Resolutions Addressing Systemic & Structural Racism

RASR members join podcast on reparations 

Join several community leaders and activists as we discuss reparations – what they are, and what progress has been made in the movement to make the descendants of chattel slaves in America “whole”. 


Linked In Impact with The Arlington (VA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is a podcast which transforms our community by highlighting the issues, resources and leaders that YOU need to know.


Will We Ever Get Our 40 Acres and a Mule?

Access podcast recording here:

Presentation “Reparations Is Not a Four Letter Word” at the 2023 Women’s Summit, July 22-23, 2023.

RASR participated in an important panel discussion on the various ways that reparations and repair can be pursued and implemented.  Watch the recording of the panel discussion “Reparations Is Not a Four Letter Word” at

Panelists included members from multiple communities experiencing environmental justice (EJ) issues, advocacy organizations, and others.  

Center for Common Ground and RASR discuss Restoring the Right to Vote in Virginia. 

Watch the recorded event:     


RASR Presents What Can Reparations Look Like?

RASR Presents a discussion on what reparations can look like.  Reparations can take many different forms, from acknowledgement of pervasive systemic racism that leads to inequity, to restitution or compensation for harms done, and many points in between.  Watch the panel discussion with individuals that are advocating for various forms of reparations for their communities and others.   Watch the recorded event at

RASR Presents How to Ensure Racial Equity and Justice in the Emerging Legal Marijuana Industry in VA

RASR Presents hosted a discussion on marijuana and how it impacts minority communities, including legalization and growing marijuana.  Our guests included Jesse Frierson, Community Advocate, Cannabis Equity Coalition of Virginia, JM Pedini, Development Director of NORML, and Paul McLean, Executive Director for the Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition.  Watch the recorded event at

Fighting Voter Suppression! Watch the recorded event from 10/11/2022.

RASR Presents hosted a discussion on how we can identify and fight voter suppression, and how we can help empower underserved communities.  Guest speakers included Andrea Miller with the Center for Common Ground.  We discussed how RASR and other organizations are working to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.

The RASR Presents events are free!  If you were not able to join us live, you can watch the event on our YouTube channel at

RASR Attends the 2022 Women's Summit Events in Annandale, Waynesboro, and VA Beach

RASR Participates on Reparations Panel Discussion

RASR Chair, Rashad Pearson speaks on reparations at the Katzen Arts Center at American University.

Brown Grove Community Named Historic District by Virginia's Department of Historic Resources

Hanover’s Brown Grove Community 
Gains Recognition in VA Historic Landmarks Register
On Thursday, Jun 16, 2022, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources honored the Freedmen founded community of Brown Grove and incorporated it into the Virginia Landmarks state registry.

Sweet Briar, VA – On Thursday, June 16th, the Board of Historic Resources and the State Review Board met to deliberate the historic designation of Hanover’s Brown Grove community. Upon both reviews, the boards found that Brown Grove is locally significant in the area of African American Ethnic Heritage as a rural historic district largely inhabited by descendants of families who established the community in the 1870s. The district as a whole continues to strongly embody a sense of a rural, working-class, African American settlement and the continued occupancy of multi-generational descendants of early inhabitants, the continued visitation and maintenance of historic cemeteries, and the vibrant and engaged congregation of Brown Grove Baptist Church reinforce the district’s robust integrity of association.The Brown Grove Historic District is a historically African American rural community south of Ashland in Hanover County established during the Reconstruction Era. It is an excellent example of the rural landscape of African American heritage that grew from the plantation economy to a self-sufficient agricultural community and transitioned in the twentieth century into a middle-class residential neighborhood.Those who spoke to advocate on behalf of the Brown Grove community included Diane Drake and Lakshmi Fjord and were presented by Marc Wagner of the Eastern Region of the Department of Historic Resources.“It is indeed a wonderful blessing to celebrate Brown Grove Rural Historic District to Virginia Registry of Historic Places. “Let Freedom Ring” even louder on this Juneteenth Celebration day!”Diane Smith Drake“What a seismic shift over a very short space of time into DHR now taking a far more community-based approach to the preservation of historic African American and Indigenous historic communities and historic resources. “Lakshmi Fjord

“The Chesapeake Climate Action Network could not be more pleased with the good news. Brown Grove has been the site of environmental justice for decades, and hopefully, now the community will have some protection for extractive industry,” says Virginia organizer Elle De La Cancela. “Today is a day to celebrate and to begin to redress the wrongs of our government.”There have been several organizations and individuals that have contributed to this historic decision’s success. Some of these include: Virginia League of Conservation Voters, Sunrise Movement – Richmond Chapter, Del Elizabeth Guzman, Hanover County NAACP, SELC, VA EJ council, Friends of Buckingham,  African American Redress NetworkHoward University, Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center Columbia University, ICTJ, RASR resolutions addressing systemic racism, NAMATI                                                     #   #   #The Brown Grove Preservation Group is a group of people who are dedicated to continuing the work our ancestors started.  We are committed to seeing our community grow by building homes, not industry.  We use faith and heart to work toward the betterment of the Brown Grove Community. 

Join the call to action to have Virginia’s two senators come for a site visit to Brown Grove and meet with the community.

RASR Meets with Brown Grove Preservation Group and the EPA

RASR representative met with the Brown Grove Preservation community, the African American Redress Network, and others to provide a walk through with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Director to discuss the areas being impacted by the construction of a Wegman’s distribution center.

Privilege and Power Workshop Series

Join a series of conversations in 3 sessions to help understand how we each contribute to eliminating systemic racism.  This requires reflection on where we each are in our individual journeys towards eliminating white supremacy and enabling equity for all.  This workshop is designed for engagement with a cohort across the racial spectrum to advance both individual and group understanding.

The book can be purchased directly from Amazon in hard copy, paperback, e-book, or audio book:

Dates:  Three sessions are planned, each approximately 2 hours in length.  Session 1:  Saturday, May 21, 2022, 10:00 am.  Session 2:  Saturday, June 4, 2022, 10:00 am.  Session 3:  Saturday, June 11, 2022, 10:00 am.

Sessions will be accessible via zoom.  You will get the zoom link after you register.

Call to Action for Restoration of Voting Rights

Casting ballotThank you to all that support the call to action for restoration of voting rights legislation and contacted their Virginia state legislators to pass for the second time a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote for all Virginians 18 and over who are not serving time for a felony conviction – just as it was passed during the 2021 General Assembly. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – on the ballot for Virginia’s voters during the 2022 elections.  *Update:  Unfortunately, the action did not get passed in the 2022 General Assembly so the process begins again to support placing the constitutional amendment on an upcoming general election ballot.

RASR in the Press

RASR’s participation in the Brown Grove Empowerment and Strategic Planning Retreat is mentioned in this article posted on Columbia University’s website (one of the two main educational partners for the African American Redress Network and driver of our VA Redress Coalition effort for which RASR is a participant.


Rashad Pearson, Jolicia Ward

RASR Attends the NetworkNOVA Women's Summer of Summits 2021 in Lorton, Harrisonburg, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Melissa Hartman, Tyler Begley, Stephen Spitz

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