Young Artists Turn to Protest

Chants, cheers and music echoed throughout the streets of Richmond on Saturday as demonstrations took place across the city, demanding justice for black lives. Under the gaze of the Maggie Walker statue in Jackson Ward, a group of young creatives kicked off the day with this message: “We are your future! Let’s go!” Ballerinas, poets, a dance team, and speakers rallied for a better future for black youth. That included Makayla White, a rising eighth-grader who co-organized the event.

The Heavy Toll of COVID-19 on Virginia's Latinx Community

Since the Virginia Department of Health began reporting the ethnic breakdown of coronavirus cases, data has shown a consistently disproportionate hit in Latinx communities. But there’s more to the impact than what the numbers show. At a Dairy Queen drive-through in Harrisonburg, Liz Zavala has been serving customers from behind a mask throughout the pandemic. Like most of her family members, she’s risked her safety working on the front lines.

Will Evictions Pick Up When Courts Reopen Monday?

Many of Virginia’s courts will resume hearing non-emergency cases on Monday… that includes eviction lawsuits. With judges facing a backlog of cases, tenants and legal advocates are bracing for what’s to come. The eviction hearings will resume in spite of a CARES Act moratorium in place through July 25. That’s because the mandate only applies to landlords with a federally backed mortgage, according to Marty Wegbreit at the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. "And that’s only about a third of te

Advocates say Reopening Plan puts Communities of Color at Risk

As businesses prepare to reopen on Friday, COVID-19 continues to infect Black and Latinx people at disproportionate rates. Some say the plan is moving too fast and putting communities of color at risk in the process. Without proper workplace safeguards and adequate testing, many will be forced to choose between their safety and a paycheck according to Tram Nguyen, the co-executive director at New Virginia Majority. "They are literally putting their lives on the line to go back to work," Nguyen

Spirit of Community Carries On During COVID-19

During Ramadan, Muslims usually end their daily fast with a shared meal and group prayers. A lot of that has changed this year because of the pandemic, but the spirit of community carries on. For Mona Siddiqui, the holy month isn’t just a time to fast, it’s a time to share. "A huge, huge part of Ramadan is the charitable aspect," Siddiqui says. "It’s about not only are we not eating, but we’re thinking more about others in our communities, particularly those that are more vulnerable or margina

Richmond Aims to Feed On-Duty Workers and Help Local Restaurants

As businesses are looking for lifelines and essential workers are focused on doing their jobs, the City of Richmond is starting a program to pay small, locally-owned restaurants to feed first responders. The Camel was a popular spot to catch a show, get a drink and maybe even grab a burger or some tacos. Then the coronavirus changed everything. "Basically we went from a music venue doing live music every night of the week to essentially a to-go, takeout restaurant," explains co-owner Matt Hansen.

With Schools Closed, Communities Pitch In to Feed Kids

Now that Governor Northam has shut down schools to stem the outbreak of COVID-19, there’s a push across the state to make sure children who rely on subsidized meals don’t go hungry. Deanna Fierro spends most Monday mornings in the classroom teaching. But on the first day of a statewide school closure, she was in a cafeteria, packing bags with sandwiches and milk. She’s one of about 500 Richmonders who signed up to volunteer at schools now operating as emergency food distribution centers.
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