New program to support Vermonters of color running for public office

by Emma Cotton, VT Digger, February 8th, 2021.


“We have many leaders gathered here today that are ‘firsts’ from their community,” Ram said. “We are proud and honored to be first, but it comes with tremendous challenge and a deep weight on our shoulders. And we certainly don’t want to be the ‘only’ or the ‘last.’”


People of color from around the state can apply for the program once it’s up and running, likely in the spring. Leaders say candidates from any political party can participate, though they must be committed to advancing racial justice.


Ram said the grant is seed money. The Institute will also take contributions, though its leaders have not yet determined how it will be funded in the future. Ram said she hopes the program will grow in tandem with state efforts to support women of color, such as a proposed expansion of the state’s Office for Racial Equity.


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