#BlackLivesMatter

At the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, we work everyday to dismantle white supremacy in Virginia. Our work centers our partners who organize and mobilize marginalized, underrepresented, and unheard communities, to help them build political power through civic education and engagement. 

In this particularly painful moment across the Commonwealth and the country, we stand in solidarity with our partners and allies calling for justice for Breonna Taylor, for George Floyd, for Ahmaud Arbery, and for the countless others who have been murdered by white supremacy. 

As an organization staffed and led entirely by women of color, we remain steadfastly committed to promoting and protecting all forms of civic engagement, which include protests. The right to assemble and protest state-sanctioned violence, hold our governments accountable, and demand reform to protect Black bodies must be safeguarded at all costs. 

We reaffirm our commitments to: 

  • Ensure every Virginian has access to a safe and free election; 
  • Empower communities to build their own political power;
  • Invest in leadership development to transform existing pipelines to power

Further, over the next year, the Virginia Civic Engagement Table is committed to raising at least $100,000 expressly for long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion work with our partners. These funds will be re-granted for programs to help our partners better align their strategic vision as well as internal policies, practices, and culture to achieve racial equity. We also commit to further fostering and centering Black-led community organizations and ensuring an equitable distribution of resources in our ecosystem. 

Finally, the VCET team, headquartered in Richmond, stands in solidarity with community organizers. We lend our voices to demand the following from the City of Richmond, Mayor Stoney, and the Richmond Police Department:

  • The immediate adoption and implementation of the Marcus Alert;
  • Installation of an independent Civilian Review Board, with subpoena power, to receive and investigate claims of police violence;
  • Divestment of the police department and re-investment of those resources in Black communities;
  • Ending the use of tear gas, violent force, and curfews against protestors. 

We will continue to support and work with our partners to demand state-wide reform of laws that systemically harm Black communities, including greater police transparency and accountability. We re-commit our work to undoing harm inflicted on Black communities by building a democracy that truly reflects the full diversity of our Commonwealth. Black lives matter. 

In solidarity,

Alexandria Bratton, Tierra Ragland, Sutisha Simluang, LaTonya Abys Wallace, Irene Shin

LGBTQ Pride Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the LGBTQ movement. The Stonewall Uprising was led by Black and Brown Transgender Women. As we continue to fight for the full dignity of Black Lives, it is vital that we acknowledge, value, celebrate, and stand in solidarity with Black LGBTQ lives. Happy Pride!

Ways to Support

Anti-Racism Resources: bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES
Support Black Trans People Here.

Updates

  • The June Primary will be held on June 23, 2020. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 16 at 5 pm. You can also vote in person on election day at your polling location be sure to wear and mask and observe social distancing to stay safe while voting
    • Ballots can be turned in by mail, or taken directly to your local registrar by 7 pm on election day. 
    • You DO NOT need a witness to vote absentee for the June 23 Primary.
  • The Census Bureau’s operations change may impact the 2021 redistricting process. Congress has not approved the apportionment operations change yet but the Brennan Center and Common Cause have created resources about how each state will be impacted. Read more here.
  • The House Dems introduced a bill last week that would grant the Census Bureau’s request to move apportionment count and redistricting data. To read more about the bill, click here.

Upcoming Events

Faith and Resilience

June 10 – Join VICPP to reflect on the meaning, practice, and power of resilience from a diverse spectrum of faith perspectives. As we collectively seek positive ways to endure and survive the current coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to understand how faith plays a role in resilience. But what is the role of resilience in faith? VICPP Congregational Engagement Director Dora Muhammad will talk one-on-one with a faith leader to explore how resilience is framed, understood, and applied within their faith tradition. Her third chat will be with Reverend Hayashi of the Ekoji Temple in Fairfax. Register here.

Consent and Boundaries

June 11 – Join NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia for Body Talk and unwind with your favorite beverage as we discuss topics related to reproductive healthcare! During the month of June, they will explore topics related to consent, boundaries, while having a conversation with the Richmond Sex Ed Project! Discussion about bodily autonomy and what that means especially during these challenging and ever-changing circumstances. Register here.

Street SiNG: ARTivism Workshop

June 11 and June 25 – A bi-weekly hour-long zoom workshop to cultivate skills, art, and agreements for future environmental events in Virginia. Each workshop will have time for a teach-in and time for participation. Register here.

Virginia Values Act 201

June 17 – Join the legal experts from the VA Values Coalition on Wednesday, June 17 at 12:00 pm for a deep dive to discuss questions related to the Virginia Values Act and what the bill does and does not cover. Learn how this life-changing law will impact you, your family, and your communities. Register here.

New Civil Rights Protections

June 24 – Virginia made significant changes to the Human Rights Act in the 2020 General Assembly session by passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the Virginia Values Act, the Reproductive Health Protection Act, and by becoming the historic 38th state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Join ACLU Virginia to discuss what these new laws mean to you and how we will continue to work toward a Commonwealth where everyone is free to live openly as their full selves. Register here.