This year marked Virginia’s 2nd Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week (RTRW), a virtual week-long conference hosted by Voices for Virginia’s Children. It promotes the reckoning of Virginia’s past to reconcile our present and future.
In June 2020, Virginia’s trauma-informed community networks of color convened to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on at-promised communities and the modern civil rights movement. They felt an innate urge to respond and react to two pandemics, COVID-19 and racism as a public health crisis. In response, there became a clear need to concentrate efforts on the impact of cultural, racial and historical trauma on marginalized communities.
This influenced them to launch Virginia’s first-ever Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week (RTRW) which served as the launch point for Racial Truth & Reconciliation Virginia, a campaign that implements the mission and goals of the week over a longer period of time. The ultimate goal is to connect community-level trends to trauma and equity-informed policy at the state level in order to champion policy opportunities that improve the social determinants of health and combat inequities. View this one-pager about the transition from the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia to Racial Truth & Reconciliation Virginia. View this one-pager about Racial Truth & Reconciliation Virginia.
RTRW was an awareness week launched in 2020 with a mission to empower marginalized communities to promote healing, reconciliation and social justice for children, youth and families across the commonwealth. Checkout Virginia’s 2nd Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week Opening Address led by Amy Strite, CEO of Voices for Virginia’s Children and Chlo’e Edwards, Racial Truth & Reconciliation Virginia Campaign Coordinator.
The four conference tracks concentrated in ‘policy, equity, and data analysis’, ‘advocacy and action’, ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ and ‘community-centered engagement’ provided an opportunity for all ages and demographics to engage in truth, reconciliation, healing, and repair. The community-centered track presented an opportunity for kids to engage through Exploring Patterns, Rhythm, Music, & Dance with the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance Wolf Trap program. Other tracks, such as the advocacy and action track, tackled issues like racism as a public health crisis and presented ways advocates could mobilize at the federal, state and local-level.
Each of our Voices’ staff members led presentations ranging from Equity, Social Justice, & Community-Centric Fundraising to Modern Racism in the Foster Care System: Why It Persist and How We Change. Staff members also participated in a social identity storytelling exercise to share the personal experiences that shape the passion they bring into the work to champion public policy to improve the lives of Virginia’s children, youth, and families. View the stories here.
You can find the events on our archives page or YouTube playlist and also continue to support Voices’ mission and Racial Truth & Reconciliation Virginia by purchasing a t-shirt and share why you support #RacialTruth. Stay involved and view all upcoming Racial Truth & Reconciliation Virginia events here. Visit our RTRW site here.
Please take a moment to fill out this brief 12-question survey. We would love to hear about your Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week experience.
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