My summer at the ACLU of Vermont

This blog was written by Louisa Braun.

Vermont is my home. While I now attend college in the Hudson Valley, I grew up in Montpelier, spending summers selling maple creemees and trying to find the best swimming spots across the state. Raised in a community where I was taught to care about social justice issues, I know that this state can do a lot more, from ensuring housing for every person to expanding bodily autonomy. I want to fight for a future where everyone who calls Vermont home is able to thrive. 

This summer, I worked with the ACLU of Vermont as its 2023 Community Outreach Intern. In this role I participated in campaign planning sessions, strategizing with the ACLU team about how to best protect the rights of everyone in Vermont, in the legislature and in our communities. I also traveled around the state to bring our work to local Pride events, where people gathered to celebrate Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community. 

While tabling in June, I talked to Vermonters about the issues they care about and the changes they want to see in their communities. I was able to share in the joy of Pride and celebrate different visions for Vermont, while seeing more of the state I call home. I gained valuable experience in community organizing and learned in-depth about the challenges Vermont communities are facing, and the tools that exist to combat them. 

The July flooding devastated communities across the state, including Montpelier. As my hometown and so many others began reconstructing businesses, homes, and farms, I watched the ACLU of Vermont come together to support each other and continue their work.  

It’s this spirit of motivation for change that the ACLU wants to share through its new volunteer Action Team, which I had the opportunity to help create this summer. The ACLU of Vermont action team will allow supporters like you to come together and make a difference across a broad range of issue areas and opportunities. From tabling in your community, to volunteering at events or writing letters to the editor, the action team is designed to support you to make the change you want to see, in a way that works for you.  

Join the ACLU on September 7th, at 6-7pm, for our very first virtual action team info session. RSVP here.

Vermont is in a period of rebuilding. This comes with obstacles and hardships, and with the motivation and opportunity to restore our communities in a way that makes them stronger and more vibrant places for all. We hope you will join us in this important work, which we can only accomplish together.