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Crusade co-founder to be honored Nov. 1

Jeremy Lazarus | 10/30/2015, 7:43 p.m.
The Richmond Crusade for Voters is teaming up with two other groups to host a celebration of Dr. William Ferguson ...

The Richmond Crusade for Voters is teaming up with two other groups to host a celebration of Dr. William Ferguson Reid, one of the area’s legendary political activists.

Dr. Reid, 90, will be feted from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Crowne Plaza Richmond hotel at 6th and Canal streets in Downtown.

The Crusade, the Richmond Branch NAACP and the Prince Hall 26th Masonic District of Virginia are staging the benefit dinner at which Virginia Secretary of Education Anne B. Holton will be the keynote speaker.

Dr. Reid is best known for co-founding the Crusade for Voters in 1956 with the late Richmond podiatrist William S. Thornton and the late NAACP organizer John M. Brooks to mobilize black voting power.

The group’s growth enabled Dr. Reid to break the color barrier in the General Assembly. In 1967, the longtime surgeon became the first African-American elected to the state legislature in the 20th century when he won election to the House of Delegates, paving the way for others to follow.

Dr. Reid, who now lives in suburban Washington, is still promoting voter registration and education through the 90 for 90 Initiative that calls for registering 90 new voters in 90 precincts.

Tickets to the celebration are $60 per person. Information: Amelia Lightner: (804) 279-8816 or lightneramelia@yahoo.com.