JMU Student Groups To Support Civil Rights Memorial

From: Public Affairs

January 21, 2008

In honor and support of Black History Month and all the Virginians who aided in the struggle for civil rights in America, the JMU chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Student Government Association would like to announce an initiative to support the construction of the first-ever Civil Rights Monument in Richmond. The monument, which originated in an executive order from Gov. Mark Warner in 2005, is in need of private funds to support the building of this historic memorial.

The monument would be placed in Capitol Square in Richmond and would hold a special place as a remembrance of those who gave up so much for the advancement of civil rights in Virginia and in the country. The fight for equal rights in America is still waging, and this monument represents a chapter for Virginia in that fight. We, as JMU students, feel it is essential to support this worthy cause through a fundraising challenge to all student organizations.

As representatives of a public institution of higher learning in Virginia, the students of James Madison University would like to encourage this endeavor as much as possible. Our initiative issues a challenge to all student organizations, faculty and staff of JMU to come together and offer a small donation to this worthy cause. The Student Government Association will serve as an intermediary in the donation process, as student organizations are asked to donate a minimum of $50 to the monument. Donations are due to the SGA by Friday, February 29, coinciding with the conclusion of Black History Month, whereupon the SGA will offer one check to the Civil Rights Memorial Foundation on behalf of all JMU students. This donation can be made by use of a written check from the organization's bank account (if applicable), or through a cash donation. Faculty and staff may contact the SGA office at 540-568-6376 or brookslc@jmu.edu to receive a pledge card with detailed information to make private donations to the Civil Rights Memorial Foundation, which are eligible for tax deductions.

Just as the civil rights memorial makes an important statement about the contributions of Virginians to civil rights, this initiative’s primary objective is to raise awareness and support for the memorial within the JMU community. A statement of large financial support coming directly from the students will speak to the sentiments and priorities of the JMU student body on the issue of civil rights. For more information about the monument or the foundation, please visit www.vacivilrightsmemorial.org/. Questions regarding the initiative can be directed to Lee Brooks, student body president, brookslc@jmu.edu, or Stephanie Reese, president of the JMU chapter of the NAACP, reesesp@jmu.edu. The SGA office is located in Taylor 203, and there will be a box where checks or cash may be deposited. Please be sure to include the name of your club or organization and the amount included in your donation. We thank you for your consideration of this initiative, and we have every confidence in the creativity and resources of JMU students to make a considerable impact on this memorial.