-Hope Petaro, Montpelier High School Student and Race Against Racism Founder

At the first-ever Race Against Racism — as the runners and walkers were taking off, cheered on by a crowd of people, with music booming in the background — a friend turned to me and asked, “Hope, how does this feel?”

It was a feeling I couldn’t put into words. I had founded the Race Against Racism in 2017 in an effort to push discourse regarding race and racism out into the open in Vermont. I wanted to help ensure Montpelier and Montpelier High School are strong communities that visibly welcome diversity. I especially wanted to make space for people of color in Vermont to love themselves and feel supported in their cultures, languages, religions, and heritage. It’s a space that is sometimes hard to find in a mostly-white state like Vermont, and a space that I longed for for a long time growing up here. Since I was young, I’ve been passionate about bringing others into the fight for a better world — and with a team of organizers coordinating a 5k through the city, volunteer opportunities, musicians, speakers, art, food, and so much more, the Race Against Racism does exactly that.

The Race Against Racism is not only a physical race but a societal one; a race against racism in each of our communities. 

Rally, walk, and run for racial justice in Vermont! This year, proceeds from the event will go to the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools.


Register early here: https://www.runreg.com/race-against-racism

Visit our website: https://www.raceagainstracismvt.com

Share our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2464853580467659/



Hope Petraro, Student Organizer 347-608-2105
[email protected]
Amanda Lucia Garces, Media Liaison 520-333-8864
[email protected]

The 3rd Annual Race Against Racism will take place on Sunday, September 22, 2019! 


The Race Against Racism is a state-wide annual anti-racist event, organized by youth from several Vermont high schools. All are welcome to a public rally, comprised of a short list of notable speakers, lots of live music and performances, and an optional 5k run or walk beforehand, this year on a scenic loop through the city of Montpelier. The goal of the event is to further a conversation surrounding racial justice in Vermont and to ensure the fight for racial justice is visible and accessible to all.


Runners and walkers include many high school sports teams from around Vermont, their classmates, and community members of all kinds. For the rally portion of the program there is wood-fired pizza, music, speakers, and performance. Many local social justice organizations will be promoting their work and engaging the public in political activities. There will be activities for children too!


Music Lineup

A2VT, a Winooski-based group that will be performing Afro-pop infused rap music and dance. 

DUO, a rap group consisting of UVM students Jacob Hartman (a.k.a. Zesty Boi) and Rivan Calderin (a.k.a. Rivan C.), is a new musical act with a growing youth-led fanbase. Mixing contemporary hip hop with 90’s boom bap, the two go back and forth with witty word-play, electric flows, and a powerful stage presence

DJ Crystal Jonez – As a Daughter of Sound, she has spent the last four years building sound experiments: she DJs musical ritual offerings as DJ Crystal Jonez; curated community conversations called New Tables, New Tools: Female Visionaries on Love, Community, Peace, and Resistance. She is guided by the genius of black people — you’ll hear and feel that in her sets.

Speakers include amazing youth activists like Essex High School’s own Raquel Mattos, speaking alongside statewide racial justice icon and former VT legislator Kiah Morris, and Race Founder Hope Petraro speaking at her last RAR as a student organizer. Grace Hsiang, also of Essex High School, is statewide representative for the Global Climate Strike on September 20th. Jaya Touma Shoatz, a Black, Mexican, Palestinian, queer, femme-identified activist from Philly and Brooklyn, will give a speech as a new Vermont resident. U-32 Student Bruce Pandya will be representing the VT Coalition for Ethnic & Social Equity in Schools. All funds raised will be contributed to organizations statewide that advocate for racial justice. This year the partners to share in this fundraising effort are The Vermont Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools. 


Event Details

Date: Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 11:00 AM – 2 PM.

Location: Race is through the city streets of Montpelier beginning at Montpelier High School, rally is at Montpelier High School

Press & Sponsorship Contacts: Hope Petraro and Heather McLane

Contact Email: [email protected]

Contact Phone: 347.608.2105 

Website: https://raceagainstracismvt.com