Student Bar Association Statement

Dear VLS Community,

The Student Bar Association stands against racism. At this time, we specifically recognize and condemn the atrocity enacted against the Asian and Asian American community. We are deeply sorry for the loss of the eight individuals who were killed last Tuesday and share the outrage within our community and across the country with the rise of attacks on Asian Americans.

We affirm our commitment to anti-racism as we reflect on the murders last week and the reports released in the past weeks highlighting a rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence. Before Spring Break, we signed on to the school’s anti-racism statement and are committed to standing against hatred.

Vermont Law School is committed to equity and inclusion. As a law school, we recognize that the law has too often neglected Black and Indigenous peoples, as well as members of the LGBTQ community, and has been used to legitimize the inhumane treatment of marginalized groups within these communities. From Tulsa to Flint, to Selma to Stonewall, from mass incarceration to police brutality, the law has proven that justice is not, in fact, blind. Therefore, we commit to fight against inherent ignorance, intolerance, racial and social injustice, through teaching and scholarship, research and practice, open discussion, and events. We believe in providing an environment that is inclusive of all people, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, ethnicity, ability, age, or socioeconomic class. As a community, we are implementing anti-racism practices and pedagogy. We support and celebrate diversity through the efforts described in Vermont Law School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan.

In the last Student Bar Association meeting on March 9th, we condemned the rise of animosity against Asian and Asian Americans across the country. Weeks ago, reports were released detailing the significant rise in anti-Asian hate in America. Stop AAPI Hate received more than 2,800 firsthand reports of anti-Asian hate during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Tuesday, eight individuals, six Asian American women, were murdered at the hands of hatred and racism by Robert Aaron Long. We are deeply saddened by the attacks on Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, and Yong Ae Yue, and Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz (sole survivor). We encourage you to learn more about the deceased here.

If you are interested, there is a Bystander Intervention training tonight, March 23rd from 4 to 5 pm, for individuals interested in learning more and those who wish to do more. The program is called Bystander Intervention to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment.

We extend our hand as representatives of the student body and encourage you to reach out to us if you need anything.

In solidarity,

Heather Francis

Blake Weinard

Nicole Adelman

James Mulhall

Serena White

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