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Legislative After-Dinner Coffee & Conversation: A conversation about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19

January 14, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm



| Free

Watch a recording of this event.

Join the Vermont Commission on Women for a panel discussion to learn more about how COVID-19 impacts Vermont women, and especially those experiencing the intersection of gender and race, what policy makers can do about it.

Panelists will include new VCW Commissioner Kiah Morris, Executive Director of Mercy Connections Lisa Falcone, and UVM Professor of Economics Stephanie Seguino. The event will be moderated by VCW Executive Director Cary Brown. This event is free to attend but registration is required.

Register now!

This will be an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Vermont women. The pandemic continues to have devastating consequences, exposing long-standing structural inequities that can no longer be ignored. We face the prospect that decades of progress for women and people of color may be undone, and at the same time, we note a receptiveness to change, and a unique and urgent opportunity to rebuild broken systems for a Vermont that truly works for everyone.

The event will include a Q&A session, and attendees will engage in breakout sessions, exploring issues and solutions in small groups.

Policymakers, state officials, advocates, and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend.

About our panelists:

Kiah Morris is an engaging and award-winning trainer on issues of diversity, equity and leadership. She currently serves as the Movement Politics Director for Rights and Democracy Vermont, a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam America, and an advisory council member for Emerge Vermont and Black Lives Matter Vermont. She served in the General Assembly as a State Representative from 2014-2016 and 2016-2018 and was the first African-American and person of color elected from Bennington County and the second African-American woman to be elected to the legislature in Vermont history. Her story of success and struggle have been covered internationally in over four dozen media outlets. Her artistic career, as an actress, in spoken word performance, and as a singer, dancer and arts manager focuses on amplification of voices of the oppressed, and issues of human rights and social justice. She’s recently authored Life Lessons and Lyrical Translations of My Soul, a book of poetry, and is currently filming a documentary on race in Vermont titled Colorlines in the Green Mountains with Long Shot Productions.

Lisa Falcone is the Executive Director of Burlington’s Mercy Connections, a community-based, multi-cultural, economic, and social justice agency providing opportunities for people to pursue their goals and achieve better lives. Mercy Connections staff educates, matches needs to resources, transcends barriers and embraces radical inclusion. Their programs and classes support re-entry for women coming out of prison and educate adults who are focused on well-being, academics, job readiness, business ownership and US citizenship. Lisa previously served as Working Bridges Director for the United Way of Northwest Vermont, and as Founder and Senior Advisor of WorkLab Innovations, a start-up organization supporting communities across the country in building sustainable workplace practices through employer networks. Her work has also included positions in higher education and in business and industry workforce development.

Stephanie Seguino’s work focuses on the economic institutions that lead to and perpetuate economic inequality. At UVM her teaching addresses the topics of Inequality, Poverty, and Wealth; the Political Economy of Race; Globalization and Well-Being; Gender and Development; and Macroeconomics, Economic Development, and Growth. She contributes to research on macroeconomic policy tools for financing and promoting gender equality. She is co-author of numerous studies of Vermont’s traffic stop data to identify and understand racial disparities in Vermont policing, a report series titled Trends in Racial Disparities in Traffic Stops. She is a Research Associate of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and a Fellow of the Gund Institute for the Environment and works as advisor or consultant to numerous international organizations including the World Bank, UN Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, US Agency for International Development, and UN Women. Professor Seguino is also an accomplished photographer; her work can be viewed at


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