For those of you seeking an online version of my CV, here it is. Thank you for visiting.
A dynamic, award-winning professional with over 20 years of work experience and leadership with businesses, education and non-profit organizations worldwide.
Vermont General Assembly - State Representative
2014 – 2018
District: Bennington 2-2 Committee Assignment: House Healthcare (2015), House Judiciary (2017)
State of Vermont Judicial Nominating Board, Member (2017)
Caucus Memberships: Women’s Caucus (Co-Chair), Climate Caucus, Future Caucus, Working People’s Caucus
Task Force Memberships: Bias in Policing – VT Attorney General (2016); Racial Equity in Schools – VT NEA (2017)
Major Legislative Accomplishments 2014-2018
· Contraceptive Access for All: I championed and secured an unanimously adopted policy that ensures all Vermonters have access to free or no-cost contraception with no impacts to the state budget.
· Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone: Together with colleagues, we established a regional economic strategy that will put a focus on the needs of southern Vermont and bring funds to strengthen our region.
· Dental Practitioner Bill: Five years in the making, I helped to champion a bill that establishes a new category of dental professional that will give greater access to dental care and professional opportunities for Vermonters.
· Racial Justice Oversight Panel/Fair and Impartial Policing: I was a lead sponsor on two bills to ensure law enforcement is provided appropriate training and standardized policies to guide encounters with all Vermonters and eliminate bias against race, gender, disability or mental health. In addition, we established a multi-member panel to review and provide recommendations on reforms in the criminal justice system to address racial discrimination. The legislation also directed the Attorney General and the Human Rights Commission to develop a structure for addressing racial discrimination in the areas of housing, education, employment, health care and economic development in the state. This is landmark legislation for our state.
· Mitigation of Systemic Racism in State Government Panel: Following the recommendations of the Attorney General and Human Rights Commission report, I was a co-lead sponsor of legislation which established a cabinet-level executive director position and advisory panel to interrogate and mitigate racial disparities in state government, the first of its kind in the nation.
· Sexual Assault Bill of Rights, Statute of Limitations and No-Contact Orders: I was a lead sponsor on a trifecta of bills that established a sexual assault survivor’s bill of rights, removed statute of limitations for sexual assault victim reporting and closed a loophole that now requires no-contact orders be put in place at the time of an emergency relief from abuse/order of protection is granted by the courts.
· PFOA: A resident asked the question, and I led the call to fight industrial pollution of local waterways. This resulted in a massive cleanup effort, remediation and legal action to require full compensation from the polluters directly in the construction of access to clean water for impacted residents.
· Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools: As lead sponsor for this bill, we sought to revise educational standards to include ethnic and social equity in curriculum, policies and procedures in Vermont schools. This bill is slated for re-introduction at the start of the 2019 biennium and has tri-partisan support across both chambers of the legislature.
Owner – Marketing and Strategic Partnerships
As a co-owner of the worker cooperative, I develop, oversee and implement TESA’s long-range development strategies with a focus on grant acquisition and individual giving. Additionally, I manage strategic planning, communications and support of marketing and product sales strategies. Special projects include consultation on sexual assault prevention concepts within the custom card game design of “About Last Night: A game about consent” and a critical race pedagogy in the curriculum design for the Sanctuary Families Ally program for families dealing with deportation issues in Brooklyn, NY.
Kiah Morris LLC Consulting Services
2013 - Present
Clemmons Family Farm
I provide strategic partnership consultancy for the largest African-American owned farm and African American/African diasporic arts and culture center in the state of Vermont.
· Power of Color Exhibit – I serve as the producer for this youth-driven, statewide photography exhibit due to open in Spring 2019.
· Art America Place Making Award Performing Arts Consultant – As a performing artist and leader, I supported the creative placemaking charettes for the Farm on the development of the project vision
· “To Sing of Common Things” youth poetry series – I co-hosted and produced the five-part spoken word poetry series highlighting the work of Vermont youth of color.
Rights and Democracy (VT)
I developed and delivered a series of prospective political candidate trainings on building an effective, grassroots, people-centered electoral campaigns. The modules included activities on positioning, building a kitchen cabinet, communications, canvassing, and fundraising.
Thought Leaders International
Working directly with the CEO of Thought Leaders International, I advised the Australia-based education program on the development of their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives including the development of a scholarship and admission program for Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islanders.
Event Manager - Bennington Monument Climb at American Lung Association of the Northeast (ALANE)
The Event Manager was a contracted position with ALANE to coordinate logistics, increase revenue and participation in the Fight for Air: Climb the Bennington Monument stair climb fundraising event.
Project Manager/Consultant at Shires Housing
As a contracted consultant and project manager for Shires Housing, a regional affordable housing authority, I conducted strategic planning and coordination of the participating organizations for the Support and Services at Home (SASH) senior living programing in Bennington County.
Alliance for Community Transformations /Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
Alliance for Community Transformations Director at Bennington County Regional Commission
August 2013 – January 2017
As the Director of the Alliance for Community Transformations community coalition, I managed high-level coordination of state and federally grant-based initiatives focused on healthy community design projects and substance abuse prevention.
Community Health Improvement Specialist at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
August 2012 – August 2013
This position evolved from the Community Coordinator position with the Alliance for Community Transformations into a full-time, salaried appointment with the healthcare system. The goal of this position was to further SVHC’s strategic goals and community health improvement program and implementation plan through the coordination of the activities of Alliance for Community Transformations public health coalition, public health advocacy, and coordination of community wellness programs.
Community Coordinator at Alliance for Community Transformations/Tobacco-Free Community Partners
March 2009 - August 2012
As the Community Coordinator for the coalition formerly known as the Tobacco-Free Community Partners, I directed various grant funded programs, events and policy regarding public health for the Greater Bennington County area.
Other Relevant Employment
Domestic Violence Advocate/ Dept. for Children and Families at Project Against Violent Encounters - Sept 2009 – Jun 2010
Account Management Engineer at Orbitz - Mar 2008 – Nov 2008
Online Sales Consultant at CareerBuilder.com - Sept 2007 – Mar 2008
Temporary/Contract Employee at Front Office Staffing -Sept 2006 – Dec 2007
Secretary III at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Aug 2001 - Jan 2004
Marketing Specialist at Principal Financial Group - Jul 2000 - May 2001
Marketing/Special Events Assistant at Junior Achievement of Seattle - Jan 1997 – Jul 2000
Education, Local Memberships and Service
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign – Gender and Women’s Studies, BA (2006)
Roosevelt University –Women and Gender Studies (2006, Graduate Credits Earned)
Bennington Elks Lodge #567, Drug Awareness Committee (2015 - Current)
Black Lives Matter Vermont – Advisory Board Member (2015 - Current)
Emerge Vermont – Advisory Board Member (2016 - Current)
Oxfam America, Sisters on the Planet Ambassador (2016 - Current)
Rights and Democracy – Leader (2016 - Current)
United Counseling Services, United Children’s Services Board Member (2014 - Current)
Honors and Awards
Courage Award - Vermont Oral Healthcare for All Coalition (June 2012)
Women's Leadership Fellow - Impact Center (April 2013)
2013 Lamplighter Award of Excellence -New England Society for Healthcare Communications (May 2013)
Emerge America – Trailblazer Award, Finalist (2015)
Vermont Kids Count Award - Voices for Vermont's Children (June 2016)
Movement Builder Award – Rights and Democracy (September 2018)