Concept, Background, Audience & Goal
Change The Story (CTS), the Peace & Justice Center of VT (PJC), Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Vermont ACLU, The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (The Network) and the Vermont Human Rights Commission (HRC) are currently partnering to develop a “Let’s Talk Race” conversation card deck to prompt discussion about racism, privilege, intersectionality, and shifting power.
The tool will be designed for people of all races, genders, ages, abilities, socio-economic class backgrounds, and more. The overall goal is to grow our communities’ comfort and ease — especially white Vermonters — with conversations about race by providing a tool to support existing anti-racist efforts.
CTS has previously developed two decks of conversation cards – Let’s Talk Harassment and Let’s Talk Gender – that provide information and prompt discussion about personal stories and beliefs on these topics. The cards have reached thousands of people in Vermont and beyond. Brattleboro resident Chris Gaynor attended a Let’s Talk Gender conversation, and found it so helpful in thinking about gender that he was moved to approach CTS to develop a deck encouraging conversations about race, power and intersectionality. Chris is working alongside CTS and the Vermont HRC to bring this new deck to life.
Like previous CTS card decks, this pack will include a Facilitation Guide, Definitions, Did You Know info cards, and Let’s Talk! cards with prompts for discussion. The Did You Know cards, which will share data and information about race and Vermont, will be divided into 7 Issue Areas: Wealth + Income, The (in)Justice System, Education, Environment, Health, Intersections and Migration. Within each section, we want to highlight the work of one Vermonter who has contributed in each area to help breathe life into the data, move us beyond statistics, and anchor that issue in positive change. There will be a focus on women of color through the inclusion of gendered data, examples of women’s leadership, and conversation prompts that speak specifically to improving social and economic conditions for women of color. Data and specifics about Vermont will be balanced with national information.
We are taking a deeply collaborative approach to the design and development of this deck SURJ members will volunteer to host facilitated conversations in an ongoing way, and we are excited to work with additional individuals and organizations. The team will create a facilitator’s guide, supporting the use of the decks in trainings and workshops.
Funds have been raised by the Vermont Women’s Fund and Change The Story to support the development of the deck, as well as to compensate Black, Indigenous, and other people of color to facilitate early conversations after the anticipated launch in November, 2022.
If you or someone you know is interested in collaborating or contributing to this project in any way, or if you have feedback or questions, please contact:
Bella Fearn – she/her
Education and Workshops Manager
Peace & Justice Center