The Race for Human Rights is a fundraiser for the Vermont Workers' Center and Migrant Justice-- two awesome human rights organizations!
I hope to benefit two causes while I toil and dance under the moonlight at 11:59 PM in my hometown of Pownal. It would bring together my past as well as my present and overall communities throughout the counties for an increased betterment of Vermonters.
Nothing is too little and regardless of the amount I will still be running! (but I do need at least one!)
Mark Galen Hall
For the past three years the Vermont Workers' Center and Migrant Justice have been working together to protect, defend, and demand our human rights. People around the state are coming together as one movement that puts people first and builds the community's power to realize this vision.
What happens when people organize together and create the community they want to live in?
•We became the first state in the country to legislate a universal single-payer healthcare system that is based on human rights principles and is a public good;
• We stopped the deportation of two migrant workers, and organized a farmworker-driven campaign to produce a nationally recognized policy directing VT State Police to abstain from immigration enforcement;
• We convinced our legislators to define the purpose of the state budget in terms of human rights principles--requiring that "[s]pending and revenue policies ... recognize every person's need for health, housing, dignified work, education, food, social security, and a healthy environment.";
• We won a racial discrimination hearing with the Vermont Human Rights Commission setting a state precedent for police to not profile based on suspected immigration status;
• We organized with mobile home park residents who lost their homes during Tropical Storm Irene to start Mobile Home Park Residents for Equality and Fairness-- they got their homes removed at no cost and set up a recovery fund for the residents;
• We defeated a legislative amendment to exclude migrant farmworkers from Vermont’s universal healthcare legislation;
• More than 2,000 people came out to the Put People First May Day rally this year!
• We won over $6000 in migrant worker back wages and workman’s compensation cases through our Immigrant Workers' Rights Hotline, Teleayuda.
• The list goes on and on!!
By organizing together we can and do achieve real victories for our communities. All of this happens with a little bit of money and a LOT of people power.
"My eyes are open, my ears are tuned in, my hands are ready for work, and my mouth is no longer silent." - Sandy Gaffney, Organizer-in-Training and mobile home park resident who lost her home after Tropical Storm Irene and helped start Mobile Home Park Residents for Equality and Fairness
“A few months ago I was working in a farm in this state…I had to leave the farm because they weren’t paying me and they owed me $1,000.00, but thanks to Migrant Justice and the help of other people we were successful in getting my backwages. I’m thanking you with all my heart and I WANT TO SAY TO ALL THOSE WHO DON’T GET PAID OR ARE OWED BACKWAGES: look for support from this group." - José Martin
Here are the websites for the Vermont Workers' Center and Migrant Justice to read more about what they do and how to get involved: