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We stand together.
Published June 2021
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation was created in 1965 to serve as an engine of opportunity for all Vermonters and to this day our vision is that all members of our community, particularly those for whom opportunity has been historically limited or denied, will be able to obtain the education and training they need to fulfill their life and career dreams.
We are appalled when we witness crimes and other hateful actions against individuals or groups, especially when those actions are based upon a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, veterans’ status, or any other differentiating characteristic.
We condemn these acts and know that the victims and indeed our entire community is detrimentally affected by hate and bias-based crimes.
Each of these senseless acts bears witness to the depth and pervasiveness of a deep-rooted problem within our nation. These acts, along with systemic racism, deny justice and opportunity to individuals and groups due to hatred and embedded perceptions of “less than.”
We know that we are stronger as individuals and a community when all members are respected and treated with dignity. We also know that real and permanent change will occur only if institutions and people with power say: Enough!
Individually and together, we must work to address injustice that remains deeply embedded in our social, economic, education, and legal systems.
While not the only source of inequality, we know that equitable access to education lies at the heart of ensuring social and economic opportunity. Justice and opportunity cannot be fully realized if educational opportunity is denied to any of our fellow Vermonters.
To our colleagues, students, and families who are impacted by hatred, violence, and bias: We see you, we hear you, and we stand with you.
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.