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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 – We’ve Come This Far By Faith

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!

We are happy to host GRAMMY Award Nominee, Stellar Award Winner, Billboard Winner, ASCAP Winner, Steeple Award Nominee, Gospel Choice Award Nominee Bishop Cortez Vaughn this year. The Keynote Speaker Bishop Dwayn 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 Royster is also the former Executive Director of the POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild.  There will be traditional food, music, dancing, speakers, exhibits and more. The Hampton Museum. 1619 Traveling Exhibit will be on display.   Activities go from noon till 6:00 PM. 

This 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 American Descendants of Slavery 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.” 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 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!

Order of Events

Opening Commemoration

Rev Mark Hughes

Rev. Rodney Patterson

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
Racial Equity Director, State of Vermont

Kamau Allen
Abolish Slavery National Network

Rev Rodney Patterson
Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, CHI

Adrian B. King

Rev Arnold Thomas
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church  

Rajnii Eddins

Praise Break

Bishop Cortez Vaughn

Rev Walter Bridge
Episcopal Diocese

Lake Champlain Mass Choir

Reflections, Acknowledgements and Aspirations
Panel Discussion

Bishop Dwayne Royster
Keynote Speaker


Highlights include:
Wellness Space
Youth Center of Excellence
The True Black History Museum
Hampton History Museum “Toward Freedom” Traveling Exhibit

* Coffee starts at 10:00 AM
* Lunch starts at noon-ish
* Real Black History Museum is from 11:00 AM till 5:00 PM
* Rest and Recovery Area open all day
* Youth Area of Excellence open all day

Harmony’s Kitchen and The People’s Kitchen to provide food!

Get your tickets here:

* Program subject to change

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