Voices of Black Women in Vermont

Sunday, May 30, 2021 • 2-4pm

Black and white diagonal stripes frame the words "Voices of Black Women in Vermont" in large type and "Sunday, May 30, 2-4 PM" in small type.

Black women live at an intersection of society that overlaps between race and gender. Consequently, they must work twice as hard to defy a historical fallacy that they are loud, angry, and intimidating.

The Journal of Negro Education suggests an emotional, physiological, and psychological cost to gendered racism. Such an experience can shape identities, motivations, dreams, activities, and welfare across the personal and professional lifespan (Smith, Hung, & Franklin, 2011).

Black women consistently battle covert and overt racism in Vermont. The women on this panel will discuss their experiences with racial microaggressions and biases resulting from occupational segregation, struggles with professional connections, and other topics.

Please join us for a virtual forum featuring the lived experiences of Black women in Vermont. Taiwana Anderson, Celine Davis, and Lisa Ryan will discuss their experiences, moderated by the Rutland Area NAACP’s Tina Cook. This event will be live on Zoom with the opportunity for questions at the end.

Free and open to the public.

Pre-registration is required, click here to register.

Co-sponsored by ACLU Vermont and Castleton University CU/See Me.

The logo of the ACLU of Vermont

Lisa Ryan

Lisa grew up and currently lives in Rutland, Vermont.  She left in 2011 to attend Temple University in Philadelphia where she earned a Bachelor of Art in Psychology. She also holds a Master of Science in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies from Champlain College. Lisa has been an active member of her community, engaging in various leadership roles.  She served on the Rutland City Board of Aldermen from 2017-2021 and is the former First Vice President of the Rutland Area Branch of the NAACP. Currently, Lisa serves on the Vermont Commission on Women and chairs their Civil and Legal Rights Committee, is on the Board of Directors for the Vermont Council on Rural Development, as well as serves on Rutland Regional Medical Center’s Bowse Health Trust Committee. Lisa is a mediator, facilitator, restorative justice practitioner and trainer, and social and racial justice activist. In her free time, Lisa enjoys traveling, sports, and spending time with her family and pets.

Celine Davis, in a colorful paisley shirt, with a rock wall in the background, facing the camera, smiling.

Celine Davis

Celine is a proud mama; her greatest achievement and motivation for all she does. Celine moved to Vermont in 2019 to read the law. She’s currently enrolled at Boston University for Paralegal Studies.  First African American female to serve on Down Street Housing Board of Trustees, where she has been serving since November of last year. Celine considers herself a strong advocate for social justice issues such as homelessness, racial discrimination, de-stigmatization of mental health & gender equality. Celine strongly adheres to being human first before “socioeconomic status.” She believe that accountability and acknowledgment are required in order for change to happen. Her favorite quotes are: 

“My race is human, my culture is love.” – Hernexxus 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – MLK

Tiawana Anderson, seated outdoors in a black and white polka-dot dress, black cardigan and silver necklace, facing the camera.

Taiwana Anderson

Taiwana Tameka Anderson was born and raised, Vermont Strong. She believes her parents, who originated from New York City and West Virginia made a smart move by bringing their family to the state for different opportunities. Once here in Vermont, they ran into problems they didn’t see coming. Her family endured hardship and judgment from the community. As Taiwana got older, she slowly realized she had to take control of her destiny. She now feels empowered to scream from the “roof top.” Taiwana has several favorite quotes, but the ones she wishes to share right now are “children are our future” and “be the change you want to see.” She chose the education field to teach children. She’s using that platform to speak up and be the change.

Saudia LaMont

Saudia was born and raised in Bronx, New York. She moved to Morrisville, VT in 1995. She identifies as a Mentor, Community Advocate, Facilitator, a Trainer and an Author. She’s a mother of two who enjoys networking with community partners, identifying resources, and reinforcing connections to help create a stronger sense of community. Saudia currently sits on the Board of Directors at Lamoille County Mental Health (LCMH). She had served as a Visionary Director and Chair of REAL (Racial Equity Alliance of Lamoille) for the past two years. Her personal mission in life is to help, uplift, support and inspire anyone she may encounter beginning with herself and her children. She wants her life’s work to be loving, inspiring, compassionate, encouraging, open, positive, supportive, memorable, comforting, sustainable, and life-changing.

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