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News Release

VLS to Host Symposium Exploring How Voting and Politics Affect Opportunities for People of Color

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


The Vermont Law School (VLS) Black Law Students Association will explore a timely and important topic during its annual Race and the Law symposium: How voting and politics affect opportunities for people of color.

The virtual event will take place Friday, Jan. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. (EST) at

Focusing on systematic racism in America's voting system, a diverse array of speakers and panelists will discuss how laws on voting and politics impact people of color. Their insight will reveal avenues legal professionals can take to make the voting process more equitable for all Americans regardless of their racial or ethnic backgrounds. The three panel discussions will address how laws impact people of colors' access to voting, if their votes really count, and if abolishing the Electoral College would result in more equitable politics.

This year’s topic was chosen because of the many issues surrounding Black participation and representation in the 2020 election.

"As Black Americans, we often question the outcomes of elections and are subject to laws that aim to exclude people that look like us," said Elijah Freeman JD'22, president of the VLS Black Law Students Association. "So we wanted to hear from professionals in various fields that understand this process and hoped they could answer some questions, talk about their work, and share their perspective."

Delivering the keynote address will be Kendra Brown JD’12, the director of public policy for MasterCard. Brown is a former congressional staffer for Representatives G.K. Butterfield, Dwight Evans, and Maxine Waters, and served as the policy director for the Congressional Black Caucus. Brown is also the former national chair of the National Black Law Students Association, where she was active in election protection, leadership training and development, and extensive advocacy efforts.