Mayor Miro Weinberger announced this week that Tyeastia Green, Burlington’s first Director of Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (REIB) is moving on from her position to pursue other opportunities. In Green’s two years with the City, she led work on many significant achievements, including:
- Building the REIB department which currently consists of 15 full-time employees;
- Establishing the Reparations Task Force;
- Deploying pandemic and recovery grant funding to BIPOC small businesses and non-profits;
- Planning the City’s first Juneteenth celebration;
- Developing and began Racial Equity Workshops for City employees; and
- Leading the nationwide search for an artist to create a landmark sculpture about belonging in Dewey Park.
“I am grateful for Tyeastia’s service to Burlington and her dedication towards making Burlington a more inclusive and equitable city for Black and brown Burlingtonians,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Tyeastia has been a tireless, fearless leader throughout her time in Burlington and I will greatly miss having her perspective and candor on the City’s Leadership Team. Racial equity work is challenging and it will be even harder without Tyeastia here, but in her nearly two years with the City she built a strong foundation for the REIB Department and we will continue to push forward with racial justice and equity work on many fronts.”
“We are not going to outlive our efforts towards making society racially just,” said Tyeastia Green. “It took us 400+ years to get here, it’ll take just as long to get out. But what we are doing now, is planting seeds. One day those seeds will grow into magnificent trees, and generations of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color will be able to enjoy the shade of those trees. That is what makes this work not in vain. That is what makes this work, worth it. I think the world of the REIB team and am committed to doing all I can during this transition period to see them continue to succeed and make change here in Burlington.”
Green’s last day will be March 10, and her main focus during the transition period will be fundraising for Juneteenth 2022.
According to the Feb. 16 Seven Days, Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden) said Green (reportedly her friend) didn’t always feel welcome in Burlington. “There were conversations that made her feel truly unwelcome and that made it clear the systemic change she was trying to bring was unwelcome. I frankly don’t know how she stayed this long.”