Kesha Ram


Kesha Ram is a former state legislator and the interim director of the Center for Whole Communities in Burlington. She will study in the Master of Public Administration program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government this fall.

Ram: Being The Arrow

May 7, 2019
Sally McCay, UVM Photographer

A mentor once told me that there are times in our lives when we are the arrow, flying swift and far. As we get older, we’re more often the bow, holding steady and helping to launch others further than we can see or imagine.

Phoebe Rotter / Planned Parenthood Vermont

One of the most important women in Vermont history is not known by her full name. A year before the national Roe v. Wade decision, “Jacqueline R,” was part of a landmark court case in Vermont that provided abortion access here.

Courtesy of UVM

Known as Kake Walk, one of the highlights of the campus social calendar, it’s been described as “a standard act in minstrel theatre, originated on plantations as a competition among slaves” and UVM now has a digital collection of 231 items documenting it that date from 1895 onward.

Ram: Thoughts For MLK Day

Jan 16, 2019
Ben DeFlorio

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963, Dr. King responded to a group of white clergymen who penned a letter expressing their support for his cause, but not for the tactics of nonviolent resistance he was deploying.


Many of us look to the holiday season as an antidote to the strife and struggle in the world around us, perhaps tuning out divisive politics – or at least trying to avoid discussing the latest tweets or subpoenas at family gatherings.

Michael Tallman

Governor Madeleine Kunin has given us all a present. Her new book, Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties, is a heartfelt and honest look at the process of aging and she writes it with courage, and grace.

Ram: Language As Destiny

Aug 23, 2018
Benjamin Barkley / The Lowcountry Digital History Initiative

Born into slavery in Charleston, South Carolina, Samuel Williams came to Vermont as a young man when the Civil War ended and lived in Springfield and Windsor, where he found a life of freedom and raised a family.

One of the great privileges I had this year was meeting outgoing Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans. He recently received the Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for being the first Southern mayor to reckon with the Confederate legacy of his city and take down monuments of those who were allegiant to the Confederacy. In reflecting on actions he’s now had to defend many times over, he says, “There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.”

Kesha Ram, courtesy

In 1999, Portugal was the heroin capital of Europe, with fully one percent of the population addicted to hard drugs. But in 2001 they decriminalized all substances and spent a vast amount of their public money on treatment rather than drug enforcement.

Every year, about 4,000 people in Vermont turn 65 - roughly the population of Randolph – contributing to a nearly one-to-one ratio between young and older Vermonters.

The complexities of climate change sometimes make me feel like Don Quixote tilting at windmills - charging toward invisible and elusive enemies like political apathy, the polluting byproducts of capitalism, and lowering the energy consumption that powers our daily activities.

VPR commentator Kesha Ram, seen here at VPR's Colchester studios in 2016.
Meg Malone / VPR/file

I recently spoke with a young woman who fled from Syria with her parents. She's struggling with her identity in a family that straddles two countries that can often feel worlds apart. And the escalating political rhetoric hasn't helped; her father's been called a "terrorist" more than once as he tries to earn money for his family.

Ram: Leaders Wanted

Jun 8, 2017

Many people across the nation and around the globe paused to honor President John F. Kennedy last week on what would have been his 100th birthday. His sense of duty to all Americans provides inspiration at a time when many of us are longing for more effective political leadership.