(RICHMOND, Virginia) _ Virginia Union University will host a two-day commemoration to honor the 60th Anniversary of the Richmond 34 on February 20 -21, 2020. Surviving members will be present. The commemoration will begin at 11:00 a.m. during VUU’s weekly chapel service in Coburn Hall on Thursday, February 20. A special service has been planned to recognize the VUU alumni for their participation in the Civil Rights Movement.
On Friday, February 21 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the community is invited to participate in a Town Hall discussion in the lecture hall of the L. Douglas Wilder Library and Learning Center at VUU, 1500 N. Lombardy Street, Richmond, VA 23220. This event is open and free to the public.
“This is an important and historic occasion that we are honored to bring focus to for our students and the community,” said Dr. Hakim Lucas, President & CEO. “These 34 alumni of VUU are heroes and we are thankful for their courageous act that helped gain a better quality of life for people of color throughout the country.”
On February 22, 1960, 34 VUU students courageously staged a sit-in at the lunch counter of Thalhimers Department Store in downtown Richmond to protest segregation and to support a similar sit-in staged in Greensboro, North Carolina. They were arrested for “trespassing” in what became among the first mass arrests of the Civil Rights Movement. This was a crucial event that set off the “Campaign for Human Dignity.”
The Town Hall discussion will include a historical reflection, personal perspectives from Richmond 34 members, and discussions on the sit-ins impact on the Civil Rights Movement, the Jackson Ward community, and the United States.
About VUU: Virginia Union University is a premier liberal arts urban institution of higher education and center of excellence for the preparation of students and the development of leaders for tomorrow’s world. It was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. Virginia Union University offers a broad range of educational opportunities that advances liberal arts education, teaching, research, science, technology, continuing education, civic engagement, and international experiences. Visit https://www.vuu.edu/ for more information.