Equity Initiatives

Vermont’s population is becoming more diverse and reflective of a global citizenry. One in four people moving to Burlington is a person of color. The City of Burlington strives to be a vibrant, diverse, and livable community that fosters innovation, enriches the lives of all its residents, and embraces intentional community engagement. The legacy of overt racism and ethnic-based discrimination in our country restricts opportunities for people of color and for immigrant and refugee communities. This legacy also obscures from view the economic benefits of a more multiracial and multiethnic Vermont and the multicultural marketplace beyond our state borders. The City of Burlington seeks to eradicate institutional and structural racism in our community.

The City of Burlington is committed to embracing our diversity and reducing racial disparities through the initiatives listed below. We are also continually seeking new voices to bring to the table to help us with this vital work. 

Diversity & Equity Strategic Plan

On July 16, 2012, with the full support of Mayor Weinberger, the Burlington City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to create a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to facilitate the development of a Diversity & Equity Strategic Plan. Over the last two years, first the Committee and then the Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity have completed the City of Burlington Diversity & Equity Strategic Plan (the Plan), which was communicated to the City Council on June 23, 2014.
The Plan contains 33 findings, 31 recommendations, and 49 action steps.  The action steps are meant to address three goals:

  • Eliminate race-based disparities across all City departments
  • Promote inclusion and engagement of all community members
  • Eliminate race-based disparities in the greater Burlington community

The Plan contains serious and substantive recommendations and associated action steps required for implementation. View a summary of all of the recommendations in a memo from Mayor Weinberger here.  Also, view the Memo that summarizes the recommendations of the Plan interpreted into French, Nepali, and Somali.

CEDO hosts Equity and Inclusion Training Program 

Announcement     Application     Calendar          Please click for more information and an application

In its seventh year working with Burlington area non-profits, schools and city departments to help them create more inclusive workplaces and to more effectively serve Burlington’s diverse community, CEDO is hosting a new program in 2016.  The program is designed for non-profits and municipal departments with a commitment to diversity and equity and are looking for help to make system-level changes.  A team from each participating agency will gain valuable skills through a unique coaching and training package to support change. Throughout the year, agencies receive support in:

  • Strategic planning, assessment and skills training for each organization’s Cultural Competency Team;
  • A series of full and half-day retreats and small group coaching sessions to develop awareness, skills and strategy to achieve your organization’s equity goals. Retreats also facilitate a rich learning network among the participating agencies;

We All Belong partners with a  consultant team to deliver coaching and training to participants. In 2015-16, the We All Belong program consultants CQ Strategies provides more than 50 hours of equity and diversity training to 131 leaders representing 17 organizations, city departments and other agencies.   For more information please contact Marcella Gange, mgange@burlingtonvt.gov

Who Should Apply?

The ideal applicant aspires to grow your organization to better serve and reflect Vermont’s demographic diversity, demonstrating a commitment to engage at all levels of leadership, board and staff.  Applicants demonstrate a clear desire for organizational growth and change. We All Belong provides tools for assessment, planning and the platform for organizations to create sustained changes. We All Belong is seeking organizations ready to make, at a minimum, a one-year commitment to the program with the expectation that systems-level change is a multi-year endeavor.

More than 30 organizations and agencies form the  knowledge network.  In 2015-2016 the following agencies were selected through a competitive process to participate in the program:

  • CEDO*
  • City of Burlington Human Resources*
  • Burlington Electric Department*
  • ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
  • HOPE Works*
  • St Michael’s College
  • Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
  • United Way of Chittenden County
  • Peace and Justice Center*
  • Burlington Parks and Recreation*
  • VT Center for Crime Victim Services*
  • Winooski Family Center*
  • Vermont Works For Women
  • Spectrum*
  • LUND Family services*
  • Dress For Success*
  • Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden & Grand Isle Counties, Family Room*
  • Burlington Housing Authority*

* AmeriCorps Site

Read and hear more about the impact and experience of We All Belong participants.