Racial and Ethnic Minority Issues
Got questions about your legal rights? The Vermont Commission on Women's handbook, The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont might provide answers. Chapters include: Adoption, Guardianship and Emancipated Minors; Consumer Protection and Fair Credit; Domestic Relations; Education; Employment Rights; Housing and Property Rights; Immigration; Insurance; Name Changes; Public Accommodations; Public Assistance and Government Benefits; Reproductive Rights; Violence Against Women and Children; and Wills, Probate Court, and Advanced Directives.
Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity
18 Town Crier Drive
Brattleboro VT 05301
The Partnership works to strengthen fairness and diversity in Vermont communities by eliminating prejudice and discrimination of all kinds. They help community members understand and advocate for their rights; educate communities on the realities and challenges of living in a world of differences; and teach skills people need in order to thrive. They provide information and recommendations to policy makers on issues that impact the quality of life for those who are most disenfranchised. Founded in 1993 the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity is a Vermont-registered nonprofit, nonpartisan, research, educational and advocacy organization dedicated to building inclusive and equitable communities throughout New England.
ALANA Student Center
342 South Prospect Street
Blundell House, Redstone Campus, UVM
Burlington, VT 05405
The ALANA Student Center (ASC) fully supports the holistic development of ALANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, and Native American) and Bi/Multiracial students so that as confident students of color they attain their goals for academic achievement, personal growth, identity formation, and cultural development.
Vermont Legal Aid, Inc.
Vermont Legal Aid (VLA) is a non-profit law firm established in 1968 to provide free civil legal services to Vermonters who are low-income, elderly and those with disabilities. VLA serves the community by providing information, advice and representation in the areas of health care, housing, education, family law, benefits, and consumer law. Common examples of needs they can help with:
Court appearances or legal advice
Problems with housing or landlords
Public assistance, long-term care, Medicaid, or health care issues
Disability, special education, or guardianship issues
Discrimination or individual rights issues
VLA regional offices:
264 North Winooski Avenue
Burlington, VT 05402
(802) 863-2871 / 800-889-2047
7 Court Street
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 223-6377 / 800-789-1495
57 North Main Street
Rutland, VT 05701
(802) 775-0021 / 800-769-7459
56 Main Street, Suite 301
Springfield, VT 05156
(802) 885-5181 / 800-769-9164
177 Western Ave.
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
(802) 748-8721 / 800-769-6728
Vermont Legal Aid Projects:
Poverty Law Project represents low-income Vermonters with civil legal problems in the areas of housing, family law, consumer law, employment, and problems with government benefits programs.
Disability Law Project represents Vermonters with physical and developmental disabilities where their legal problem arises from their disability. Cases include guardianship, special education, discrimination in employment and housing, access to health care, and Social Security Disability-related benefits problems.
Elder Law Project has two sections, the Senior Citizens Law Project which represents people over 60 years of age in general civil legal matters including housing, Medicare and guardianship; and The Medicare Advocacy Project that represents clients in Medicare appeals. MAP cases are handled pursuant to a contract with the State of Vermont; no direct client intake is available for MAP.
Health Care Ombudsman Project operates a hotline providing advocacy on problems involving health care and health insurance. Case types include access to health care, billing, eligibility and insurance plan coverage issues.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Project represents individuals who receive long term care services in nursing homes, residential care homes, assisted living residences, or in their own homes through the Choices for Care Program. Issues addressed include quality of care, quality of life, and residents' rights.
Mental Health Law Project represents clients facing involuntary commitment and or involuntary medication proceedings.
Vermont Human Rights Commission
14-16 Baldwin Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-6301
(802) 828-2480 / 800-416-2010 (voice) / 877-294-9200 (TTY)
The Vermont Human Rights Commission can help with discrimination in housing, stores, business, offices, schools, government, and state employment. Help is provided through answering questions about civil rights, making referrals, helping people reach agreements, investigating discrimination complaints, and bringing lawsuits. All services are free.
Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP)
462 Hegemann Avenue, Suite 101
Colchester, VT 05446
The VRRP assists refugees in becoming socially and economically self-sufficient by providing a wide variety of services including: case management, employment services, English-as-a-second-language, citizens outreach and education, micro enterprise development, a matching grant program, and development of new resettlement communities.
Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates
241 No. Winooski Ave
Burlington, VT 05401-3620
Advocacy - through organizing, educating and advocating about asylum and immigration issues VRA works to educate the public about our work and immigration issues in general.
Asylum - VRA is one of the primary organizations in Vermont offering advocacy and legal services to those individuals in need of protection from persecution in their home country through applying for asylum here in the U.S.
Canadian Bound Program - Since its inception in 1987, VRA has worked to provide logistical and legal support to thousands of asylum seekers transiting the U.S. to apply for refuge in Canada.
Criminal Issues - VRA works to inform public defenders and private criminal defense attorneys of the possible immigration consequences of certain crimes and works with them to fashion alternate pleas which will not put their clients in removal proceedings. We also work to inform the immigrant community of their rights and responsibilities under U.S. law.
Detention Program - VRA works with immigration detainees to determine their eligibility for relief and the means to obtain it. An emphasis is placed on preparation for the bond hearing so that the immigrant can seek the legal support they need once released.
Torture Survivor Program - the newest program at VRA works with other community organizations to provide, legal, mental and health assistance to survivors of torture in Vermont.
Genergal Immigration Assistance - since 1987, VRA has offered general assistance for refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers. Presently, VRA is primarily a legal services agency. While our mandate is to serve the legal needs of asylum seekers and indigent individuals held in immigration detention centers, VRA also provides limited general immigration services such as family reunification, green card applications and other types of immigration applications.
Vermont Agency of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620
The Vermont Agency of Education is a statewide resource regarding all aspects of education including home schooling, safe schools, special education, English as a second language and many other important education-related topics.
Laws and Regulations
Vermont Agency of Education's webpage featuring updated state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to education in Vermont schools.
Data and Reports
Vermont Agency of Education's webpage featuring statistics and reports
Vermont Agency of Education's webpage featuring model policies, including unlawful harassment
Governor’s Advisory Commission on Native American Affairs
49 Church Street
Swanton, VT 05488
This commission is dedicated to studying issues, making recommendations to the Governor, and implementing projects that promote cultural, educational and economic well being of Native American residents in the state of Vermont. The commission also recommends actions that will enhance understanding of Vermont’s Native American heritage and culture.
Abenaki Self-Help Association
48 Merchants Row
Swanton, VT 05488
(802) 868-2559 / (802) 868-7146
The Abenaki Self-help Association helps Vermonters obtain basic needs by directing them to resources such as available housing and food shelters, with a particular emphasis on employment resources for Abenaki people living in Vermont.
Racial Justice and Equity Project at the Peace and Justice Center
60 Lake Street, 1C Burlington Waterfront
Burlington, Vermont 05401
The Racial Justice and Equity Project works against individual and institutional racism by prompting equity and justice through services for people of color and projects that support institutional and organizational change. The Project also conducts research and educates against racism.
Association of Africans Living in Vermont
20 Allen Street, 3rd Floor
Burlington, Vermont 05401
802 985 3106
Mission: To promote the equal opportunity, dignity, and self-sufficiency of individuals and families, who have a link to the African Continent, regardless of race, ethnic group, religious or political affiliation, or sexual orientation. Provides:
Referral case management helping individuals and families to connect with services such as housing, employment, health, and children’s services
Home visits for New Africans helping Africans learn about subjects and events will assist with transition to Vermont – examples include: the dangers of substance and tobacco use, how to apply for the Green Card, how to build good credit
Neighborhood African Women’s Groups – African women from three public housing complexes gather to sew, knit, and crochet, while discussing various integration subjects. Three groups meet eight times per week.
African Men’s Breakfasts – African men meet on Saturday mornings to enjoy a meal, conversation, and discussion about important transitional subjects – from healthy parenting to the dangers of domestic violence.
Workforce Development, including combining ESL with welding skills training, and fostering micro-agriculture ventures. Project partners include: the Intervale Center, the Advanced Welding Institute, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, and the State of Vermont.
Leadership Development and Advocacy – Vermont’s Africans have a say in local decision making. The Association, in partnership with Mosaica, offers leadership development training to African community members. The AALV also advocates for equal access to public services, progressive workforce participation, and access to affordable childcare.
Interpreter Services – AALVInterpret offers skilled language interpreters to medical providers, social services, and industry at affordable rates. AALVInterpret prides itself in offering meaningful compensation to its interpreters.
Health Promotion – Using a successful ‘promotoras’ model of preventative health education, the Association in partnership with the American Cancer Society is educating African women about breast cancer and making referrals for mammograms.
Radio Africa – The AALV hosts a weekly radio show, which includes service provider interviews, an African cultural profile, an events calendar, and loads of music from all across the African continent. Review the show’s webpage here.
Cross-cultural trainings for service providers and the general public
Cultural preservation and recreation activities, such as musical events, the summer soccer team, cultural celebration days
SISTA United Alliance
Affiliated with the VT Coalition for People of Color, this organization is a community based non-profit dedicated to providing support and services to women and children of color in our local community. The SISTA United Alliance is committed to educating, mobilizing and supporting our local community around issues geared towards social change by providing support through education, resource referrals, informal support and general information.
Vermont State Police
Handles hate crimes and other criminal violations of the law.
Williston: (802) 878-7111
St. Albans: (802) 524-5993
Middlesex: (802) 229-9191
St. Johnsbury: (802)748-3111
Derby: (802) 334-8881
Bradford: (802) 222-4680
Rutland: (802) 773-9101
Middlebury: (802) 388-4919
Shaftsbury: (802) 442-5421
Rockingham: (802) 875-2112
Brattleboro: (802) 254-2382
Royalton: (802) 234-9933
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry St., PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402
The Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities' vision is to reduce and eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities through partnership, education, and advocacy.
Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont
294 North Winooski Ave, Suite 212 B
Burlington, VT 05401
Provides education and life-skills programs, interpreters, and English tutoring programs.
94 W. Canal Street #3
Winooski, VT 05404
YWCA Vermont is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We do this by engaging women and girls in leadership experiences and advocating for racial and economic justice. Primary programs include YWCA Camp Hochelaga, the Girls' Leadership Initiative, and the YWCA THRIVE Award.
The Governor's Workforce Equity & Diversity Council (GWEDC)
Created by Executive Order to lead the Vermont state government's efforts in the areas of Affirmative Action and Diversity by acting as a consultant and advisor to the Commissioner of Personnel and the Secretary of Administration. The mission of the GWEDC calls for a greater focus on supporting a workplace culture that promotes equitable treatment for all, and one that embraces the true value workplace diversity offers.