VBSR Webinar: Same Storm, Different Boats - The Pandemic's Outsized Impact on Marginalized Communities
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In the first weeks of sheltering in place, some dubbed COVID-19 “the great equalizer.” But the weight of the pandemic has fallen unevenly. In the near and long term, the crisis we are all experiencing is likely to be most devastating for women, people of color, and people who were already living on the economic margins, a fact that must inform response and recovery planning. A crisis of this proportion can be a turning point for equity and justice – if we steer the turn well. So far we’ve witnessed some people taking advantage of the pandemic to further disempower marginalized groups, while at the same time other organizations and communities have rolled out radical solutions that would have seemed too good to be true just a few months ago. How can all these complexities inform our response and recovery planning?
Join Change The Story VT and Equity Solutions in a discussion for the VBSR network.
Meet our presenters:
Tiff Bluemle Tiff Bluemle – Director, Change The Story VT
After a brief stint on the ill-fated Mondale presidential campaign, Tiffany worked as a middle and high school history teacher and at NYC Outward Bound, where she developed a deep passion for helping young people discover and develop their talent and voice. Upon moving to Vermont, she joined Vermont Works for Women where she served as its executive director for seventeen years. She left that post in 2015 to lead Change The Story VT, a multi-year, systemic approach to improving women’s economic opportunity. Over the past decade, Princeton University, the John Merck Fund, KeyBank, and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce have honored her work. Tiffany received a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her B.A. from Princeton. She is a former member of Princeton’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the boards of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and Public Assets Institute.
Jessica Nordhaus – Strategy & Partnerships, Change The Story VT
Jessica is the owner of Gear Shift Consulting, LLC, a Burlington-based consulting firm with a focus on education, politics and policy, and systems change. Her entrepreneurial, design-informed approach to her work has deep roots: after graduating from Yale College she founded Horny Toad Activewear (now Toad & Co.); taught middle and high school English; managed Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger’s 2012 campaign; and advised Burlington/Winooski Partnership for Change on communications and community engagement. Most recently she has led City efforts to design the Burlington Early Learning Initiative. Jessica’s passion for empowering young women goes way back to the end of the last century when she worked as a counselor for Camp $tart-Up, a residential entrepreneurship camp for teenage girls in Albuquerque, NM. Jessica is a Fletcher Free Library Commissioner, co-founder of the Greater Burlington Women’s Forum and serves on the Advisory Board of Emerge Vermont.
Aly Johnson-Kurts – Communications, Change The Story VT
Aly is a facilitator, organizer, and communications specialist from Central Vermont. Aly attended U-32 High School in Montpelier and holds a B.A. in Economics from Smith College. Among other positions in both the climate and progressive political spheres, Aly has worked as the State Divestment Organizer for 350Vermont, a Training Fellow with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Press Secretary for Zephyr Teachout’s 2014 New York gubernatorial run, Communications Manager for Rights & Democracy VT/NH, and Field Director for Zephyr Teachout’s 2018 campaign for Attorney General. In Aly’s home community, Aly managed Anne Watson’s winning campaign for Mayor of Montpelier. Aly currently volunteers as a member of Central Vermont Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and serves on the steering committee for the VT Freedom Bail Fund / El Fondo Para La Libertad VT.
Davey Shlasko is a co-founder of Equity Solutions, and designs curriculum, consults, and co-facilitates class and racial equity trainings and Cross Class Dialogue Circles with the Equity Solutions team. He is an educator, author and consultant, and founder and Director of Think Again Training. Since 2000, Think Again has helped groups and organizations deepen their understanding and practice of social justice principles using dialogue, expressive arts, popular education, skills training and policy development. Davey has published several curricula including the Transgender Oppression chapter in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 2nd edition and the Ableism and Classism chapters in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 3rd edition, along with reports and articles on queer pedagogy, teaching intersectionally, and trans movement building. Davey earned an M.Ed. in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and teaches as a part-time Lecturer at Smith School for Social Work.