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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Black History Month

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia, a rich and diverse state ripe with opportunity, has been home to some of the country’s most influential African American leaders. These leaders, too numerous to list, have inspired all Americans with their stories of the triumph of the human spirit and tragic stories of cruelty rooted in bias and bigotry; and

WHEREAS, the fine fabric of the Commonwealth is sewn together by these resilient, optimistic and courageous citizens yielding a culturally diverse, socially equal and economically strong Commonwealth. African Americans have both enriched and cultivated every aspect of life while rising above social, political, and economic barriers; and

WHEREAS, among the many distinguished African American leaders of the Commonwealth, I am humbled to occupy the seat of the Honorable L. Douglas Wilder, former governor and lieutenant governor of Virginia and the first African American elected governor in these United States. Governor Wilder is a decorated United States Army Veteran and a distinguished attorney. I am also pleased to serve with Winsome Earle-Sears, who served as a Marine and is the Commonwealth’s first woman to serve as lieutenant governor, first woman of color and first Jamaican-born American citizen elected to statewide office; and

WHEREAS, Virginians can be proud of pioneers like Dr. Robert Russa Moton and Maggie Lena Walker. Dr. Moton served as principal of Tuskegee University, succeeding his friend and fellow Virginian Booker T. Washington, and he overcame insurmountable odds to become a leader in establishing equality. A presidential advisor and president of the National Negro Business League for more than twenty years, he organized the greatest minds in the nation to debate and address issues of African American advancement. Born in 1864 as the Civil War raged across Virginia, Maggie Lena Walker achieved national prominence as a businesswoman and community leader. She was the first woman in the United States to found a bank; and

WHEREAS, Virginians can be inspired by Richmond native Dorothy Height, champion of rights for both women and African Americans as president of the National Council of Negro Women. Height stood alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of the organizers of the March on Washington in 1963; and

WHEREAS, I encourage all Virginians to join the First Lady and me in taking pride in the resilient, optimistic and courageous African American leaders past, present and future;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize February 2022 as BLACK HISTORY MONTH, and I call this observance to honor the history and achievements of Black Americans. Let us all celebrate our rich history and acknowledge that diversity, when genuinely embraced, strengthens our Commonwealth. Every Virginian deserves dignity and respect, the opportunity to pursue our dreams, and inclusion in the Virginia family.