The Root Social Justice Center

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The Root Social Justice Center is a newer organization focused on developing leadership and creating change that is inclusive and gives marginalized people a voice in Vermont. The Root brings people together for different types of programming that build community, leadership and power. The people who go to The Root can express themselves and be their full selves without fear. As a result, they are able to shine. People are learning new skills, being seen, and finding work that feeds their souls and liberates people of color. Folks can honestly say that they trust the Root.

28 Williams Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301


The Root prioritizes people of color leadership, shifting resources to people of color-led racial justice work, providing a physically and financially accessible organizing space for social justice groups that is free of oppression, harm and injustice.


The Root was founded in 2013 by four organizers with a vision to provide an organizing space for social justice groups in southern Vermont. In 2017, they transitioned to focus on racial justice education and action. The Root administers six programs which get to the heart of their work of empowering and upholding leadership in people of color communities.

The Issues:

Central to The Root’s mission is upholding people of color leaders in the organization and creating the model for change that they wish to see in their town, county and state governance structures. To accomplish this goal, they are actively engaged in efforts to support individuals in leadership roles who are traditionally marginalized including: people of color, queer/LGBTQI+, non-cis, class, gender, race.

Constituency and Leadership:

The Root’s core constituency are people of color living and/or working in southern Vermont. They prioritize co-leadership by people of color, women/queer/trans, youth, poor and working class folks. Their solidarity work with other racial justice efforts keeps them accountable to the wider community, and to state and national racial justice work. They support individuals in leadership roles who are from frontline communities. There is an emphasis on youth leadership.

Tackling Oppressive Structures:

The Root strives to break down the ways in which people think, act and hold space with each other that have been steeped in capitalism and white supremacy. They work to provide a space filled with acceptance and a commitment to supporting and challenging each other towards personal and systemic transformation. In challenging these systems of power through their organizing work, they actively break down barriers to participation, inviting all people to unite, share power and create change.

Movement Building:

Their cross-pollination work has intersectionality at its heart. The collective nature of The Root’s work supports the expression of social and racial justice in all its forms. This builds representation of diverse identities, thereby strengthening the movement towards economic, social and racial justice. The Root actively encourages cross-pollination and growth within their movement-building. By providing a physically and financially-accessible space for community building and organizing, groups working on understanding, resisting, and healing from many forms of oppression recognize the similarities of their experiences and are able to unite within a larger movement for change.


The Root is currently engaged in strategic planning to review and reflect on the performance of their organization. An extensive strategic planning process will allow them to assess how their actions match the needs of Vermont’s people of color. It will establish a baseline to help them evaluate the effectiveness of their work, prioritize how to be responsive to community needs, and organize their efforts.

Long-term Vision for Change:

The Root supports actions that break down injustices and create healing and equality. They recognize that oppression of people based on race, gender, sexuality, class, religion or ability is destroying the planet and all of its people. For that reason, they prioritize a people of color safe space.

Organization Budget:  $130,590
Request: $10,000

Raised to date this week:  $3,060

You can support The Root by clicking on the Donate button below: