Harwood Union students will join other Vermont students in the second annual Race Against Racism which takes place on Sunday, September 23, at Montpelier High School. The Race Against Racism is a statewide annual antiracist event, organized by students 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.
Members of the Harwood Union Refugee Club will race along with members of the Harwood girls’ varsity soccer team and other students will participate. 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 includes A2VT, a Winooski-based group that will be performing Afro-pop infused rap music and dance, and SoundCheck, a 13-piece band made up of high school students singing and rapping about social justice. Spoken word will be performed by 18-year-old Lena Ginawi of Muslim Girls Making Change, a nationally acclaimed slam poetry group, and Rivan Calderin, an 18-year-old rapper, singer, poet and activist.
Speakers include Kesha Ram, who was among the youngest to ever be elected to the Vermont House and the first woman of color to run for statewide office in Vermont. Raquel Mattos is a freshman at Essex High School. MaryAnn Songhurst and Hope Petraro, juniors at Montpelier High School, helped raise the Black Lives Matter flag at Montpelier High School last year, making MHS the first public high school in the nation to do so. We’re also looking forward to hearing from the Youth 4 Change team, coming to represent Brattleboro in this year’s event.
Funds raised will be contributed to organizations statewide that advocate for racial justice. This year the partners to share in this fundraising effort are Migrant Justice and Youth 4 Change at The Root Social Justice Center.
The race takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with the rally beginning at noon.