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A note from VSAC:
Our commitment to racial and social justice
Published June 2020
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation was created in 1965 to serve as an engine of opportunity for all Vermonters. Fifty-five years later, the senseless and abhorrent murder of Mr. Floyd bears witness to the depth and pervasiveness of systemic racism and inequality that exist within our nation and which denies justice and opportunity to Black, indigenous, and people of color.
Systemic change will occur only if institutions with power, and people with white privilege, also say: Enough! We must work to address the racial injustice that remains deeply embedded in our social, economic, education, and legal systems. The voices of Mr. Floyd, Mr. Castile, Ms. Taylor, and countless others cry out to us to confront racism and bigotry whenever and wherever we encounter it.
These past weeks we have seen people of all walks of life join together to protest the economic, social, legal and physical violence against our neighbors of color. As former President Obama recently observed, the diversity we see in the streets demanding change indicates that this is indeed different from what we have seen in the past. The central question, however, is what will we each commit to do today, tomorrow, and the day after, to ensure justice and opportunity for all, particularly our neighbors who are black, indigenous and people of color for whom these things have been historically and systematically denied.
While not the only source of inequality, we know that education lies at the heart of ensuring social and economic opportunity in our society. Justice and opportunity cannot be equally distributed if educational opportunity is denied to any of our fellow Vermonters.
VSAC is committed to improving our own knowledge and reviewing our systems with the goal of removing any unintentional roadblocks they present to people of color. While we know we must do our own work, we are also committed to deeply listening to the BIPOC members of our community and working with them to ensure that our programs and services create rather than deny opportunity.
Our vision: that through our work and our partnership with other organizations, all members of our community, particularly those for whom opportunity has been denied, will be able to obtain the education they need to fulfill their dreams.
To our colleagues, students, and families of color: We see you, we hear you, and we stand with you.