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Former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin, founder of the Institute for Sustainable Communities and author of The New Feminism, will be the keynote speaker at a conference April 7, at Vermont Law School. This long-planned conference has taken on new importance and meaning in the present climate, as we will discuss the welcome Vermont provides to Central American asylum seekers, as well as the work Vermonters do in combating poverty and disorder, and facilitating sustainable community building in Honduras and elsewhere in Central America.

The conference is free and open to the public, and a complimentary lunch will be provided to those who register in advance.For more information, see the “About” menu and schedule, and check out the “Workshops,” or go directly to the “Registration” page.

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Vermonters and Hondurans are in partnership, fostering civil society, human rights and sustainable economic development in both countries. Once government-to-government programs, the Vermont-Honduras partnerships now link communities, non-profits and business enterprises. On April 7, we will meet to celebrate more than fifty years of successful efforts, to share past experience and to plan for a difficult future. The public is invited. We hope to increase awareness of these badly needed efforts, to plan strengthened networks of existing organizations, and invite volunteers to join us in Vermont or in Honduras, for a future in which their work will be more important than ever. We will discuss recent events, and questions that have arisen as to how Vermont communities can best welcome Central Americans and other non-citizens.

Senator Patrick Leahy has been invited to open the conference, and the keynote address will be given by former Governor of Vermont Madeleine Kunin, founder of the Institute for Sustainable Communities.  Sponsors of the conference are Americans Caring Teaching Sharing (ACTS), based in Norwich, who for thirty years have helped Honduran villages with health care, education and other elements of sustainable community, the South Royalton Legal Clinic of Vermont Law School, which assists asylum seekers and other immigrants in Vermont, and the Vermont Honduras Partnership of Partners of the Americas, at the University of Vermont, who assist farmers and rural communities in sustainable economic development. Speakers from these and other organizations in Vermont and Honduras will address the conference and will lead workshop discussions, welcoming volunteers and planning for the future.