Press release- event June 20th:
Formerly Incarcerated Call for Quality Jobs at VCU
Unemployed and underemployed formerly incarcerated citizens call on VCU
to provide quality wages and university community partnership
WHAT: Formerly incarcerated community members and advocates come together to share stories and demand quality jobs with livable wages for returning citizens at Virginia Commonwealth University.
WHO: Community members and leaders, local formerly incarcerated people, New Virginia Majority organizers
WHERE: In front of the large "VCU" statues
outside of VCU’s Shafer Court Dining Center
810 Cathedral Place, Richmond, VA 23284
WHEN: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Note: Parking is available at West Broad Street Parking Deck or West Main Street Parking Deck. Street parking is also available.
Richmond, VA.-- On June 20th at 6 p.m., formerly incarcerated community members, community leaders and New Virginia Majority will gather at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to launch a campaign to demand livable wages and job opportunities for formerly incarcerated people in Richmond. Community members will share stories about the high hurdles they've faced when trying to secure gainful employment after re-entering society. The City of Richmond has an unemployment rate of ~5%. In communities in the North Side, East End and Southside where many returning citizens reside, the unemployment rates are higher than 13%. As a publicly funded institution and Richmond’s largest employer, VCU has an opportunity to launch a university community partnership by hiring qualified formerly incarcerated people for livable wage jobs.
“I have been a certified nurse for over 20 years and I’m currently in school to further my education. Taking care of people is what I love to do and I do my job well.” said Brianna Ross, returning citizen and resident of Richmond’s East End. “Nurses are in high demand in Virginia. I have been putting in application after application for jobs that I’m more than qualified for, but I’m always turned down because of prior convictions from many years ago. I don’t have access to health insurance or benefits. Now, more than ever, I value myself, my community, and hard work. I’m not asking for a handout-- I’m asking for an equal opportunity to a quality job.”
New Virginia Majority sent a request to meet with VCU president Michael Rao earlier this month. We received a formal response, however, it did not address our eager request to meet and discuss solutions the growing jobs crisis we are seeing in many communities in Richmond.
New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable.