Register now!

Opening, 9:15-10:30am

Breakfast Catalyst Convening with Amanda Garces of Vermont Coalition for Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools. The VCESES is a statewide coalition led by a multicultural and multigenerational group including people of color from various racial and ethnic groups;anti-poverty, disability rights advocates; and LGBTQIA advocates. 

Day-long Track:

Equity Track, with Isa Mujahid of CT-CORE Organize Now! and  Ahmad Abojaradeh of Life in My Days. 

The first part of this workshop will explore the role of narrative. We will unpack how narrative can show in different forms (story, logo, model, legend, lore, mantra) and its subtle impact. This workshop will have participants recognize and understand different forms of narrative and how narrative can be used as a tool or an impediment for systemic equity. Then, we will discuss how confronting bias and narrative can lead to deep impacts around re-living trauma or facing emotions as we unpack core concepts. This session will explore practices to create space for ourselves and for others to ensure we center self-care and acknowledge the impacts of this work.

Day-long makerspace:

The Make: Liberation Art Workshop with  The Make Action Arts Collective and Uprise! Youth Activist Camp

Come to The Make Liberation Art Workshop and roll up your sleeves! Throughout the conference this space will be open for folks who want to paint a banner, silkscreen a flag, draw, make a button, gab about art and how it can feed liberation! Members of The Make Action Arts Collective will be there to help folks get oriented to projects. Come by and connect! We'll provide a hands-on, visually stimulating, art-filled community work environment where participants are offered the chance to roll up their sleeves and make art! There will be multiple workspaces set up including a fully traced out banner that people can paint, a silkscreen press where folks can print flags and posters to take home, a button making press, paper and pencils, cardboard and paints for sign painting and a big collective message board. If all goes well it will be an objectively awesome learning experience!

Workshop Session 1, 10:45-12:00pm 

Community Responses to Highly Fluorinated Compounds (PFAS)

Lauren Richter, Silent Spring Institute & Shaina Kasper, Toxics Action Center

This workshop will introduce participants to a class of emerging contaminants of significant concern, highly fluorinated compounds or PFAS. Participants will be introduced to this class of chemicals, and how communities across the U.S. and world are responding to this ubiquitous contaminant. 

Green New Deal: Catalyzing Youth Leaders & Creating a Sustainable Future

Katie Carbonara, Sunrise Movement NH

The Green New Deal has been the catalyst for young leaders to demand the sustainable, just, and dignified future that we want for our generation, and the generations who will come after us. This workshop will explore the promise of the Green New Deal and how to galvanize youth support for change.

Creative Placemaking and its Role in Watershed Identity and Planning

Emily Davis, Windham Regional Commission - Green River Watershed Alliance

This workshop presents a case study for how watershed groups and regional planners can use creative outreach, education, and engagement strategies to enrich more conventional watershed planning. 

Lunch & Keynote Panel, 12:15-1:30pm

Shay Stewart-Bouley, Black Girl in Maine Media

Shay Stewart-Bouley is a Chicago-raised author who has lived in Maine since 2002. She is currently the Executive Director of Community Change Inc., a 49-year-old civil rights organization in Boston, MA, that has been educating and organizing for racial equality since 1968. 

Abel Luna, Migrant Justice

Abel Luna began working as a farmworker at 15 years old in NY farms. He later worked with the Rural & Migrant Ministry in New York, winning legislative victories for agricultural workers, including improving minimum wage laws. Abel is Migrant Justice’s Campaign and Education Coordinator.

Ben Hewitt, Rural Vermont

Ben was born in St Albans, and raised on a 165-acre homestead in Enosburg. He supports Rural Vermont through fund-raising, strategizing, community organizing, and outreach. He believes fervently in the power of community-scale agriculture as an antidote to the ongoing erosion of health, environment, and equality in the modern world.

Workshop Session 2, 1:45-3:00pm 

Analyzing, Naming and Shifting Power Dynamics in Your Team

Cecile Green, Round Sky Solutions

Through presentation and simulation, you’ll learn how to analyze the power (harmful and generative) dynamics in your team. We’ll share an organizational analysis of power (the Power Matrix), discuss how power affects every facet of our work lives, and most importantly what we can concretely do every day to use shift unhealthy power dynamics and shift collaborative power.

Exploring Youth Leadership Across Issues

Rio Daims, Brattleboro Youth Vote, Pa'lante Restorative Justice, (Holyoke, MA)

Join representatives from three organizations transforming their communities for a conversation about youth leadership. These organizations have demonstrated success in creating youth-led interventions in policy, in schools, and in social movements. We hope to bring them together to deepen our understanding of the many ways that youth leadership can look and reflect on some of the lessons they have learned.

Rural Roots Rising: Re-discovering Vital Linkages Between Urban & Rural Food System Allies

Lisa Fernandes, Food Solutions New England

In this participatory session, we will collectively make visible the vital links between rural and urban food system allies, clarify opportunities for action now to accelerate food system transformation, and begin to disrupt the dominant narrative that is trying to tell us that rural America is dying. To the contrary, we will explore the story of how community-based food, farming, and fishing is a key leverage area for fortifying the healthy rural areas we all need.

Workshop Session 3, 3:15-4:30pm 


Climate Solutions: Community Voices for Economic, Social and Environmental Justice

Stephanie Scherr, ECHO Action

We oppose fossil fuel expansion and promote 100% renewable energy, microgrids, energy efficiency, net metering, and climate action locally to nationally. This workshop will help participants determine what "clean energy" is, how to work with utilities, legislators and the Public Utilities Commission to transform our energy system from the ground up.

What does 'Environmental Justice' mean in Vermont?

Members of the Rural Environmental Justice Opportunities Informed by Community Experts (REJOICE) project

Including Shaina Kasper, Toxics Action; Bindu Panikkar, University of Vermont; Jennifer Byrne, Vermont Law School

Our three-fold project of research, policy, and community engagement seeks to explore what environmental injustice looks like in Vermont. Learn more about our work so far and help us answer the question "What does "Environmental Justice" mean in Vermont?" to help us craft and implement bold and enduring policy to build a healthier and more resilient Vermont.

Register now!