HAMPTON, Va. (October 22, 2019) –For the second year in a row, Hampton University welcomed VA ratify ERA representatives to the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute (WRHLI) to speak about ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). This year, they launched the #iScream4Equality Ice Cream Tour on August 26th, Women’s Equality Day, to educate Virginians on the historical opportunity to be the 38th and final state needed to ratify the ERA.
“Hampton University continues to be a pillar of historic change and equality for all. This was a great opportunity for our students to understand that this is their time to be on the right side of history,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
This year, federal judges selected a new House of Delegates district map that revised boundaries of 26 districts, making many House of Delegates races more evenly matched. This November, Virginia voters have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make constitutional history by electing candidates who will ratify the ERA.
“Virginia could become the 38th state to ratify the ERA which would provide all Americans with equality of rights, regardless of sex or gender. This would not only affect the 162 million women and girls presently not guaranteed constitutional protection, but also all American families who are presently suffering from the economic discrimination that comes along with sexual bias,” said Kamala Lopez, President of Heroica Films and Executive Director of Equal Means Equal.
With this visit to campus, the 150 students in the WRHLI were provided with an opportunity to see that their vote truly does count.
“VA ratify ERA is a non-partisan volunteer grassroots organization and falls right in line with the pillars of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute, which is Service, Commitment and Character. Service learning is a major component of what we do here and what we teach. This opportunity helps them as future leaders realize that they can make a difference and a major impact in ratifying the Constitution of the United States of America,” said Dr. Jarris Louis Taylor, Jr., Director of the WRHLI.
The Constitution is the most influential document in American history, and every year Hampton University acknowledges the importance of this day on campus.
“The African-American community is a benefactor of the United States’ Constitution with the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, among others that helped start the process to set our people free, who arrived on our shores in the city of Hampton, Virginia 400 years ago,” said Bill Thomas, Associate VP of Governmental Relations at Hampton University. “Today, we stand up with all American women in their gallant effort to secure the vote of the Virginia General Assembly and to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.”
At the end of the visit, students were able to visit the #iScream4Equality ice cream van where they were given ice cream and were able to speak one-on-one with the VA ratify ERA representatives.