The Vermont Connection


Paulo Freire (1970) stated, "In order for the oppressed to be able to wage the struggle for their liberation, they must perceive the reality of oppression not as a closed world from which there is no exit, but as a limiting situation which they can transform." Academia has historically been evoked by a white, male, hetero-normative framework that has limited the space for opposing identities to be marginalized through policies, organizational culture, and social imagery. Although liberation is not a notion employed in academia, assimilation, obedience, and domination serve as the protagonist embedded in the optics within these institutions, often praising the marginalized for how much abuse they can endure under the guise of academic rigor and resiliency. Not only is this violent, it is corrosive and dehumanizing. This open letter will serve as a motivational tool to combat and resist an oppressive system and illuminate the liberatory processes in multiple contexts. Also, ground the idea of liberation in concrete circumstances that demonstrate power and strength in the ongoing praxis and long-awaited triumph over the oppressor and the systems that they employ.