2022 Program

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Event Details

As a continuation to the 400 Years African American History Commission’s mandate of recognizing and highlighting the resilience and contributions of African Americans since 1619, the Racial Justice Alliance presents the Fourth Annual Vermont First African Landing Day.

This year’s theme is  “We Come This Far By Faith” and reflects the role that faith has played in the lives American Descendants of Slavery in their journey from 1619 to present day.  From the middle passage, the auction block and toils of slavery to convict leasing, sharecropping, lynchings and the old Jim Crow a constant anthem has remained.  Through persecution and criminalization of a civil rights movement, a justice system that has never delivered equal protection under the law and the present day struggle of ongoing systemic racism American Descendants of Slavery have truly come this far by faith!

There will be traditional food, music, dancing, speakers, exhibits and more. The Keynote, Bishop Royster serves as the Founder of the Society for Faith and Justice, an ecumenical religious order committed to a charism of social justice as a spiritual discipline and spiritual practice. Bishop is also the former Executive Director of the POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild) and a former councilman-at-large for the Municipality of Norristown. Bishop Royster can be found co-hosting a radio show, “Solutions”, on Philadelphia’s WURD. Activities go from noon till 6:00 PM.   

Guests include Adrian B. King (ABK) and GRAMMY Award Nominee, Stellar Award Winner, Billboard Winner, ASCAP Winner, Steeple Award Nominee, Gospel Choice Award Nominee Bishop Cortez Vaughn. #AbolishSlaveryVT Campaign and Abolish Slavery National Network folks will provide updates on Proposal 2, a Vermont constitutional amendment to prohibit slavery and indentured servitude in all forms. The Hampton Museum 1619 Traveling Exhibit will be on display.

The net proceeds from this event will be donated to the Richard Kemp Center.  The Richard Kemp Center expands programs and services that support Black Vermonters’ wellness, preserve their culture, support their youth and advance racial equity and justice. The day starts with coffee at 10:00 AM.

This day in late August of 1619 marks what is arguably the most important day in the history of this nation and indeed the world. The arrival of Africans on what was then so called English colonial soil introduced a people that would not only serve as the vanguard in the fight for human rights and justice but serve to shape the world as we know it. As 1619 begins to tell the true story of who Black people are as a people, so it informs us of who we are as a nation. So the tradition of commemorating the contribution and resilience of people of African descent continues in Vermont as does the hope and the promise of our future.


Vermont First African Landing Day
August 27, 2022

The Vermont Racial Justice Alliance is happy to have the opportunity to bring the 2022 Vermont First African Landing Day program, “’We’ve Come This Far By Faith. There has been nothing more vital to the persistence and tenacity of American Descendants of Slavery than their faith. Through trials and tribulations and unimaginable adversity embracing faith has often been the only way forward. Black folks have depended on the church as a place of refuge and a headquarters from which a movement that would change a nation would operate. When we look back over our lives and think things over, most American Descendants of Slavery would agree that nothing short of the miracle has brought us as a people to this point in time.   This year Vermont First African Landing Day highlights and celebrates our faith with the words that echo through the generations “We’ve Come this Far By Faith!

This year Vermont First African Landing Day features “Reflections, Acknowledgements and Aspirations” a panel discussion on where we have come form and where we agree we should be going, 403 years after the landing of the White Lion at Point Comfort!

Highlights include:
Wellness Space
Youth Center of Excellence
Hampton History Museum 1619; Arrival of First Africans “ Traveling Exhibit

* Coffee starts at 11:00 AM
* Lunch starts at one-ish
*1619; Arrival of First Africans is from 12:00 AM till 6:00 PM
* Rest and Recovery Area open all day
* Youth Area of Excellence open all day

Rev Mark Hughes Executive Director, 
Vermont Racial Justice Alliance   

Rev. Rodney Patterson
Shilo Missionary Baptist Church,Chicago   

We’ve Come This Far By Faith
Adrian B. King 

Black National
Anthem Rajnii Eddins 

Deacon Jarvis Grant
New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church

Xusana Davis
Executive Director, Office of Racial Equity, State of Vermont

Rev Arnold Thomas Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Jericho, VT 12:35 

Rajnii Eddins

Lake Champlain Mass Choir

Adrian B. King and Reverence

Bishop Cortez Vaughn

Rev. Rodney Patterson
Shilo Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago 

Rev Walter Brownridge
Vermont Episcopal Diocese

Kamau Allen
Abolish Slavery National Network

Reflections, Acknowledgements and Aspirations
Panel Discussion

Bishop Dwayne Royster
Keynote Speaker


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