Former state legislator Kiah Morris to lead Burlington-based Rights & Democracy

Feb 24 2022, 1:01 PM
Kiah Morris

A prominent regional advocacy organization has named former Bennington state legislator Kiah Morris as its new executive director.

Rights & Democracy, a Burlington-based group that works in Vermont and New Hampshire, made the announcement in a press release Thursday morning. Morris replaces James Haslam, the organization’s founder.

“Kiah was part of my inspiration to start Rights & Democracy in the first place,” Haslam said in a statement. “I knew we needed to be organizing across many intersecting issues, but we also needed to get people at decision making tables who actually understood the issues facing our communities.”

Morris previously served as the organization’s “Vermont movement politics director,” a role in which she lobbied state leaders on equity issues. 

Morris represented Bennington in the Vermont House of Representatives from 2014 to 2018. While serving in the Statehouse, Morris faced harassment from a white supremacist. The Human Rights Commission found that the Bennington Police Department did not do enough to prevent that harassment.

“Over the last seven years, (Rights & Democracy) has become a prominent political and organizing home for those who are passionate about building a healthy multi-racial, equitable and accountable democracy that works for all of us,” Morris said in a statement. “I am so excited for the opportunities at hand to make our vision a reality across both states as we reach new heights.”

— Jack Lyons