Mayors across the country are commemorating the civil rights movement and the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama by adopting a 10 point Plan of Action to end racism and discrimination. Burlington, Vermont is among the cities stepping up to participate.
On Thursday Mayor Miro Weinberger announced that the city of Burlington had joined the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ initiative against racism. The mayor noted that the city already has a number of policies in place including community conversations; working with the school systems to educate students about tolerance and respect; and inclusionary city policies. But he noted that more tangible steps are needed to prevent racism and discrimination.
The First Congregational Church of Burlington, United Church of Christ hosted the announcement of the initiative. Senior Minister, Reverend Peter Cook, says the initiative will foster communication among people of all races.
Partnership for Change Executive Director Hal Colston finds it refreshing that there is leadership and a team that is taking racism and discrimination seriously.
Greater Burlington Multicultural Resource Center Executive Director Dr. Patrick Brown says racism and discrimination exists in many forms in the Burlington area. He says the initiative must move beyond words and conversations.
The 10-point plan of action includes policies to promote inclusion; easing the integration of immigrants; and community events that promote diversity.