Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Now Accepting Applications for 2019 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a profession, start a non-profit, anything you can dream…) Grants up to $1,000 are awarded each year to Warren County women to help make their dreams come true. The Dare to Dream grants are available to women living in Warren County, ages 18 years and older, not currently enrolled in high school.
Application deadline is January 18, 2019. Recipients will be announced in March 2019.
Applications are available at Samuel’s Public Library and The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center at 27 Cloud Street, Front Royal. Applications are also available on the website: www.frwrc.org or by calling or emailing the office at 540-636-7007, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions on McDonald arrest linger as EDA quartet remains jailed at RSW
Following another week of Economic Development Authority Special Grand Jury interviews former EDA Executive Director Jennifer Rae McDonald, her husband, Samuel “Sammy” David North and Donald Fears Poe were booked into the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County Jail (RSW Jail) in the late afternoon and early evening hours of Friday, August 23.
According to the RSW Jail website, North, 51, was booked into the facility at 5:25 p.m. on two felony counts of Obtaining Money by False Pretenses and one felony count of Money Laundering – “Financial Transaction, proceeds from known felony activity”.
Jail records showed the 42-year-old McDonald being booked at 6:22 p.m. The jail website list of charges against her was 14, the number of her pre-existing charges. So it was not immediately clear if she was facing 14 additional charges or had been booked on a bond violation regarding her 14 pre-existing charges. The Jail website does not list individual case numbers, but only applicable State Codes regarding each charge. So until the case numbers related to her arrest can be verified with court or facility officials the question of McDonald’s arrest on bond violation, new charges, or some combination will remain.
The counts listed against McDonald include six Fraud – Obtain Money by False Pretenses; five Money Laundering counts and three Embezzlement charges. Since the EDA indictments are coming from the Grand Jury sealed there is no further detail on the charges available at this point.
Poe, 61, was shown being booked at 6:31 p.m. Friday evening on one new felony count of Money Laundering – “Financial Transaction, proceeds from known felony activity”. When Poe was arrested on July 23 he was charged with two felony counts of Obtaining Money by False Pretenses and one count of Perjury.
McDonald was arrested on May 24 on eight initial counts. She was twice served with additional charges while incarcerated. After twice being denied bond as a flight risk by Judge Clifford L. Athey, she was granted $50,000 secured bond on July 31, by newly-placed Judge Bruce D. Albertson.
The special grand jury that has handed down criminal charges, now against four people, McDonald, her former EDA Administrative Assistant Michelle “Missy” Henry, business partner Donald Poe and now her husband, was empanelled within a day of the EDA’s initial $17.6 million civil suit being filed on March 26. The amount of assets seeking recovery has since been raised to over $20 million.
A press release issued today indicated the EDA grand jury has requested a six-month extension to continue its inquiry into March of next year. It was also requested that Assistant Warren County Commonwealths’ Attorney Bryan Layton, who has worked with his boss Brian Madden on the EDA Special Grand Jury inquiry, continue as the lead prosecutor of the grand jury as Commonwealth’s Attorney Madden prepares to take a seat on the judicial bench.
McDonald was the central figure in the nine defendant EDA civil action of March 26. Other defendants included McDonald’s two real estate companies, D’BOYZ and MoveOn8, ITFederal LLC and its CEO Truc “Curt” Tran; Earth Right Energy LLC and its principals Poe and Justin Appleton and the late Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron. McEathron passed away on May 28 is what Virginia State Police classify as “an unattended death with a firearm nearby”.
Like McDonald, after spending some time in jail, both Henry and Poe were granted secured bonds. Henry was granted $2500 unsecured bond on July 23 after twice having a bond hearing continued in the wake of her June 24 arrest. Henry remains charged with two felony embezzlement charges related to the EDA’s involvement in the B&G Goods small business loan and asset disbursement upon its November 2016 closing.
As noted in a related story, B&G Goods registered agent and co-owner William Lambert became the fourth person arrested on EDA-related charges Friday.
McDonald and Poe were granted $50,000 and $20,000 secured bonds by Judge Bruce D. Albertson on July 31. Poe was arrested on July 23 on two financial and one perjury count related to EDA affairs.
No hearing dates were yet posted for McDonald, North, Poe or Lambert. However, presiding EDA case Judge Albertson is based in Harrisonburg, complicating bond hearing scheduling. He took over EDA cases when all county judges recused or indicated they were on the verge of recusal due to familiarity with people involved in the EDA sphere or other aspects of the investigation. However pending his promotion to the Virginia State Appeals Court, Judge Athey has continued to preside over the EDA Special Grand Jury inquiry as indicated by his signature on the August 21 extension and prosecutor orders.
In past hearings Albertson has indicated the possibility of presiding by conference call on basic matters.
Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – August 24, 2019
I recently had the honor of participating in a bipartisan visit to Israel and the West Bank alongside over 50 Democratic and 30 Republican Members. There, we met with political and military officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority. I gained a deeper understanding of the security threat faced by Israelis and remain steadfast in my support of America’s closest ally.
Since taking office in January, I have been committed to the continued viability of the Jewish State and have cosponsored and voted in favor of several pieces of legislation to that end. One such resolution I signed onto was H. Res. 246 – Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement targeting Israel. For those who might not know what the BDS Movement is, it is a global campaign led by Palestine intended to economically harm Israel through international sanctions, pressuring companies to cut ties with Israel, and pushing individuals around the world to boycott businesses who support the nation-state. These targeted attacks are designed to promote the destruction of the state of Israel, and is why I was proud to join 397 of my colleagues in passing this bill in the House.
I also cosponsored H.R. 1837 – the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act. Israel is under constant threat from its neighbors, and the United States must stand with the greatest stabilizing force in the Middle-East. H.R. 1837 authorizes increased security assistants to Israel, which includes the transfer of reserve stock weapons and boosts defense funding over the next five years. Legislation such as this is important to ensuring the continued security of our strategic partner in the region.
Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
This week began with the celebration of the 99th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment, and it is important to remember the women and men whose forward thinking made for a stronger and more unified country.
In July 1848, the first Women’s Rights Convention was convened in Seneca Falls, New York. There, a Declaration of Sentiments was brought forth and signed by 68 women and 32 men in support of equal rights for women, most notably the right to vote. After decades of trials and tribulations, Congress voted to approve the 19th Amendment in the Summer of 1919. One year later, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote.
On this 99th anniversary, I am proud to recognize the many notable Virginia suffragists who fought for their God given right to equality. Most notably was Mary Johnston, a distinguished author from Buchanan and founding member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. A Bath County native, Ms. Johnston believed that women were wholly capable of achieving any successes in which they aspired to.
As an outspoken woman ahead of her time, Mary Johnston had multiple articles published in the Equal Suffrage League’s monthly paper, the Virginia Suffrage News. She helped further the goals of the women’s suffrage movement in a positive and expeditious fashion. Today, and every day, I am thankful for women like Mary who advocate for their equal and unalienable rights in this nation. We are stronger because of them.
If you follow my column weekly, then you are certainly aware of the Small Business Reorganization Act. I am proud to announce that this bill, which I authored, was signed into law by the President this week. While it is my hope small business owners will never need to use the provisions of this bill, I am pleased that they now will have the necessary resources to make successful the businesses that they have worked so hard to build.
For more information regarding this bill, I encourage you to read last week’s column at: https://cline.house.gov/sixth-district-perspectives
It is an honor to serve you and all people of Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District. If my office can ever be of assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to reach out. I also encourage you to like my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages to stay up to date on legislative initiatives and District happenings.
John Kovack’s House Tour, Artist’s Home For Sale in Front Royal, VA
Welcome to perhaps the most private and largest parcel (7+ view-filled acres) in all of Lake Front Royal, with a price tag you won’t believe! Priced UNDER a summer 2019 appraisal, this unique gem is filled with custom features cleverly crafted by the original artist owner who is happy to explain his ingenious special touches. The main portion of the home sprawls through the woods like a magnificent treehouse and consists of nearly 1,200 finished square feet with three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. An additional greenhouse-like entrance, a “man-cave/ping pong room” in the rear of home (19×9), a “sleeping porch” just off the covered master deck (that formerly housed a hot tub) and enormous storage areas throughout make it feel spacious and measure much larger.
Two detached buildings also add to the living area on the property—an artist’s studio with huge view-filled window (15×15) and a workshop (20×18 complete with exhaust system to control dust)with similar mountain/tree filled views from its huge windows. Both have storage under the buildings, south facing windows, well-designed built-ins and gas heat. There’s also an attached (12×5) garden shed (with electric and a hose bib area), an attached (24×4) built in storage room (that has a recycling area, wood storage section and dog access to an exterior fenced area) and a detached 16×8 storage shed (half open, half enclosed). Though the septic is rated for a two bedroom home, there are three bedrooms in the main house and the detached buildings provide extra living space.
Perfect for a weekend getaway or full time residence, the home has an efficiently arranged kitchen (with gas stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, double sink and pantry under the stairs) and anopen living/dining area (with a $5k easy to clean Jotul stove w/ screen that heats the entire house). Located under 10 minutes from historic Downtown Front Royal with easy access to I-66 and I-81 for commuters, you won’t want to miss this opportunity!
UNIQUE FEATURES NOT TO MISS:
Custom locally crafted mural and stained glass
Large and remarkable rock formations throughout the property
A fire pit area built around an enormous rock formation (below the detached buildings)
Former trails throughout property could be re-cleared by hiking enthusiasts
Zero grass to mow as the vegetation is natural (native plants and wildflowers are a haven for birds and wildlife)
A lovely controllable “pondless waterfall” feature at the main entrance (with goldfish pond)
Long eves to protect windows from aging prematurely
A secluded cul-de-sac location that provides excess parking for guests
Lighted railings to detached buildings
The man cave/ping pong room in the rear of the property (with storage underneath and a roof updated approximately 2 years ago)
Laundry shoot, recessed lighting, backup gas heater, “top-down, bottom-up” honeycomb Nextday Blinds, like-new hardwood floors upstairs, clever storage solutions, hammock hook in the masterbedroom (currently a music room) and in “sleeping porch,” heat lamp and solar lights in bathroom, a compost area, Pella windows, gutter guards.
Lake Front Royal lake, picnic area and park access
Nearby Appalachian Trail access
The tree at the foot of the driveway marked with red will be removed by Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.
PASSIVE SOLAR FEATURES:
(in addition to 2 active solar panels that operate LED lights throughout the exterior and interior):
South facing windows in the main home and buildings
Terra cotta Terrazzo tile flooring throughout the main level (toasty in the winter months)
Upstairs is double insulated and main home is insulated by the attached extra living space’s positioning
Inexpensive electric bills are well under $70 per month using wood as heat source (and sellers will leave 3 cords of wood)
Excellent cross ventilation, ceiling fans appropriately positioned, and concrete walls w/ exterior insulation keeps the house cool in summer months and warm in winter months due to the passivesolar design
ABOUT THE SELLER, JOHN KOVAC,
From his Website www.johnkovac.com:
The harp is one of the most ancient of musical instruments and one of the easiest to play.
I share my enthusiasm for the instrument by offering my recordings as well as a number of my books, videos and kits that have introduced hundreds to the pleasure of the harp.
My book Harpmaking Made Simple, my videos, and my folk harp kits have introduced musicians and non-musicians alike to the joys of playing the folk harp. I hope I can do the same for you.
I’m sure you will be fascinated with my newest invention, PVC musical instruments. Click on a tune below to hear samples from the incredible Piper Harp. You can easily build one yourself with the The Piper Harp Kit
My newest book, PVC Musical Instruments And How To Make Them shows how to make 17 different musical instruments from commonly-available PVC pipe. It includes a CD with recordings from an entire PVC orchestra.
I have been making harps for over 25 years and am constantly experimenting in an effort to simplify and improve the design so that anyone with a will and a few simple tools can make a harp. The two newest harp designs are the 26 String Pine Harp that anyone with the simplest of tools can make, and also the 26 string Harpune which is just a little more challenging to build but has a much louder tone than the Pine Harp. Both of these harps are lightweight, ergonomically correct, easy to tune , use sustainable woods, have a cool feel, and can ever be disassembled and reconstructed in very short time for airline transport.
BETH Medved Waller
Associate Broker, KW Solutions, Keller Williams Realty
Director, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit
Can you spare $1 to change a life of one of the children in the lyric video below?
Download”What Matters is your Heart” on iTunes,Spotify,Amazon or Google today–for 99c -$1.29, YOU can become a part of dollardreamdownload.com and change lives-one song, one dream, one download at a time! Help me reach my 1 million download goal to support children in Uganda!
Song performed by Herbie Skarbie Kawuma, Lyrics by ME
27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630 | 540-671-6145
Northern Virginia Office
8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas, VA 20109 | 703-330-2222
CHECK OUT THE WHAT MATTERS WARREN TAB ON THE ROYAL EXAMINER!
Town Council’s goal setting session continues – Pedestrian safety – Part 3
At the August 19th Front Royal Town Council work session, the Council had a list of seventeen items to discuss. The first two were covered in this related story:
In Part 2, the Council discussed Streets/Infrastructure improvements (paving, storm sewer, curb & gutter and sidewalks) and I & I, or Inflow and Infiltration, issues with its drainage system.
Now with Part 3, the Council discussed pedestrian safety.
Pedestrian Safety has been championed by Vice Mayor Bill Sealock this past year. The Town has taken steps to heighten public awareness and elevate common sense in conjunction with existing traffic laws to reduce the likelihood of more vehicular-foot traffic collisions.
Goal 5, Pedestrian safety:
The final high priority item was the ongoing issue of pedestrian safety on Town roads. South Street and North Shenandoah Avenue continue to be high-traffic areas of primary concern. It was noted that pedestrian-vehicle accidents have primarily occurred at dusk and dawn during the busiest traffic flow times of the day. It was noted that a 50/50 cost sharing request has been submitted to VDOT for improved lighting to combat the visibility issue.
Additional signage and improved pedestrian crossing markings are also planned. Educating pedestrians to utilizing marked crossings and alerting drivers to pedestrian right of way in these areas continues to be a crucial factor in heading off future vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
“I’d like this council to review the study and recommendations on getting more curb; it’s more complicated but I think it would help with increasing pedestrian safety,” Councilman Meza said.
Council determined to re-evaluate the South Street plan by September 30, and to develop a safety plan for Kerfoot Avenue near the soccer fields by September 29.
The Royal Examiner’s camera was there:
Governor Northam signs Executive Order establishing Commission on African American History Education
HAMPTON—Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order Thirty-Nine, which establishes the Commission on African American History Education. The Commission is charged with reviewing Virginia’s history standards, and the instructional practices, content, and resources currently used to teach African American history in the Commonwealth. Governor Northam made the announcement speaking at the 2019 Commemoration of the First African Landing, a ceremony to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America at Point Comfort in 1619.
“The full history of Virginia is complex, contradictory, and often untold—and we must do a better job of making sure that every Virginia graduate enters adult life with an accurate and thorough understanding of our past, and the pivotal role that American Americans have played in building and perfecting our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “The important work of this Commission will help ensure that Virginia’s standards of learning are inclusive of African American history and allow students to engage deeply, drawing connections between historic racial inequities and their continuous influence on our communities today.”
The Executive Order tasks the Commission with issuing a report no later than July 1, 2020, with recommendations for improving the student experience, including but not limited to:
• Technical edits to and recommendations for enriched standards related to African American history;
• Necessary professional development and instructional supports for all teachers to ensure culturally competent instruction.
The Commonwealth first established its history and social science standards of learning in 1995. Since that time, the standards have been routinely updated based on feedback from practitioners, historians, and stakeholders. The work of the Commission will help inform the next history and social science standards review the state will undertake.
Additionally, the Virginia Department of Education will work with Virtual Virginia, WHRO Public Media, and committees of history and social science public school educators, university historians, and college professors to develop a new African American history course for high school students. Together, they will establish objectives and competencies to provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of African American history.
This new elective will be available to all students in the Commonwealth virtually beginning in the fall of 2020. Its component digital parts will be accessible resources for students in numerous other history courses.
The Governor has appointed the following individuals to serve on the Commission:
• Derrick P. Alridge of Charlottesville, Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Race and Public Education in the South, Curry School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
• Dr. Rosa S. Atkins of Charlottesville, Superintendent, Charlottesville City Schools
• Edward Ayers of Richmond, Professor of the Humanities, University of Richmond
• Jarvis E. Bailey of Fredericksburg, High School Administrator, Westmoreland County Public Schools and School Board Member, Fredericksburg City
• Maria D. Burgos of Prince William County, Supervisor of Global Learning and Culturally Responsive Instruction, Prince William County Public Schools
• Christy S. Coleman of Chesterfield, CEO, American Civil War Museum
• Dr. Robert N. Corley, III of Chesterfield, Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs and Project Director, The Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative, Virginia State University
• Pamela Croom of Hampton, President-Elect, Virginia PTA
• Dr. Andrew P. Daire of Moseley, Dean of the School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
• Crystal DeLong of Bedford, Teacher, Liberty High School, Bedford County Public Schools
• Beau Dickenson of Harrisonburg, President, Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium and Social Studies Supervisor, Rockingham County Public Schools
• Crystal M. Edwards of Lynchburg, Superintendent, Lynchburg City Schools
• Anne Marie Evans of Fluvanna County, Director of Education and Outreach–New American History, University of Richmond
• Dr. John K. Lee of Raleigh, Professor, North Carolina State University
• Makya Renée Little of Woodbridge, Parent Advocate and Florida A&M University Alumnus
• Dr. Monica Manns of Henrico, Director of Equity and Diversity, Henrico County Public Schools
• Basil Marin of Atlanta, Assistant Principal, DeKalb County Schools
• Tyrone Nelson of Henrico County, Chairman, Henrico County Board of Supervisors and Pastor, Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church of Richmond
• Dr. Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander of Chesapeake, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of History, Norfolk State University
• The Honorable Atif Qarni of Prince William, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia
• Gloria Randolph-King of Roanoke, Retired Roanoke City Public Schools Administrator
• Rodney Robinson of Richmond, 2019 National Teacher of the Year
• Dr. Vanessa D. Thaxton-Ward of Hampton, Director, Hampton University Museum
• Pastor Michelle C. Thomas of Loudoun County, Founder and CEO, Loudoun Freedom Center and President, NAACP Loudoun Branch
• Dr. Dietra Trent of Halifax, Former Secretary of Education
• Dr. James F. Lane of Chesterfield, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction
• Dr. Alice Reilly of Alexandria, Educator, George Mason University
• Renita S. Williams of Chesapeake, Secondary Social Studies Instructional Supervisor, Newport News Public Schools
• Rodney Jordan of Norfolk, Co-Chair, Virginia School Boards Association Task Force on Students and Schools in Challenging Environments and School Board Member, Norfolk City
• Cainan Townsend of Farmville, Director of Education, Robert Russa Moton Museum
• Chris Van Tassell of Richmond, Program Coordinator and Educator, Virginia Museum of History & Culture
• Robert C. Watson of Williamsburg, Assistant Professor of History, Hampton University
• Dr. William E. White of Williamsburg, Visiting Distinguished Scholar, Christopher Newport University
• Jonathan C. Zur of Richmond, President and CEO, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
The full text of Executive Order Thirty-Nine can be found here.
Additional information about the Commission and its meetings will be available online here.
Governor Northam’s full remarks at the 2019 Commemoration of the First African Landing, as prepared for delivery, are below.
What a beautiful setting this is. I thank you for the privilege of speaking to you at Fort Monroe today. As a former member and vice-chairman of the Fort Monroe Authority, it’s always a pleasure to be here at this site.
Thank you all for being here today to commemorate 400 years of American history.
For those of you from out of state, welcome to Virginia.
It’s great to be here today with former governors, now Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and former governors McDonnell and Baliles. I also want to recognize Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring, Congressman Bobby Scott, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, members of our legislative black caucus, and other elected officials.
I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to make this commemoration a reality—Fort Monroe Authority director Glenn Oder, Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Moran, members of the Fort Monroe Authority board, Fort Monroe National Monument Superintendent Terry Brown, the National Park Service, Kathy Spangler, Nancy Rodrigues, and the team from American Evolution. I’d also like to thank the Hampton 2019 Commemorative Commission for all the hard work they have done around these events in their home city.
We are here today for a commemoration, and a reckoning.
Today is a time to reckon with the fact that four hundred years ago, enslaved Africans arrived for the first time on Virginia shores. Like you and me, they had lives and families—lives and families they would never see again.
Just up the river in Jamestown, a few weeks earlier, white landowning men had come together to establish a system of representative government.
But that system did not represent all of the people who arrived here at Old Point Comfort, people whose skin looked different than mine.
That government did not represent them during 246 years of slavery. It did not represent them through nearly 100 years of Reconstruction and Jim Crow terror and discrimination. And in many ways, it struggles to represent them today.
That is the truth, and that is what we must reckon with as we move forward. How do we tell the full and true story of our past 400 years?
How do we do so with honor and dignity for people whose honor and dignity were taken away from them? Who should tell that story? And how do we learn from those lessons as we move forward?
Ida B. Wells wrote that “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”
If we are going to begin to truly right the wrongs of our four centuries of history, if we are going to turn the light of truth upon them, we have to start with ourselves.
Over the past several months, as I have met with people around the state and listened to their views on the disparities and inequities that still exist today, I have had to confront some painful truths.
Among those truths was my own incomplete understanding regarding race and equity.
I have learned a great deal from those discussions, and I have more to learn. But I also learned that the more I know, the more I can do.
For too long, the burden has been on individuals and communities of color to lead these discussions. But if more of us have these hard conversations, and truly listen and learn from them, we’ll be better able to shine that light of truth. Because the eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know.
We can start those conversations at places like this, Fort Monroe, the ground where the first enslaved Africans landed.
This is also the same ground where the end of slavery began. It was here where enslaved people sought refuge, and were granted it, a decision that eventually led to emancipation.
General Butler’s contraband decision has been hailed by Ed Ayers—a nationally known historian of the American South, and a member of the Fort Monroe Authority—as “the greatest moment in American history.”
Virginia is the place where enslaved Africans first landed and where American representative democracy was born.
Virginia is the place where emancipation began and the Confederate capitol was located.
Virginia is the place where schools were closed under Massive Resistance, rather than desegregate and allow black children to attend, and it is the state that elected the nation’s first African American governor.
Virginia is a place of contradictions and complexity. We take a step forward and, often, a step back.
And we have to acknowledge that. We have to teach that complexity to our children, and often to our adults. We are a state that for too long has told a false story of ourselves.
The story we tell is insufficient and inadequate, especially when it comes to black history.
We must remember that black history IS American history.
That’s why earlier today, I signed an executive directive to establish a Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth.
This Commission will review our educational standards, instructional practices, content, and resources currently used to teach African American history in the Commonwealth. We want to make sure all students develop a full and comprehensive understanding of the African-American voices that contribute to our story.
But that is not the only thing we can do.
When we look back at events of 1619, or 1861, or 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was signed, we often look at them as history—frozen in time or locked in a book, relics of the past.
We memorize dates, but not connections. We don’t teach the themes that appear in our history over and over again.
We often fail to draw the connecting lines from those past events to our present day.
But to move forward, that is what we must do.
We know that racism and discrimination aren’t locked in the past. They weren’t solved with the Civil Rights Act. They didn’t disappear—they evolved.
They’re still with us, in the disparities we see in educational attainment and school suspension rates, in maternal and neonatal mortality for black and white mothers, in our courts and prisons, and in our business practices.
Through 400 years of American history, starting with the enslavement of Africans, through Jim Crow, Massive Resistance, and now mass incarceration, black oppression has always existed in this country, just in different forms.
The legacy of racism continues not just in isolated incidents, but as part of a system that touches every person and every aspect of our lives, whether we know it or not. And if we’re serious about righting the wrong that began here at this place, we need to do more than talk. We need to take action.
The Commission I mentioned earlier is just one action. My administration is taking bold steps to right historical inequities in education, in our health system, and in access to business opportunities.
We established a commission to examine racial inequities in Virginia law.
We have set a goal to eliminate racial disparities in maternal and neonatal mortality by 2025.
I signed an executive order to advance equity for our small women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses, including a statewide disparity study, and we are working to reduce evictions.
A few weeks ago, I was here at Fort Monroe to announce the removal of letters from the arch that once celebrated the president of the Confederacy.
Jefferson Davis was charged with treason and was imprisoned here at Fort Monroe, a traitor to his country. And I believe it is no coincidence that in the same year that Virginia enacted Massive Resistance as official state policy, that arch went up in his honor.
To have a monument glorifying a person who worked to maintain slavery, on the same site on which enslaved Africans both first arrived here and were later freed, is not just inappropriate, it is offensive, and it is wrong. Removing that monument is one way we can act to better tell the true story here in Virginia.
And I am pleased and proud to announce today another important step in how we represent the full and true story of our Commonwealth.
Last year, I requested and the General Assembly agreed to allocate $500,000 toward the first African Landing Memorial Art Project here at Fort Monroe.
Since that time, the Fort Monroe Authority and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Fort Monroe Foundation, and Project 1619, led a national search for an artist who could create this memorial art project at Old Point Comfort.
The art project will be dedicated to the first landing of African people here on these shores. Importantly, the artist will engage with the public to ensure that the community has the chance to express their opinion on what this memorial project means to them, and what experiences should be included in the design.
I’m delighted that the artist for the Fort Monroe African Landing Memorial Art Project is here with us today. Mr. Brian Owens, would you please stand?
I look forward to seeing Mr. Owens’ project and how it will contribute to this site and the telling of this important American story.
On this very day last year, I was at the Tucker family cemetery, a cemetery named after the first documented child of African descent born in English-speaking North America.
William Tucker’s parents, Anthony and Isabell, were among those who were brought here to Old Point Comfort in 1619.
Like too many African-American cemeteries, the Tucker family cemetery had fallen victim to neglect.
But it is also a testament to revival and restoration. Family members and interested groups are working to restore that cemetery, and I want to recognize Delegate Delores McQuinn for her work on this issue.
In that restoration work, and in the events here this weekend, I see steps forward. I see us working to acknowledge the wrongs and the evils done in the past—and in the present.
Because, while we cannot change the past, we can use it and learn from it. When we know more, we can do more.
I know more, and as your governor, I will do more.
And as we reckon with the painful legacy of Virginia’s racist past, and acknowledge that it continues to shape our present, we can and must continue to act to improve the future. We must work to tell our full and true story.
It is our job—all of us that make up this diverse society—to ensure that when the next generation looks back—a generation that is hopefully more inclusive than we have been—they see a more accurate narrative, one that tells the truth, and includes everyone.
Tasty ways to make legumes a lunchbox staple
Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans are a great source of essential minerals, fiber and protein. However, they’re not always popular with kids, so you may need to get a little creative in the kitchen. Here are some ideas for incorporating them in meals, snacks and even desserts.
Hummus and crackers are a classic lunchbox snack. Additionally, you can mix pureed legumes with plain yogurt to make a savory dip for carrot sticks and other veggies.
Another way to nosh on legumes is to roast them. Season chickpeas or edamame beans and then cook them in the oven for a crunchier snack that may become as coveted as potato chips.
If your kids don’t like legume salads or lentil soup, you can add navy beans to stews, chickpeas to couscous and kidney beans to white rice. You can also replace some or all of the meat in spaghetti sauce with lentils or make a legume-infused chili.
A great way to make desserts healthier is to substitute a bean puree for some of the ingredients. Pureed black beans make great brownies, for instance. Thanks to their subtle taste, your kids won’t even notice they’re in there.
With a little creativity, you can make legumes a staple of your children’s diet. With the huge variety available, there’s almost an endless array of possibilities.