Declaration of Inclusion Initiative Update

To date 58 municipalities, home to 40% of Vermonters, have adopted a Declaration of Inclusion. The Vermont Chamber is dedicated to the ongoing effort to reach the goal of a Declaration of Inclusion being adopted and implemented by each of Vermont’s 246 towns and cities. The Vermont Chamber is amplifying this message because building equitable and inclusive communities and telling our story beyond our borders is the best way to attract diversity and encourage new people to live and work in Vermont. The vision is that Vermont will become known, and in fact be, the most welcoming and safe state in the country for all people.

In addition to the adoption by municipalities, progress has been made on the statewide level in the form of Gubernatorial proclamations. One adopting the Declaration of Inclusion, and one proclaiming the second week in May as Inclusion Week, annually.

Addressing Vermont’s demographic crisis and the resulting labor shortage is a top priority of the Vermont Chamber. To attract more people to work in our state, we must position Vermont as an attractive place to live. Ultimately, recognition for statewide adoption of the Declaration of Inclusion will help to achieve this.

True to its Vermont roots, this initiative was born from grassroots organization and furthered by trusted partnerships. In addition to the Vermont Chamber, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, the Social Equity Caucus, the National Association of Colored People, and Vermont Interfaith Action, have all contributed to the success thus far. Progress is made via direct contact with municipal management, selectboards, equity committees, respected and influential community leaders, and local champions.

Looking ahead, the goal is for 100 municipalities to adopt a Declaration of Inclusion before Inclusion Week in May of 2023. For more information and to learn how you can champion the initiative in your city or town, please contact the organizers:

Bob Harnish:

Al Wakefield:

Norman Cohen: