There’s a quote at the bottom of this page by the famous Russian novelist Dostoevski: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” More people should visit Virginia’s prisons and jails.
The Virginia Defender
Established in 2005 as The Richmond Defender, The Virginia Defender is a free community newspaper, published quarterly for the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. Print distribution is 16,000 and statewide. The online publication launched in Summer 2020.
Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore with three locations in Washington, D.C., is the first bookstore in the district to unionize. The approximately 100 workers are now represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. The Virginia Defender spoke to Isa Salazar of the Politics and Prose Workers Union Organizing Committee about the process of getting organized.
WHY WE SUPPORT THE MEMORIALIZATION OF SHOCKOE BOTTOM, BUT ARE OPPOSED TO SPENDING $220 MILLION ON A LEGACY MUSEUM
Yes, there needs to be a slavery/slave trade museum or interpretive center in Shockoe Bottom, but it doesn’t need to be a $220 million legacy project for people who have played a very mixed role in the ongoing struggle to reclaim and properly memorialize what once was the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade.
On Dec. 6, Richmond became the first locality in Virginia to approve collective bargaining for its teachers and other public school employees.
The Coalition for Justice of Blacksburg, a co-founder of the Virginia Prison Justice Network, is working with the Virginia Tech Center for Humanities to create an online journal of art, writing, spoken word and reflections on prison life.
In May 2021, a change to state law came into effect that allows local governments and school boards to bargain collectively with their workers. Richmond City Council now has two bills to consider on this topic.
Workers at two Richmond-area Starbucks stores, one at 6980 Forest Hill Avenue in the city and the other at 11136 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County, have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board for recognition of their union.