VBSR Holds Virtual Town Hall on Racial Justice

Burlington, VT – Yesterday, 300 business and organization leaders from across the VBSR network joined an important and dynamic discussion on racial justice and equity issues in Vermont. Speakers Xusana Davis, Sherwood Smith, and Tabitha Moore, shared insights, guidance, and perspective for Vermont businesses and organizations to consider as they learn about and work to address systemic racism in their workplaces and communities. The town hall’s Q&A discussion was moderated by VBSR Board Member, Rae Carter.

“As a business leader, you have incredible influence which is why it’s so important you be leaders in your community on racial equity.  This is your moment to act, because of the power and privilege you yield in society, it is time to use it for equity,” said Xusana Davis, Executive Director of Racial Equity for the State of Vermont.

Speakers addressed issues pertaining to white privilege, the effects of COVID-19 on marginalized communities, tokenism, the economic advantages of embracing diversity, equity & inclusion and developing actionable plans for businesses to dismantle racism.  “This is a marathon not a sprint.  It’s been shown that organizations that engage actively in working on social justice and inclusivity have better business outcomes,” said Sherwood Smith, Ed. D., Senior Executive Director for Diversity & Engagement and Director of the Center for Cultural Pluralism at the University of Vermont.  Tabitha Moore, President, Rutland Area NAACP said, “Never stop your DEI work – whenever there is a crisis your most marginalized people are going to be hit harder.”

A recording of VBSR’s Town Hall on Racial Justice can be viewed at the following link:


VBSR will continue to offer programming on Racial Justice over the course of the year and will feature the topic heavily at VBSR’s virtual conference on September 22nd.

“VBSR is evaluating every facet of the organization from our vision and identify to our marketing and programming in partnership with black, indigenous and other people of color so we can help VSBR members and the Vermont businesses community understand systemic racism and work together to dissolve it.” said Rae Carter, VBSR Board Member and Found of EmpowR.

As VBSR members and the Vermont business community begin to develop long-term, actionable plans to address racism, VBSR will continue to center its programming around racial justice & diversity, equity & inclusion.

VBSR Members Lawson’s Finest Liquids, City Market, White + Burke Real Estate Advisors, Concept2, Seventh Generation, Capstone Community Action, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Let’s Grow Kids, and TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design supported the event.