Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: ICAN urges an end to injustice

We, the members of the Interfaith Climate Action Network of Addison County (ICAN), were saddened to learn from a recent Human Rights Commission report of the discrimination, based on race and gender, enacted against Dr. Lydia Clemmons, director of the Clemmons Family Farm, by the Vermont State Police. Our group has worked with Dr. Clemmons and the board of directors of the Clemmons Family Farm on the intersections of climate and racial justice. We deeply admire the work the organization does in our state to preserve African-American and African diaspora arts and culture, and to conserve rare Black-owned farmland in Vermont.

Called by our faith, we write today:

•  to state our support of Dr. Clemmons, the Clemmons family, and the staff, board of directors, and volunteers at the Clemmons Family Farm. Their safety is our first concern and our collective responsibility.

•  to confront the myth of Vermont exceptionalism, acknowledging that racism has always been embedded in our systems here and continues to cause harm in the state that we love.

•  to offer our support in Addison County to facilitate dialogue and actions that we pray will enable transformation in our Vermont communities.

•  to encourage our elected officials, public servants, and all in our wider community to examine ancient and pervasive systems of injustice.

•  to partner with anyone who wants to work with us towards a world in which Vermonters, inspired by a shared reverence for the natural world and respect for each other, work to nurture the interconnected web of existence.

Faithfully,

Pastor Abigail Diehl-Noble

Rev. Barnaby Feder

Rev. Daniel Wright

Heidi Willis

on behalf of the Interfaith Climate Action Network of Addison County

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