Change the name of Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award

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Show solidarity with the poor and people of color by joining the fight to change the name of the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award. An avid eugenicist, Fisher stood against the immigrant, the poor and indigenous people. If we continue to honor people whose ideas perpetuate white supremacy and hatred of the poor, what kind of message are we sending our children?

Here is a message from Judy Dow, Abenaki educator and historian: "As you know I have been working on getting the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award name changed. I love the project and how it encourages children to read, However, to name a children's book award after someone with the history of an Elitist, Racist and Eugenicist is simply egregious. This award has been in place for 60 years. With the passing of my dear friend Doris Seale a children's librarian for 45 years I began to tackle this change in her honor."

Scott Murphy, Vermont State Librarian will be deciding this month whether he will rename the award. Your voice is needed TODAY! Please read below for more information and sign the petition today!

 Dorothy Canfield Fisher participated in the VT Eugenics Survey as well as promoted elitist views and hatred of the poor. The Vermont Eugenics Survey (VES) evaluated Vermont families to determine their social worth. The eugenics program impacted the lives of thousands of Indigenous Native People and Poor People living in Vermont, breaking families apart and creating discontinuities for generations. Furthermore, her writing was permeated by racist and elitist ideas that perpetuate the inequality that we continue to struggle against today. 

Although Fisher may be a woman of her time, becoming a more just society means acknowledging and honoring people with just ideas. It's time for change. More than a name change, renaming the award is an acknowledgement that Eugenics existed in the state of Vermont and a pledge to do better. 

After signing this petition, contact Scott Murphy to make your voice heard. 

State Librarian's Office
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609
(802) 828-3261, Fax: (802) 828-2199
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:45am - 4:30pm
Scott Murphy, State Librarian, (802) 828-3261, scott.murphy@vermont.gov



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