RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has changed state policy for restoring civil rights to people who serve time for a felony conviction, greatly reducing the number of former inmates who regain the right to vote.
Youngkin canceled a practice begun by a Republican predecessor, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, of automatically restoring rights for at least some former inmates once their sentence is complete. Instead, each person must file an application and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kay Coles James said Wednesday in a letter to a key senator.
Virginia and Kentucky are the only states that permanently disenfranchise anyone convicted of a felony, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. A handful of other states limit voting access for those convicted of certain felonies.
RICHMOND – Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has changed state policy for restoring civil rights to people who serve time for a felony conviction, greatly reducing the number of former inmates who regain the right to vote. Fast, informative and written just for locals. Get The 7 DMV newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning.
In light of recent national and local conversations and controversy regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT), NAACP-Culpeper would like to offer support, guidance, and clarity to our community. Below you will find information regarding CRT as well as teaching practices that are centered on equity.
What is CRT?
CRT is an academic framework that examines the impact of systemic racism on American society. It is not taught in K-12 schools because it is not developmentally appropriate to do so; it is used in fields of professional and academic research. Some of the underpinning assumptions of CRT, however, can already be found in curricula in many schools. In recent months, CRT has become a catch-all term for school programs (teacher education, curriculum, and more) that focus on anti-racist practices, social justice, and/or diversity and equity.
Is CRT new?
No. CRT became widely read and used beginning in the 1970s in legal research. The practices that are being inaccurately described as CRT (anti-racist education, for example) are also not new. Classroom conversations that include discussions about race and racism are also not new (although it is important to note that this is not CRT). In fact, even early childhood curricula have included discussions about skin color and racial identity for many decades. Since race is a part of people’s identities (just like where they were born or what holidays they celebrate or how their families are structured), conversations about race happen all the time in schools. Additionally, it is easy to find examples of discussions about race that occur in history or English classes for older students, since studies about history and English are studies about individuals and groups of people. When you study people, you also will encounter issues of race and equity. It is incredibly difficult (not to mention bad practice), for example, to teach the American Civil War without discussing race.
So what does teaching for equity look like?
Some of the objections to CRT can be more accurately described as objections to teaching for equity (which can include social justice education, culturally relevant teaching, anti-racist teaching, and more-these are different from each other but overlap in important ways). Teaching for equity includes: ensuring that all students’ identities are welcomed and celebrated; providing instructional materials that reflect a wide variety of perspectives (including various racial identities); a curriculum that is high-level, accessible to all students and emphasizes critical thinking; and ongoing teacher learning so that educators are reflecting on their practices in a continual way.
In a classroom, this looks like a library of books and resources that include lots of different kinds of characters. It can also be a classroom rich in discussion about current events so kids have ample opportunity to practice critical thinking and discourse. It may also be a history unit that includes several primary resources from different demographic groups, so that students may consider multiple perspectives. In a primary classroom, it may look like a read aloud about a community much like theirs, a rural one, but in an entirely different part of the world. It can also look like a guest speaker coming to share how their family celebrates a holiday unfamiliar to most of the students in the class.
Does teaching for equity teach Black, Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial children to feel victimized?
No. Many families are concerned about this-no one wants children to feel dis-empowered or victimized. When multiple perspectives are presented, however, children of color are more likely to find themselves in the learning, which leads to a deeper and more rigorous educational experience. Classrooms in which students are welcomed to bring their full identities to the community, including their racial identities, are more likely to be classrooms in which students feel safe and known. This also leads to greater and deeper learning.
Does it teach White children to feel guilty?
No. This is a concern of many parents of White children, and understandably so. No one wants their children to feel guilty or upset, including teachers who teach for equity; that’s not the goal. Teaching about the history of race and racism should empower students to make the world better and more equitable. Slavery and Jim Crow, for example, are painful parts of our history, but students need to understand how these came about and how the lingering effects of them are still apparent today so that they may be empowered to ensure that we continue to work toward equity for all. Including multiple voices when studying periods of history or when reading literature also asks students to consider new ideas and perspectives. Moreover, asking students to engage in critical discourse prepares them to be active citizens of their community, both now and when they are grown.
Is teaching about race and racism indoctrination?
No. Presenting students with resources that reflect multiple perspectives means that students are learning to look critically at historical events, literature, media and more. All of us want our students to think critically and independently…that’s what this kind of teaching supports. It teaches children HOW to think, not WHAT to think.
Does NAACP-Culpeper support CRT in our K-12 schools?
No-CRT is for higher ed, not K-12! We DO, however, support teaching for equity, which is often inaccurately conflated with CRT. We know that structural racism exists-the data is unequivocal on this. We also know that education is one area of our society where we simply cannot ignore opportunity gaps. Every child deserves a high-quality, rigorous education that pushes them to reach their full potential. Currently, not all students have these opportunities; students of color, especially Black students, continue to achieve at much lower levels than their White peers in Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock counties. There are significant gaps between White and Black/Hispanic students’ reading levels, math achievement, graduation rates, and participation in gifted education programs and AP programs.
Teaching for equity supports the closing of these gaps. Research shows that a positive school climate where all students feel welcomed and valued leads to higher achievement for all children (students of color as well as White students), as does rigorous, high-level instructional programming. Teaching for equity IS high-quality, rigorous education because it engages students in higher-level thinking that encourages them to consider multiple perspectives. It also affirms and welcomes the identities of all students in a classroom, not just those in the racial majority.
As a civil rights organization, we will continue to fight for this every single day. Education IS a civil right.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com . You are also invited to attend our NAACP general membership meetings, held over zoom the third Thursday each month.
NAACP-Culpeper Education Committee
Dr. Laurel Blackmon, Chair
Meet the Police Chief who might just be one of the best leaders in the country. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is leading the calls for police reform from the inside — and today sits down with Carlos to discuss how police forces are more progressive than corporate America, but how still more needs to be done to root out “bushels of bad apples” and to end police tactics that may be technically lawful, but are nevertheless awful and inhumane.
This audit has laid bare what we already know — Facebook is a platform plagued by civil rights shortcomings. Facebook has an enormous impact on our civil rights — by facilitating hate speech and violence, voter and census disinformation, and algorithmic bias, and by shortchanging diversity and inclusion. This audit has exposed Facebook’s vulnerabilities and provides important recommendations that they must take up swiftly.
Inside Facebook’s dysfunctional approach to civil rights
On Wednesday, two respected civil rights experts -- Laura Murphy and Megan Cacace -- hired by Facebook to review the company’s practices issued a blistering final report. While acknowledging that Facebook had made progress in some areas, the report finds that Facebook’s “approach to civil rights rem…
Less than a year ago, NAACP called out Facebook for its negligence in the spread of propaganda and divisive advertisements in the 2016 Presidential election—ads that maliciously targeted African American users of the platform. We led the week-long protest, #LogOutFacebook, and thousands of supporters like you stood with us and logged out of the platform. In response, Facebook published its Civil Rights report and promised to do better.
However, in recent days Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly defended his decision to keep running political ads containing blatant lies. This is an immense insult to the African Americans who have been bearing the brunt of these lies, while Facebook continues to cash in.
The Culpeper branch of the NAACP holds its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are currently meeting at the Culpeper Business Center at 14115 Lovers Lane, Culpeper, 22701. All are welcome; you do not have to be a member to attend.