VUU reacts to becoming Gov. Northam’s first stop on ‘reconciliation tour’

VUU reacts to becoming Gov. Northam’s first stop on ‘reconciliation tour’
Northam says the photo "fell short of the standard you set for me when you elected me to be your governor."

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As Governor Ralph Northam continues to stand firm against calls for his resignation, the first stop on his “reconciliation tour” is Virginia Union University. The “Faith, Identity and Social Justice” event is set for next Thursday, Feb. 21 at VUU’s Allix B. James Chapel in Coburn Hall, at 11 a.m.

Both students and the public are invited.

VUU said in a press release that the event is part of continuing “the conversation regarding a path to move forward” and that it’s important “to begin to develop a plan to reach healing and reconciliation.”

“It’s not really going to do anything because everybody here is not going to listen to it, honestly,” said VUU senior Rasaan Parker, when asked if he thought VUU students would be persuade by Northam’s reconciliation effort. “Personally, I’ll hear what he has to say… but I don’t really care for it, honestly."

It’s not immediately clear whether Northam will speak. The press release from the university states he will “attend” the event.

The official speaker is former Richmond mayor Dwight Jones. Last week, Jones said he thought Northam should clear out.

“I think he has lost the confidence of the people and cannot govern at this point, and the only way for that to happen is for the office to be vacated,” said Jones.

VUU’s announcement of the event is on the heels of last Thursday’s rally with the Rev. Al Sharpton. Sharpton had a different tone.

“I flew out of New York to tell you that your political days are over!” Sharpton said during the rally.

"I feel like what’s done is done. What he did... it wasn’t right,” said Khari Johnson, another VUU student.

VUU officials and representatives for the governor have still not confirmed whether students or the public will be allowed to ask questions during the event.

The governor’s Black History Month Reception scheduled for Feb. 13, has been postponed and will be rescheduled for later this month.

Virginia Black Politicos released the following statement in regards to the reception.

“Wednesday February 13th at 5:30 PM we welcome every African-American elected official, leader, and community stakeholder to support African-American leaders boycotting the annual Black History Month reception at the Governor’s Mansion. We will continue to stand united against racism and white supremacist values in our elected leadership.Opposed to having his annual Black History Month reception, it is our desire that Governor Northam will listen to and respond to our demands. Again, there can be no reconciliation without acknowledgement, reallocation and redistribution of resources, and a commitment to change.”

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