The goal of the Race Against Racism is to strengthen and amplify the crucial conversation surrounding racial justice in Vermont, and to strengthen the idea that change is now. It strives to provide an opportunity for the community to come together to listen to the voices of people of color in our state, in order to learn, grow, and support one another.
Building Fearless Futures is a local Vermont nonprofit that brings anti-racist programming into schools with the goal of dismantling white supremacy in education and supporting the futures of students of color.
The Central Vermont Refugee Action Network is a Montpelier- based nonprofit that works to provide a supportive and welcoming community for new Vermonters coming from countries around the world.
In 2017, Hope Petraro, a Montpelier High School freshman, proposed in May that MHS organize and host a Race Against Racism to raise awareness about racism. Hope and a couple of MHS students, along with Heather McLane (a MHS social studies teacher) and local activists, spent countless hours over the summer organizing the event, promoting it across the state, and fundraising to cover costs. The first Race Against Racism attracted nearly 300 people who ran, walked and listened to some amazing speakers, performers, and musicians on brutally hot mid-September day. Through the generosity of participants and community donors, we were able to donate $800 to Migrant Justice, the MHS Racial Justice Alliance, and Justice for All.
Building on the success of the first year, students from U32 and Harwood joined MHS students to organize a second and third Race Against Racism in 2018 and 2019 before the pandemic forced everyone to take a year off. Those events gained even more community support with countless volunteers and donors of all ages and more than 400 people attending each year. Each year, we were lucky to have beautiful weather and incredible speakers and performers at the rallies. Those two events combined raised over $4000 for racial justice groups including Migrant Justice, the Root Social Justice Center, and the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools.
Photos above taken at the 2018 Race Against Racism