WHAT WE DO
The Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (REIB) department has a focus on eradicating systemic racism – in all forms. The foundational principle of this office is to ensure that race is not a determining factor in any measurable outcome. We are focusing on culture; what it means to belong, and what it means to be included. We do that by strong community engagement and dismantling systems of oppression.
Talitha Consulting Process
Consultant to assist with the facilitation of inclusive and equitable community visioning and for program design to support ongoing community input for the City of Burlington Police Department's operations. Read more...
CNA Consultants Assessment of the BPD
At this defining moment for public safety and police reform, the City of Burlington, Vermont, (“the City”) has tasked a joint committee comprised of the City Council Public Safety Committee and Police Commission (“Joint Committee”) to explore the reimagining of public safety that includes a functional and operational assessment of policing operations. Read more...
Juneteenth is the commemoration and celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19 as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
Burlington Racial Equity Strategic Roadmap
America is changing. There’s a realization for the white community that racism, whether overt or covert still exists in this country. Even while, for hundreds of years, Black, Indigenous, and people of color(BIPOC) have been screaming at the top of their lungs to be treated equally. Our collective cries for hope, and freedom from oppression have, until recently, fallen on deaf ears. Read more...
City of Burlington Racial Equity Toolkit
The Burlington REIB Department focuses on promoting racial equity and inclusion throughout the City of Burlington both internally and externally through engagement, facilitation, and education. Read more...
REIB Data Report
The REIB Data Report will serve as a resource to measure inequity in Burlington through quantitative and qualitative metrics. Equity indicators are categorized into five domains – economy, education, health, housing, and justice – with the understanding they are intersectional in nature. Each domain will also include data-based policy recommendations aiming to reduce and ultimately eliminate the identified inequities. After completion, the report will be made available for public use.
The two-part 2021 Housing Summit will focus on racial disparities across housing, grounded in the disparity in Black Homeownership in which, of the 6000 owner—occupied homes in Burlington, only 17 are Black-owned. On August 18th and 19th, Summit 1 will kick off with three primary objectives: to educate the public on the historical and systemic factors that disadvantage Black households, identify and prioritize challenges through expert input and community dialogue, and generate community-driven solutions. City teams and community partners will then develop policy solutions and present them for feedback at Summit 2 (date TBD).
The REIB’s Anti-Racism Training is a multi-level training curriculum built to create a baseline understanding of the history of institutional and systemic racism amongst all City employees so that we can collectively and actively promote equity within our work. The program is designed to support all employees, regardless of their level of knowledge regarding systemic racism. City employees, city council, and boards and commissions will complete roughly 20 hours of workshops in the first year, with additional modules for continued growth and others geared specifically towards employees that serve in leadership roles. As the level of our collective understanding of systemic racism increases, the complexity of our training will increase as well.
The REIB is continuously researching and developing policies devoted to eradicating systemic racism in our municipality and make our community more anti-racist place.
Organizational Cultural Analysis
“Culture” is the is the pattern of basic assumptions that are developed and normalized by a group, that is taught to new members of the group, and that implicitly and explicitly dictates the correct way to perceive, think, feel, and operate as part of that group. Through the development and implementation of the Organizational Cultural Analysis (OCA), the REIB will identify and evaluate the tenants of our municipal’s culture. By identifying our starting point, we will be better able to work towards our goals and identify the barriers to doing so. From there, the REIB will work with departments to eliminate the presence of white supremacy culture and develop a culture of anti-racism, conclusion, and belonging.
Grocery Gift Cards for BIPOC Households Program
Across Burlington, BIPOC households are at higher risk for food insecurity than white households. Nearly one in two (42.8%) Black residents receive SNAP benefits, but among white residents, this number is only one in seven (13.8%). The impact of COVID-19 has only widened that disparity. With funding support from Vermont Community Fund, Vermont Federal Credit Union, and Hannaford Supermarkets, the REIB is working with community partners to distribute grocery gift cards to BIPOC households that are food-insecure, and others who need support. The program will launch late summer.
BIPOC Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Fund
In December of 2021, the REIB, in concert with the Rapid Response Team, the Business Support Team, and a number of generous funders, closed out our BIPOC Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Fund. This COVID relief program awarded $180,000 to 29 local BIPOC small businesses and non-profits. The grantees covered a wide range of industries including food service, beauty, fitness, holistic healing, language access, mental health, masonry, and more. Testimonies from awardees:
“I have been near speechless and do not know how to properly express my gratitude for the grant. Simply stated, thank you very much….This grant will not only ensure my firm's survival, but will further my firm's mission and purpose for the foreseeable future; a mission and purpose that is consistent and aligned with the mission and purpose of your department.”
“We always are forgotten – until now. Thank you for seeing us, and knowing that we are here too.”
“Thank you so much for this amazing grant. The city appreciates you!”
“I truly am grateful for this opportunity and will pay it forward towards the community.”
“Thank you so much! This is a great relief, I’m writing with tears in my eyes.”