Newsletter Vol 1 No 8

waterbury protest for black lives matter

BIPOC Youth

This month, we celebrate the hard work of BIPOC youth — from the ages of 16 to 25 —from across the state.

Rather than our typical events and news section, we wanted to feature many faces of the countless BIPOC youth who are helping make our Vermont communities a better place. Not only do we have a feature on the incredible Maddy Ziminsky, who has been working tirelessly for racial justice at her high school in Stowe, but we also have included more bios on many other hard working students in the rest of the newsletter. You can find all of their stories below!

We also wanted to share that we will be gathering in-person for a fun, casual barbecue event this month!

Our August Kickback will be catered by Bluebird Barbecue in Burlington, VT, with vegetarian options donated by local vendors. Join us for a relaxed afternoon, to build community and have fun! Kids are welcome – there will be entertainment & games for kids at the event. Sisters of Anarchy Ice Cream will be available for purchase for dessert – but the first 40 guests to register will receive a coupon for FREE ice cream! Click here to register.

Please note that this event is for BIPOC & their families only.

Get to Know VT PoC

Businesses and People

Maddy Ziminsky
BUSINESS-OWNER OF MADDY’S MUSINGS, CO-FOUNDER OF REACH (RACIAL EQUITY ACTIVISTS FOR HUMANITY), HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR

Maddy Ziminsky was born in Philadelphia, PA, but has lived in Stowe since she was adopted at just a few months old. Now a Senior at Stowe High School, she balances not only her busy schedule as a student, but also co-founded REACH (Racial Equity Activists Club for Humanity) and runs Maddy’s Musings, her Etsy shop of clothing and art with a social and racial justice lens. She explained that living in Vermont as a person of color has never been easy. Still, she feels empowered to make changes in her community through the balance of her white peers and allies at school along with the people of color from her community.
“I enjoy being able to work alongside other students who are passionate about reaching the same goals (on the basis of race and equity) that I am,” she said. “Attending school in a place like Vermont, while challenging, allows me to find allies who are willing to push for the necessary changes to make our communities more equitable.”
To read the rest of our interview with Maddy, click here.
To shop her Etsy store, Maddy’s Musings, use this link.


BIPOC Youth Leadership

Minelle Sarfo-Adu

Minelle Sarfo-Adu

Currently, I am a junior at Big Picture South Burlington. I was born in the Bronx NYC, shortly later my family moved to Vermont. I’ve been working diligently on racial discrimination in housing. I’ve created a presentation to bring awareness to the issue. I’ve presented to a few major groups. CVOEO’s Fair Housing Friday, SB City Council, and a local real estate investors committee. My next steps are working with my project partner (Addie Lentzner) to bring this education to our next generation with lessons plans in high schools.

Nyasha Rutanhira

Nyasha Rutanhira

I am a junior at South Burlington High School. I have lived in South Burlington all my life. I am currently the Co-President of SBHS’s Student Justice Union and am also the Executive Secretary of SBHS’s Student Council. Just last year we (SBHS) made it so that the BLM flag was raised year-round and I was the Co-Chair for that committee. As a full-time student, I don’t have a lot of time to be making huge differences in our community like I want to but, I try to help wherever I can. I also run a podcast called Tales Beyond The Bench with my Co-President – you can find it on Spotify! It is my hope that once I graduate I can continue my studies and become an OBGYN!

Maddy Henson

Maddy Henson

I am junior majoring in neuroscience at UVM. I grew up in Tennessee and North Carolina and I am Blackfeet, Haida, and Cherokee. I’m super interested in maternal-fetal medicine, auto mechanics, and collecting vinyl records. I work in Indigenous advocacy on campus and the surrounding UVM community via the Indigenous People’s Collective (IPC), which I co-founded with Sage WhiteCloud. In the future, I want to become an OB/GYN to work with Indigenous women and children!

Boniface Ndikumwenayo

Boniface Ndikumwenayo

I am in 12th grade, and I am interested in filming because I like hearing people’s different opinions and how they help in the community to make things better.

I like learning from the people and leaders like the police commissioners on why and what they do. I also like sharing what I learned like the many ways how to help your community by volunteering your time on commissions. It’s important to ask people about their opinions to understand other people lives and learn from each other.

At first I just filmed public meetings and then started to get into interviewing. I might be interested in journalism and want to pursue management and IT skills. Right now I am just curious about how things work and look into things to see a big picture and be an example for young people follow their professional dreams.