The Vermont Human Rights commission was established in the late 1960’s, in response to the issue of housing discrimination.
But with a lack of adequate funding and support, the commission went through some lean years.
One person who kept the commission alive and working was Margaret Lucenti of Montpelier, who was appointed chairperson by Governor Thomas Salmon.
Without an office, Lucenti worked out of her kitchen, investigating complaints with help from three assistants.
Lucenti was determined to see the commission through, and in 1984, the Vermont Human Rights Commission finally received a budget, an office, and an executive director.
Margaret Lucenti will be appearing tonight in Montpelier. She will be part of a program presented by the Vermont Historical Society honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
VPR’s Neal Charnoff spoke with Margaret Lucenti about the Vermont Human Rights Commission, beginning with some of its biggest obstacles in the early years.