Racial Justice

VBSR Virtual Town Hall on Racial Justice

Event Details:
When: July 1, 2020 11:00 am – July 1, 2020 12:00 pm
Location: Online Webinar via Zoom

Cost To Attend:
Nonmembers – Free
VBSR Members – Free

Registration is open

Join VBSR for an important discussion on racial justice in Vermont. This event will feature three Vermont leaders who will share their insights and experience working to address equity and justice issues in our state. Speakers will answer questions from the VBSR community, and also discuss opportunities for Vermont’s business leaders to support the BIPOC community and promote racial justice in their workplaces, communities, and beyond.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have always been guiding principles of social responsibility and the triple bottom line, and for 30 years VBSR has worked to advance these principles through organizational change and public policy. We also recognize that when it comes to racial equality, equity, and justice, we are just beginning. Businesses large and small have an important role to play in championing this work, and we invite everyone across VBSR’s network to join us as we continue the ongoing journey of self-education and action to ensure a just and equal Vermont.


This virtual town hall on racial justice will be the first in a series of VBSR-hosted educational programming focused on supporting Vermont businesses with understanding systemic racism and the implicit biases we carry, recognizing the inequities that continue to persist in Vermont, forming authentic partnerships that support people of color, and embodying equality and justice in all aspects of our work.


Meet our speakers:

Xusana Davis

Xusana Davis
Executive Director of Racial Equity, State of Vermont

Xusana Davis serves as the State of Vermont’s Executive Director of Racial Equity. She was appointed to the position in June 2019 by Governor Phil Scott. In her role, she works with state agencies to identify and address systemic racial disparities and support the state’s efforts to expand & diversify Vermont’s population. Prior to joining the State of Vermont, she served as Director of Health & Housing Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and as the Director of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council.

She holds a Juris Doctor with a concentration in International Human Rights Law from New York Law School, where she also directed a civil liberties education program for low-income and minority youth. She studied Anthropology and Philosophy at Fordham University, earning the Rev. J. Franklin Ewing, S.J. Award for writing on the relationship between global human rights violations and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS. Xusana is a first-generation U.S.-born Latina, and has always been passionate about promoting open access to government for all people, regardless of their background or place of origin. She is fluent in Spanish, and her name is pronounced like the phrase “Seuss on a”.


Sherwood Smith

Sherwood Smith, Ed. D.
Senior Executive Director for Diversity & Engagement and Director of the Center for Cultural Pluralism, University of Vermont

Dr. Sherwood Smith grew-up in New Jersey, when to college in Washington and Indiana. Since 1995, he works at the University of Vermont (UVM). He now serves as Senior Executive Director for Diversity & Engagement and through the Center for Cultural Pluralism he coordinated and provided professional development for faculty and staff on issues of cultural and social justice. Sherwood is a Co-Founder & Partner of CQ Strategies, LLC, a collective of 5 partners providing training and consulting services on cultural competency, implicit bias, and organizational change.

Before moving to Vermont, he worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, Penn State’s Assistant Director of Residence Life and has done trainings with universities, local public radio and television, co-edited 2 books, several book chapters and presented at many national conferences. His concern for issue of culture and social justice are driven by his life experiences and supported by his family and friends.


Tabitha Moore


Tabitha Moore
President, Rutland Area NAACP

Tabitha Moore is the president of the Rutland Area Branch of the NAACP. Professionally, Tabitha is a licensed marriage and family therapist, school counselor, and currently serves as a training coordinator for the Child Welfare Training Partnership of Vermont. Tabitha’s professional areas of passion are social justice, youth justice, mental health, and education. She has provided trainings for universities, colleges, law-enforcement agencies, community agencies, and community members at large in topics including working with LGBTQ youth, systemic oppression and racism, gang and gun violence, youth violence, and unconscious bias. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, which consists of her three children, three dogs, and a turtle Her favorite activities are coaching youth sports, hiking, sleeping, and trying all manners of delicious chocolate confections.


Q&A discussion moderated by:

Rae Carter


Rae Carter
Founder, EmpowR & VBSR Board Member

Rae Carter is the founder of EmpowR—a social enterprise to encourage individual and collective empowerment to heal, speak, advocate, and be in relationship with each other and the Earth to support shared visions for cultural transformation. EmpowR provides communication strategy, change management facilitation, empowerment coaching, and healing navigation services to movements, organizations, and people to raise the impact of our voices for change. Learn more at www.RaeCarterEmpowR.com



This webinar will be held via Zoom, and registration is required. 

Click here to register for this webinar.


Details on how to join the town hall at the scheduled time via your computer or by phone will be sent to you via email confirmation upon registering for this webinar.


Submit a Question!

If you would like to submit a question for our speakers, to be asked during the Q&A session of this town hall event, please submit your question here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H7VD66W

Question submissions will be accepted through Sunday, June 28th.


This event is supported by:



City Market, Onion River Co-op is Burlington’s community-owned grocery store. With over 12,000 Members and two store locations, City Market offers a wide range of local, organic, and conventional products. Guided by their Global Ends, City Market is committed to strengthening the local food system and supporting the community. Learn more about their outreach program and non-profit partners here.





Lawson’s Finest Liquids produces beer of the highest quality with outstanding freshness. We emulate the best of widely appreciated styles of beer, featuring world class IPAs and unique maple brews, while quenching the thirst of beer lovers from near and far.



White + Burke Your outsourced real estate department. Commercial real estate is complex and fraught with pitfalls. Few businesses, institutions, or municipalities have substantial in-house expertise. That’s where we come in. We’re here when you need us and cost nothing when you don’t. Whether it’s a new development project, or strategic analysis of a real estate portfolio, structuring public-private partnership, or seeking a new location, we focus on our clients’ best interests, providing in-depth, objective, strategic advice and action — guiding you to success.

White + Burke is often the secret ingredient in a project team, bringing in-depth expertise, creative problem solving, and attention to detail that comes from experience and a customized approach. We work behind the scenes to help companies understand their real estate options, find sites, navigate permitting, foster community support, and ensure that projects get done. We act as our clients’ real estate ally taking care of their property challenges.



The Vermont Community Loan Fund creates opportunities that lead to healthy communities and financial stability for all Vermonters. VCLF is a mission-driven, community-focused alternative lender, putting capital in the hands of Vermont’s entrepreneurs and organizations unserved by conventional lenders, to benefit the Vermonters who need it most.  Join us! investinvermont.org



At Capstone Community Action, we improve the lives of Vermonters in need by providing opportunities, education and vital assistance. By breaking down the barriers that prevent people from thriving, we offer the hope people need, the dignity everyone deserves, and a better community for all.






 TruexCullins is an integrated Architecture and Interior Design firm that provides creative, comprehensive solutions for regional, national and international clients. The firm’s expertise extends across five design studios in Workplace, Education, Residential, Resort, and Interior Design.




Seventh GenerationFor more than 25 years we’ve been formulating plant-based products that are safe and that work. Really well. Based in Vermont, we’re proud to be a B Corporation. B Corps are certified to be better for workers, better for communities and better for the environment. Join us in nurturing the health of the next seven generations.




LGK Let’s Grow Kids is the statewide movement to secure affordable access to high-quality child care for Vermont families by 2025. Our work is rooted in the belief that equitable access to high-quality early childhood education is our single best opportunity to prepare all children for success in life. The current global health crisis has made even more Vermonters painfully aware of the critical role that child care plays in our society. It is becoming clearer to all that child care is not an economic accessory; it is an absolute necessity to a thriving society and economy. To that end, our Business Strategy team works directly with employers to understand and address their employees’ child care needs and elevate the importance of early childhood education by engaging business leaders as public champions. Together we can build a stronger, more equitable, and sustainable child care system that works for all Vermont families.



Concept 2


Concept2 began in 1976 in the back of a bread truck when Dick and Pete Dreissigacker, fresh from Olympic training, started making composite racing oars. Concept2 oars have since gone on to become the oar of choice among the world’s rowers, and innovations continue right to the present-day.



Sponsorships are available for VBSR’s webinars. Please reach out to Toby Aronson to learn more, at: tobya@vbsr.org