Leaders from the Rutland Area NAACP visited the Castleton campus on Wednesday evening, bringing with them a $2,000 check to support the University’s student chapter.
Rutland Area Branch President Mia Schultz presented students with the generous check, which was made possible with some of the proceeds from their Freedom Fund Dinner in September. The Freedom Fund Dinner raises funds and highlights the work of the NAACP. Much of this year’s event was filmed at Castleton’s Casella Theater. Raynolds Awusi, a 2021 graduate and a student in Castleton’s MBA program, was honored at the Freedom Fund Dinner for his work to found the University’s student chapter – the only of its kind in Vermont.
Schultz sat down with members of Castleton’s chapter during her visit to campus and discussed the work the students are doing, including a recent panel discussion and a “blackout” day, where the community was encouraged to wear black to stand in solidarity and remember victims of police brutality with a moment of silence.
“You are different than any other club on this campus,” she said. “You have a legacy.”
The NAACP was founded in 1909 and is the nation’s largest and most widely recognized civil rights organization. Castleton’s chapter was chartered in June and is currently led by students Nadia Cox and Tajae Edwards, with more than 20 members.
Schultz encouraged students to think about the change they’d like to see on campus and provided ideas of where to start, including encouraging Castleton to adopt an equity statement. She hopes the funding from the Rutland Area NAACP will help students reach their goals – which include attending the NAACP national conference – and "get into some good trouble."