Newsletter Vol 2 No 1

Health Disparities in Vermont

The United States is home to stark health disparities along racial and ethnic lines, including in health coverage, chronic health problems, mental illness, and mortality. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, both in Vermont and nationally, is yet another example of this racist pattern. Dismantling these systemic issues is a task that groups in Vermont, like the Vermont Health Equity Initiative, are taking on one BIPOC Clinic at a time.

This month, our spotlight feature is Monika Ganguly-Kiefner (she/her), Chronic Disease Prevention Specialist for the state of Vermont. She explains in her interview below how the position provides an opportunity for her to center the importance of health equity. “There is so much room for growth in the health equity field,” Monika says, “Health equity really touches on almost everything — housing, the economy, employment, recreation, etc. — so there is a ton of room for me to be involved.”

Read up on all of these opportunities below!

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Monika Ganguly-Kiefner

Monika Ganguly-Kiefner resides in Clarendon, and has lived in Vermont on-and-off for 18 years. She started as a Chronic Disease Prevention Specialist for the state just a few months ago, but is already making strides promoting health equity for traditionally underserved populations, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities and more. Monika notes that while it can be exhausting to often be the only BIPOC professional in the room, “don’t let it stop you.” As she says, “There has to be a first for everything!” 

Read the rest of our interview with Monika here.

Updates and Resources


Free Online BIPOC Meditation & Healing with We All Rise
Cost should never be a barrier to healing and connection. We All Rise offers a healing class from 5:30-6:30pm each Monday. 
Join the online class at this link.

Indigo De Souza at Higher Ground
See this emerging Indie-Rock BIPOC artist perform at South Burlington’s Higher Ground venue on January 28th!
Find all event details here.

Booster Shots/Kids Shots at BIPOC Clinic
Get vaccinated at the BIPOC Clinic in Burlington, every other Saturday! The next kids vaccination clinic is January 8th. 
Register at their website.


Calling all VT PoC Members!
Complete the updated member info form if you haven’t already!
Click here to complete it.

Northeast organizations are trying to return land, decision-making power to people of color
Vermont Public Radio reports on the work that Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, SUSUCommUNITY Farm, Judy Dow, and others are doing to return land to people of color in what we know as “Vermont.”

Read the full story at VPR.

BDCC Receiving $350K from SBA to Lend in Southern VT 
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corp. is receiving $350K from the Small Business Association to distribute microloans to small businesses.
Learn more about the opportunity at this link.

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