Montpelier, VT — A new photo exhibit at the Vermont State House is aimed at showing how microaggressions are both common and harmful to Vermonters of color.

The portraits on display present a complex message with a simple collection of photos. The exhibit shows BIPOC Vermonters, each holding whiteboards with different messages, but all sharing the common hashtag ‘I am Vermont Too’.

“Many of them have felt microaggressions,” said Sha’an Mouliert, coordinator of the I am Vermont Too project.

Mouliert coordinated the display as a space for BIPOC people to be seen and heard for their experiences living in Vermont. She says microaggressions are often comments or behaviors made in school, at work, or out in the community, and cause racial stress and trauma to people of color.

Mouliert says while the impacts are lasting, sometimes people might be unaware of their participation in perpetuating racial stereotypes, especially in majority-white communities, like Vermont. “There are efforts to make Vermont attractive to BIPOC and yet we can’t retain them and a lot of it is basically just not safe.”

She adds that there’s also a lot of Black history that has yet to be uncovered in the Green Mountain State and that the truth needs to be exposed and honored. “We’d like our contributions to the community to be valued, we are your neighbors,” she said.

The photo exhibit will be on display in the State House through the end of the month and after that, organizers want to bring it to various communities throughout the state.