2021 Advocates In Action
For access to video recordings, when available, click on each image.
This two part event was a collaboration between Justice Advocates and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. The program launch featured Del. Sam Rasoul among the speakers addressing interfaith action for equality and inclusion. The second workshop had breakout groups evaluate the needs in areas of environmental justice, racial equity, criminal justice, economic justice, and health equity. Future ongoing connections and projects were spawned in these sessions.
Two local celebrity historians teamed up to present an engaging and enlightening summary of the lives and communities of African American students and families over the past century. Jordan Bell recounted the history of Gainsboro in Roanoke. Chris Sanchez gave us the history of the Christiansburg Institute (Christiansburg, VA). A recording of this presentation is available on our Facebook page.
This one-hour tour was led by Mr. Christopher Sanchez and Ms. Debbie Sherman-Lee It examined the lives and history of students and teachers who worked at the Christiansburg Institute. The tour highlighted the rich and proud history of the school and its graduates. Along with achievements, the tour also exposed inequities in resources and the problems of segregation.
The Rev. Joe Cobb presented a meaningful and sensitive reflection on the desecration and removal of cemeteries of Black Americans in the Roanoke area. The workshop to honor their lives included opportunities for caring for existing, often unnamed, graves.
This Zoom event provided a close look at two important schools in our community: the Carver School in Salem and the Calfee School in Pulaski. Many of the stories from the period illustrate the heroism and determination to ensure quality education for African American students who attended these schools. A recording of this presentation is available on our Facebook page.
Justice Advocates hosted four post-card writing sessions to get out the vote. The post-carding was for area residents, particularly in neighborhoods with low voter turnout.
This two part Zoom event began with information about mass incarceration in Virginia. Returned citizens joined as featured guests through video clips narrating the problem of mass incarceration. State Senator John Edwards was a featured guest. Part 2 of the prison reform focused on the terrible conditions of Virginia prisons including excessive punishments and lack of programs for education, mental health, and substance abuse prevention. Del Sam Rasoul was a featured speaker.
Justice Advocates collaborates with faith communities in Blacksburg to host a vigil on the first Friday of every month. The vigil is held outside the downtown Blacksburg post office building and is sponsored by the Coalition for Justice. The overall theme for the vigil is bringing peace to our world with specific emphases that match current issues. These have included international peace, prison reform, immigration justice, and economic justice to name a few.