Could the wave of protests around the US signal a tipping point for social change? How are the issues of climate crisis, racism, police brutality, and the COVID-19 pandemic linked? Bill McKibben, a veteran activist and author, discusses the interconnections between the movements and the issues, and why the current uprising gives him hope. (June 10, 2020 broadcast)
Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org, contributing writer, The New Yorker
America is in revolt. Following the police killings of unarmed African Americans George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, numerous cities have erupted in mass protests against racism, police brutality, white supremacy, and inequality. We discuss racism and the uprising with Kiah Morris. She says, “Racism in Vermont looks like disparate outcomes for those with COVID-19. Racism happens within our schools where children are policed. Racism is death by a million cuts. Systemic racism is a continued assault on the humanity of individuals.” Morris served as a Vermont State Representative from 2014 to 2018 and was the second African-American woman in Vermont history to be elected to the legislature. She resigned in 2018 following racist harassment from a self-avowed white nationalist in Bennington, Vt. Morris is now Movement Politics Director in Vermont for Rights & Democracy.
Kiah Morris, former Vt. State Rep., Movement Politics Director in Vermont, Rights & Democracy
Scenes of American soldiers and militarized police attacking peaceful protesters have shocked the world this week. James Lyall of the ACLU of Vermontsays, “This is not a time for despair. It is a time for everyone to speak out, to protest, to demand change, and to pull out all the stops. We are in a moment when we both have to defend the country and its institions from a descent into martial law. And we have to fundamentally change those institutions that are at the root of this uprising.” (June 3, 2020 broadcast)
Elizabeth Shackelford was a career diplomat in the U.S. State Department until December 2017, when she resigned in protest against the Trump administration. Shackelford served in U.S. embassies in Poland, South Sudan, Somalia, and Washington, D.C. She was considered a rising star in the diplomatic corps and received the State Department’s highest honor for consular work for her service in South Sudan. She now lives in Rochester, Vermont. She discusses why she quit, why more than half of career foreign service officers have also resigned, what happened in Ukraine, and the importance of democratic protest. (November 6, 2019 broadcast)
Elizabeth Shackelford, US diplomat who resigned in protest
Sarah Browning is co-founder and executive director of Split This Rock: Poetry of Provocation & Witness, and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. She talks about poetry as protest, white supremacy and privilege, her work organizing poets, and the annual Split This Rock poetry festival. She also reads from her new collection of poetry, Killing Summer. (November 8, 2017 broadcast)
On September 21, 2014, some 400,000 people rallied at the People’s Climate March in New York City in an historic protest to demand that global leaders take action to slow climate change. Vermont sent 22 buses with over 1,000 people, and many more Vermonters traveled to the march on their own. Six alumni of the Narrative Journalism Fellowship at Middlebury College — Bianca Giaever, Ian Stewart, Kiya Vega-Hutchens, Luke Whalen, Veronica Rodriguez, and David Fuchs, along with teacher Sue Halpern — created an audio postcard featuring the voices of Vermonters at the march.