2019-2020

social justice.

2019

This is America: The Effects of Mass Incarceration & How We Contribute to It.

This event had FailSafe ERA President and CEO, Juanita Shanks, who delivered a keynote address to the young people and community members in attendance about the effects of mass incarceration and how we contribute to it through what we buy as state government entities, recidivism rates, voting rights for convicted felons, lack of job opportunities, and how everyone could get involved in fighting for the rights of the current and formerly incarcerated.

A Call To Civic Action: Making A Difference

This event had Senator Tim Kaine, who delivered a keynote address to the young people and community members in attendance about why it was important for them to become politically and civically engaged, how it can impact their everyday lives through public policy, and the power of being an informed citizen casting their vote each election cycle. Also, we went over voting laws, and recent changes to voting procedures, so people can get properly registered on site. It featured Virginia Delegate Joshua G. Cole, Brian Cannon, Executive Director of OneVirginia 2021, Jacqueline Beaulieu, organizer for NextGen America and Julia Romero, Field Director for Take the Majority.

Know Your Rights Workshop

This event had Virginia’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Legal Director, Eden Heilman who delivered a keynote address to the young people and community members in attendance about the importance of knowing your constitutional rights as a voter, protestor, and citizens’ interactions with the police.

The Current Reality of Immigration

This event allowed students to discuss the history of illegal and legal immigration in the United States, as well as immigrant rights, legislation, migrant workers, aslyum seekers, and border security. It featured the Executive Director for the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Monica Sarmiento and Attorney Himedes Chicas.

Global Uproars: The Significance of Protest Today

At this event, students were educated on the current protest movements happening in Lebanon, Haiti, Hong Kong, China, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Palestine, Sudan, Bolivia, and Kashmir. Each table had their own country to focus on, as well as a list of movement tactics, where students worked together to create a solution. Once student groups built a strategy, they participated in large group discussion and presented their strategies.

2020

Continuing Fights For The Voting Rights Act

This event had Fredericksburg City Councilman, Chuck Frye, Executive Director of OneVirginia 2021, Brian Cannon, and UMW Political Science professor Rosalyn Cooperman, discussing the steady dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, which was passed into law 55 years ago. They focused on the gerrymandering of the Black vote in the Commonwealth, how the Act was passed into law, why it is important to renew the act to maintain the vibrancy of our democracy, and how the new census is going to have a sizable impact on this year’s local and national elections.

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