One-year-old Alivia Campbell enjoys pizza and a Capri Sun last Saturday during the Maggie L. Walker 159th birthday celebration at Third Street Bethel AME Church in Jackson Ward. The event was a part of a three-day celebration that featured a short film on the life of Maggie Walker, a wreath ceremony and walking tour of the Maggie Walker House.
Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras was joined by members of the RPS School Board, Mayor Levar M. Stoney, and other elected officials to break ground on the site of the new Richmond High School for the Arts, which will replace George Wythe High School. “I’m proud that students on the South Side will soon be able to walk into a brand new state-of-the-art facility, but what I will be even prouder of is the future graduates and what they will achieve in their lives,” Mayor Stoney said. "If we give them opportunity, not just a building, I know without a doubt that any graduate can succeed in this city." Following a public process of community engagement and neighborhood meetings, the chosen design of the new school was made by Richmond parents, students, teachers, and community members. Residents voted for their preferred prototype and design styles, which were later approved by the RPS School Board.
The political advocacy group MoveOn’s Banned Bookmobile made a stop at Richmond’s Main Public Library in Downtown during its trips around the country. The bookmobile is seeking counter book bans imposed by Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis and mostly Republican leaders in other states by rallying supporters and distributing free copies of award-winning books ranging from “To Kill a Mockingbird” to “The Hunger Games,” “Gender Queer,” “The Kite Runner” and “Beloved.” Dr. Lauranett Lee, a historian, educator and candidate for a seat on the Chesterfield County School Board, was among the speakers at the event.
Whitney Smith of Richmond, one of the 60 people who attended the rally, chose a copy of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” as the banned book she planned to read. We The People for Education, which backs Virginia candidates who are pro-public schools, hosted the bookmobile’s visit.
North Side’s butterfly
Mayor Levar M. Stoney, shown Monday at City Hall, shows his proclamation declaring July as Muslim American Heritage Month in Richmond while members of the area’s Islamic community applaud what representatives described as a “tremendous honor.” Richmond is the first city in the state and one of the few in the nation to proclaim the month in recognition of Muslims and their contributions. Among those who joined the mayor is Richmond state Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, immediate left of Mayor Stoney. Sen. Hashmi is the first Muslim member of the Virginia General Assembly’s upper chamber.