Who we are

Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington (BLMGB) is an unofficial chapter of the national and global #BlackLivesMatter movement. Greater Burlington is loosely defined as north to Milton, east to Jericho, south to Richmond, and west to Burlington.

Our Vision

To see the greater Burlington area transformed into a place where all Black people thrive bodily, socially, and economically.

Our Mission

To organize poor Black folk and their natural allies, cultivate the peoples’ culture, and model the beloved community in which we want to exist to achieve our collective liberation.

What we mean by The Peoples’ Culture:

  • Freed up intellectual capital
  • Commitment to Consensus (vs. Democratic or Republic)
  • Internationalism
  • Political/Popular Education (the Struggle is a School)
  • Indigenous Knowledge
  • Value not dictated by our labor
  • Artistic Expression as Mechanism of Liberation

What is in the Beloved Community:

  • New Systems & Institutions
  • Reimagined Social Norms (collectivity & interdependence)
  • Community for Humanity Sake
  • Full Range of Restoration (Head, Heart, & Leg Work)

Our History

First BLMGB Meeting

Community members, including former BLMVT organizers, meet to build a racial jusice organization committed to the core organizing principles of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, with an additional focus on collective leadership and healing.

The organization was designed with two “caucus” groups, the People of Color Caucus, and the White Caucus for Collective Liberation.

Infinite for Mayor

POC Caucus member Infinite Culcleasure launches campaign for Mayor of Burlington, which is supported by members of the BLMGB Collective.

Collective Gets a Name

The name Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington is adopted.

Anti-Fascist Protest

Members of BLMGB learn about an event planned by the national white supremacist group Patriot Front. Collctive organizers help plan a counter protest, and use that as an opportunity for recruiting.

BLMGB Public

Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington announces itself to the greater Burlington Community.

Feed Your Soul Social

BLMGB plans and holds it’s first public event, which serves as a formal launch and celebration. The event was a family-friendly potluck-style dinner to build community and share BLMGB’s vision.

Digital Organizing Capacity

Adoption of tech platforms/tools for communication, decision making and collaboration.

Poor People’s Campaign

BLMGB organizers participate in local VT activities in support of the Poor People’s Campaign, and send members to a national rally in Washington DC.

Formalized Decision Making

The Collective evolves and finalizes a decision making framework based on concensus and collective participation.

ACLU Smart Justice Campaign

BLMGB becomes partner of ACLU VT’s Smart Justice Campaign.

POC Spaghetti Dinner

WCCL organizes a monthly community dinner for the POC community in the Burlington Area.

WCCL Expands to Milton

WCCL begins meeting with community members in Milton, VT to help dismantle white supremacy culture and build positive anti-racist culture beyond Burlington.

Statewide POC Caucus

BLMGB supports planning efforts for the Statewide POC Caucus Retreat. Helps facilitate planning, fundraising, transportation for the event.

Incorporation

BLMGB is formally incorporated as a VT domestic non-profit corporation.

Re-Definition of Added Values

BLMGB Collectively collectively re-defines two of its guiding values: Collective Leadership and Healing. This opportunity allowed all members to focus their understanding of what these values mean in concept and what living them looks like in practice.

Collective Leadership: We define leadership as active engagement in service to the community. We are committed to sharing responsibility for our culture and our structures. We center Black voices and labor across race lines, building connections through struggle.

HEALING: The purpose of our revolutionary struggle is deconstructing external & internal oppression. We recognize that oppression is rooted in the assertion of dominance and power. We are committed to decolonizing wellness and creating a culture of collective vulnerability & trust.

Call for Public Inquiry Into Bennington Criminal Justice System

BLMGB officially joins the ACLU of Vermont and over 20 allied organizations in calling for an independent inquiry into Bennington law enforcement’s lack of response to threats made against Kiah Morris and her family.

2nd Annual Feed Your Soul Social

BLMGB plans and holds it’s second community dinner, including food, music, child-friendly activities, and community building.

Organizing History Study – Collective

BLMGB designs and holds the first session of a four week study exploring organizing history. The dialog-focused study examines various tactics, strategies, and theories of change, in order to develop collective analysis of what it means to effectively organize across lines of division to abolish poverty.

Statement, Demands, and Petition Responding to BTV PD Police Brutality

BLMGB publishes statement in response to the high profile release of two police body cam videos depicting acts of violence against Black men. Demands issued include calling for:

1) The termination of officers involved in the incidents from BPD.

2) The officers involved not be re-hired by in any local or state agency in Chittenden County.

3) Use of body cameras by all police in Chittenden County, including free access to captured video.

4) Commitment not to halt hiring all new police officers, and instead begin hiring more social workers for the community.

Emergency Community Meeting

BTV PD Use of Force

BLMGB organizes and hosts meeting to provide the community a forum to voice concerns over policing in BTV, and to begin to build a path forward that leaves behind police violence.

BTV Copwatch Forms

BLMGB partners with Peaceful Streets Project, and a number of concerned community members to organize around detering police violence and encouraging accountability by filming the BPD.

#ShutDownICE in VT

BLMGB marches with hundreds of community members to the ICE data processing facility in Williston, delivering a statement in solidarity with a migrant community suffering under increasingly fascist policing.

Retreat with The Root BIPOCC and Lost River Racial Justice

Members of the BLMGB Collective, The Root BIPOCC, and Lost River Racial Justice gathered in Montpelier to build community, share progress, and strategize around how to take our approach to multiracial organizing state-wide.

Revise Community Agreements

In light of BLMGB’s updated guiding values, the Racial Justice Collective also updated its community agreements to improve clarity and ensure they foster spaces that honor its values, vision, and mission.

Organizing History Study – Expanded

In its 4th session, BLMGB extends the organizing history study beyond the Racial Justice Collective to include members of the POC Caucus, White Caucus for Collective Liberation, and BTV Copwatch.