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Petitioning President of Virginia Commonwealth University Dr. Michael Rao and 1 other

Reclaim Richmond's African Burial Ground

Richmond's African Burial Ground, located within sight of the Virginia State Capitol, was from about 1750 to 1815 used primarily as a municipal cemetery for enslaved Africans and people of African descent. It is also where, on Oct. 10, 1800, the great slave rebellion leader Gabriel was executed. Truly this is Sacred Ground. Long abandoned, the site is now used as a commercial parking lot owned by Virginia Commonwealth University, a state institution with enormous economic and political influence in the city. A community struggle to reclaim this sacred ground has been building for nearly 10 years, and progress - or at least the promise of progress - is being made. However, VCU still refuses to close its parking lot - despite meetings with its president, appeals to its Board of Visitors, leafleting, forums, an e-mail campaign, an award-winning documentary film, rallies and marches. This petition is the latest in a series designed to increase pressure on VCU and its financial backers to do the right thing - NOW. For more information on this struggle, please log onto www.DefendersFJE.org. Thank you, from the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, in Richmond, Va. (The photo is of a vigil held at the Burial Ground on Dec. 18, 2010, led by African-American students from VCU. The highway marker, noting that this was the site of Gabriel's execution, was erected by the Defenders on Oct. 10, 2004.)

This petition was delivered to:
  • President of Virginia Commonwealth University
    Dr. Michael Rao
  • Mayor of Richmond, Va.
    Dwight Jones


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