Originally published in the Spring 2022 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 68, printed April 21. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Spring 2022 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For other issues dating back to 2012, see the Full Issues page.

Defender Queen Nzinga speaks at the 17th Annual Gabriel Gathering in Shockoe Bottom, hosted on Oct. 10, 2019, by the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. Photo by Phil Wilayto.

The Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality was founded in July of 2002.

We’ll be marking our 20th anniversary sometime later this year. Depending on where we’re all at with the pandemic, there will either be an indoor gathering or an outdoor event. Either way, there will be food, music, speeches and, of course, plans for the future.

For the Summer edition of The Virginia Defender, we’ll be including a special supplement with photos and stories about the many struggles we’ve had the privilege to engage in over the past two decades.

In the meantime, we invite our readers, friends and allies to consider working more closely with us in one or more of our areas of work: prisons, community, antiwar, Shockoe Bottom, labor support and the newspaper.

Together, we truly can bring forth a new world from the ashes of the old.

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