Press Release

Source Correction: ‘Hate-free forum’ in St. Albans next week; masks REQUESTED

At an upcoming public forum in St. Albans, masks are requested but not required, its organizers say.

Last week, the US Attorneys Office and the Vermont Attorney General’s Office made a stir on social media when they announced plans to sponsor a ‘Hate-Free Vermont Forum in St. Albans Thursday, November 17. A dust-up occurred when the two offices got their signals crossed on masking policy for the gathering.

The VT AG’s office (correctly, it said this week) press release last week stated that ‘masks are requested.’ A spokesperson Monday said that means ‘requested but not required.’ But the US Attorney’s Office press release said ‘masks are required.’ Not knowing the discrepancy existed, Vermont Daily Chronicle published the feds’ press release on Friday.

Much online comment ensued.

The VDC post prompted 22 comments, their general tenor summed up by this anonymous comment : “How to filter out conservatives….require a face diaper. Oh well….they’ve got their jab and I’ve got my health.”

The Vermont AG’s office then wrote to VDC – nope, masks are requested, not required. VDC checked the VT AG press release (‘requested’) and the feds’ press release (‘required’), and informed VT AG of the discrepancy. They conferred. They fixed it. Now anyone considering attending the forum needn’t bother masking if they don’t want to.

Below is the corrected press release:

The United States Attorney’s Office, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, and the Rutland Area NAACP will be co-hosting a Hate-Free Vermont Forum in St. Albans on November 17, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. This forum will be the third held in an ongoing series; previous 2022 Hate-Free Vermont Forums have taken place in Rutland and Bennington.

“The Forum aims to bring policymakers, stakeholders, and community members together for productive and difficult conversations that will work to reduce animus, discord, and misunderstandings,” said co-facilitator Etan Nasreddin-Longo. “When we began these conversations in 2019, our goal was to take the pulse of Vermonters’ experience of discrimination. Much has happened since that time, and our hope is to engage and to listen to our historically-disadvantaged communities about what they view as the continuing and new problems in 2022.”

Community members are encouraged to join a conversation on understanding and addressing bias, discrimination, and hate crimes in Vermont. The Forum will be hosted in person and remotely.

Physical location: Community College of Vermont – St. Albans, 97 North Main Street, Suite 200, St. Albans, VT 05478
Remote registration link: bit.ly/HateFreeStAlbans
In-person registration link (optional): https://forms.gle/ofP9yx5vpmN2dbqT7
Who: All are welcome. For physical attendance, masks are requested but not required. Registration is required for remote attendance.

Categories: Press Release

6 replies »

  1. So not “required” but “requested” — ie, you would be rude and disrespectful (racist! terrorist!) if you choose not to wear one of those face-bras.

  2. I’ve been trying to get answers from Rutland’s NAACP and the Attorney General’s Office. Maybe some who participated in this in Bennington and Rutland could comment – will this focus mostly on racial concerns or a broad gammet of community concerns? ie. drugs, homelessness, transgender, school agendas….

  3. Nice to see that the AG’s office was prompted to issue this clarification re masks largely in part to VDC’s commentaries on the matter. Go Vermont Daily Chronicle…they are listening…we just showed we can make a difference. Thank you, Guy Page!

  4. If you wanted to go in an make a difference, the correct apparel would be a mask, that would signal you are one of them and not the enemy. You could make a differnce doing it that way.

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