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Thanks to all who participated in the 8/21/20 More Than Hope event sponsored by Young Tradition Vermont, co-hosted by Hannah Assefa and Aden Haji. 839 people have watched the video to date (that remains available for viewing on the YTV Facebook page). It was very meaningful and powerful step for the YTV organization.
Our next step commitment is to propose an organizational statement by YTV about racial injustice, taking suggestions from Afa Dworkin at Sphinx Orchestra http://www.sphinxmusic.org/bio-afa-dworkin/, configuring them into recommendations to be discussed at the 9/27/20 YTV annual meeting.
Some things we hope to consider include: having Afa or others so something with us online, or maybe even in person in Vermont; have a book/discussion club on racial equity/racism, using sources like: ‘White Fragility’ https://www.amazon.com/White-Fragility-People-About-Racism/dp/0807047414 , ‘The Hate U Give’ https://www.vermonthumanities.org/vermont-reads/vermont-reads-2020/?, and others.
Here are some quotes I’ve gathered to date:
“First of all, let me say how moved I was by the event on the 21st. It was truly an offering, each celebrant giving a very special part of themselves. At the heart of it was respect, and understanding which certain of us know when we see it…… As a child of the segregated fifties, I have now lived through two of these periods of national repentance. I admit to being a little jaded, and having a sharp eye for superficiality, and even tokenism…… My involuntary response to all the earnest pledges that things will change is…we’ll see…… But the event on the 21st will never leave me. Nothing since my very first YT event in Burlington has moved me so very much. Can’t say with complete certainty why both events left me sobbing…… Thank you so much for conceiving and birthing it. As with the lyrics to the old song…They can’t take that away from me!”
“I am so impressed with what you all did with the presentation More than Hope in Sounds and Words. I look forward to looking at Hannah’s page to get ideas and to share with friends who are still in the classroom.”
“The Facebook seminar was amazing! I was especially impressed by the two you chose to host the event. This choice speaks to us in so many ways! Thanks for doing this. As an African American who lived through the sixties….. so much of the response I’ve seen and heard since the Floyd tragedy seems formulaic, and even reflexive. Not the YTV Facebook event. It was at once comforting and inspirational.”
“Young Tradition Vermont put together this wonderful virtual event examining the concepts racial injustice, and discussing ways in which we can utilize the power of community and tradition to combat systemic racism. I was honored to be asked to contribute some music alongside a whole crew of friends, peers, and acquaintances. An especially huge thank you to Hannah Assefa, Aden Haji, and Mark Sustic for all their incredible work organizing and hosting this event. Challenging racism and racial injustice is something we all must do together. While it may feel insurmountable at times, change starts with each one of us individually, and grows as we bring that change into our communities. Young Tradition Vermont is committed to being an inclusive organization, providing equal appreciation and opportunity for the diverse range of cultures and traditions represented all around us. Music is the language of love, music is the language of inclusion, music is the language of acceptance. Black Lives Matter”
“It was remarkable! You’ll be happy to know that I brought in my Father and baby nephew Javi to watch. Javi was quite energized by the musical segments. We’re always happy to support your and YTV’s endeavors. Would love to attend live YTV events in VT down the road. I miss Hotel Vermont, the forests and mountains, and learning from everyone up there!”
“Thank you for the ‘More Than Hope’ event. Keep up the good work! I heard about it the day before the event, from Laurel’s posting on Front Porch Forum Jericho.”
“I highly recommend this! It moved me on so many levels-it vexed me to tears, to self reflection and to action. Thank you for taking on this important work.”
“Thank you for hosting this amazing concert.”
“Lovely! The idea of Young Tradition is really fabulous – congratulations to you all for caring about heritage and social justice and putting the initiative together! I wish you much success!”
“This was amazing!!!!!”
“Programs like this must keep coming because it is good for everyone. Those who think that there are levels and terms like being superior just because of race and color, those days are gone and it’s high time to acknowledge each other.”
“What an amazing event you put together. Honored to be a part of it, and what a wonderful legacy item this is reflecting how Young Tradition Vermont continues to grow and meet the challenges of today as a key organization for traditional arts and an important, necessary voice in the support of racial justice – well done!”