davis. Atatiana Jefferson. Laquan McDonald. Tony McDade. Pamela Turner. Korryn Gaines. Trayvon Martin. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and many other Black lives in our nation, in Vermont, and in our own community deserve nothing less than our best efforts.

In the words of Sandrine Kibuey, CVOEO’s Director of the Housing Advocacy Programs, “Hatred has many forms but it will never succeed in extinguishing the hope and resolve that we have for a better world for all.”