Racism is a Virus

03 Jun 2020

The following is a statement from President Moulton to the college community.

Dear Vermont Tech Community,

I am, by nature, an optimist. I prefer to look for the good in people, in challenges, and in life. My optimism has been challenged lately; by the pandemic, by the havoc it reeked on our operations, by the scramble to fight for the life of Vermont Tech when the college offers distinct value to a diverse community. Now, our country has taken another blow, watching yet another black man killed when he shouldn’t have. I, like so many of you, condemn the violence against people of color that is systemic in this country.

The engagement of the entire college during the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us not only how to effectively control the spread of the virus, it has also awakened the urgency to take care of each and every member of our diverse community.  The lessons of slowing the coronavirus can teach us how to deal with the racism virus and, believe me, racism is a virus. It is insidious and is transmitted from person to person.

Here in Vermont, we have a history of inclusion as well as intolerance. We were the first in the nation to abolish slavery as well as the state unable to protect our only black female legislator in the face of racist threats to herself and her family. We need to make sure that we lean in to our history of inclusion and find ways to combat intolerance of race and diversity.

I have seen Vermont Tech-ers’ willingness to take care of each other to combat the coronavirus. I hope the Vermont Tech community will engage with black and brown Americans at a time when they are being profiled, targeted, and killed. Vermont Tech’ers are change-makers in many ways, and I challenge all of us to create a future with more caring and more respect for diversity, brought about by making change at our local levels.

Let’s be better together.

As a reminder, Kathleen Mason is the college’s Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I invite anyone with ideas and actions we can take at the college level to contact Kathleen via email.