News & Media


May 15, 2020


Is Democracy Dead? The Vermont Institute for Community and International Involvement (VICII) Will Host a Community Discussion on Rebuilding Civil Society and Democracy in Burlington.


Vermont – VICII announces that it is hosting a “Zoom” public forum on May 20th at 6pm to discuss the challenges and opportunities of building a more democratic city in Burlington during the Covid-19 Pandemic.  This public forum will feature a moderated discussion with Vermont Law School Professor Jared Carter and Sandy Baird, VICII co-founder and longtime Burlington Activist. Robin Lloyd will moderated the discussion that will give citizens an opportunity to re-imagine Burlington as a City that can lead by example during these difficult times.


Jared Carter, Attorney and Professor at Vermont Law School will discuss his views on law and role that civil society must play in addressing the challenges that we face.  Carter explains that “Burlington has historically been a leader on the national and international stage. In recent years, we’ve taken a step back from that role but this pandemic has shown a spotlight on the need for cities like Burlington to recommit themselves to democracy, civil society, and political engagement as these are at the heart of our historical successes.”  Carter Adds that “From the Revolution we got our Constitutional Rights – but they only applied to propertied white men. From the Civil War, we legally eliminated slavery – but we birthed Jim Crow. From the Great Depression, we built a New Deal – but we laid the foundation for economic inequality.  Now, as we re-emerge after the global pandemic, we will once again be at the drawing board.  As Burlingtonians we can, and we must, seize this moment to build something new and something better.”

Sandra Baird, an attorney and long-time Burlington activist will also participate in the discussion.  “Civil Society is at the heart of what it means to be a Vermonter.” Explained Baird.  Adding, “without a space in which we can come together as Vermonters to discuss the issues, the difficulties and, the successes that we face, the social and human connections that form the backbone of civil society are at risk.  This is why VICII has such an important role to play today and in the future” 


To join the conversation, participants can log-in at or contact Robin Lloyd at


O.N.E. Community Center

20 Allen Street, Room 18

Burlington, VT 05401

802 862 2001

802 355 4968


To build a vibrant and just community focused on mutual respect and engaged citizenship through dialog, education, debate and friendship.

© 2018 VICII