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Hampton Roads Community News

Community Happenings: Vol. 123, No. 4, Jan 26 – Feb 2, 2023



Community News

No Fares, Transit Equity Day, Feb. 3; Honors Rosa Parks

Hampton Roads Transit will be observing Transit Equity Day on Feb. 3 as a National Day of Action by offering free bus, light rail, ferry, microtransit, and paratransit services to show the importance of investing in public transit. The day also calls attention to the work of public transit rider Rosa Parks, whose birthday is on Feb. 4.

Bus headlights will remain on all day to symbolize the light Rosa Parks provided to our world. Each HRT bus also will have a reserved front seat with a small sign on it to honor Parks’ act of courage that ultimately helped make transit more equitable for all.

Parks played a pivotal role in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott of 1955 when she refused the order of a white driver to vacate her seat in the “colored” section of the bus once the “white” section was full.

Her quiet act of civil disobedience to the Alabama segregation laws helped inspire the African American community in Montgomery to begin a boycott of bus services that lasted over a year. Eventually, bus segregation was ruled unconstitutional in November 1956 under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

EVMS-NSU Partnership Will Target Health Equity, Workforce

Leaders from EVMS and NSU gathered Tuesday, Jan. 24, to announce the launch of a program known as the EVMS-NSU Research and Training Incubator for Collaboration in Health Equity Initiative (ENRICHe).

ENRICHe is designed to enhance collaborative research focused on health disparities as a way to advance health equity in the region and to expand pathways for NSU students interested in a career in medicine or the health professions.

At the ceremony, Javaune Adams-Gaston, PhD, President of NSU, and Alfred Abuhamad, MD, President of EVMS, will be joined by other senior leaders to discuss the details of ENRICHe.

4TH Annual Black History “Trail Blazers Side WALK Parade” Takes Place on February 18

The Fourth Annual “Black History Trail Blazers Side WALK Parade” will be held in Portsmouth on February 18, 2023. This year’s route is “Historical Truxton”, the city’s first Black Planned neighborhood.

This annual Black History Month event is sponsored and hosted by The Young Peoples Guild under the direction of Dr. Apostle Joyce White-Tasby. Each year, a historical trail focuses on a part of Portsmouth, allowing participants on the trail to stop at places not taught in history school books.

The Truxton neighborhood was Portsmouth’s first Black neighborhood with indoor plumbing and sidewalks.

As a part of the learning experience, persons are encouraged to dress in the costume of their favorite historical Black Person. They are asked to know five things about the individuals they have chosen to represent.

Participants will line-up at the Old Truxton School Site at 10:00 a.m. at Portsmouth Blvd. and Deep Creek Blvd. The parade begins at 10:30.

Buses can be boarded at the line up site for riders. A narrator will be aboard.

There will be entertainment at the conclusion of the parade at The Portsmouth Neighborhood Facility, 900 Elm Ave, Portsmouth, Virginia to include Steven Alexander and Company, Young Peoples Guild Theater Group, dancing, and singing “the ole time way”.

Exhibitors from all facets of Black Culture will be at the finale.

Individuals and groups are being sought to enter the parade. The entry fees are Individual: $10.00; Groups 10-14: $50.00; Groups 15 -24: $75.00; Groups 25+: $150.00. For more information: Call Dr. Apostle Joyce White-Tasby at 202-812-2804.


CLEAN Honors Dr. King and Today’s Youth

The CLEAN Youth Organization hosted “A Stone of Hope” MLK Luncheon on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at the Southside Boys and Girls Club Berkeley with guest speaker Joe Smith (retired NBA).

The event honored the Youth within the CLEAN Organization for their outstanding community service and academic achievements.

The group’s founder and director Anthony Daniels founded C.L.E.A.N. (Citizens Learning and Educating About Neighborhoods) to provide mentoring, positive attitudes and guidance to reduce crime among youth living in the Berkley area of Norfolk and surrounding neighborhoods. The program emphasizes the importance of completing an education and advocates values and productive citizenship.

Norfolk’s St. Mary’s Among Black Churches Awarded Nat’l Grant

Norfolk’s historic Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, which discovered African American American corpses buried underneath its edifice in October 2022, is one of 35 historically Black churches in the U.S.A. that will receive a portion of a $4 million grant .

Specifically, St. Mary’s will receive $150,000 for two years from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, according to news reports. St. Mary’s was founded in 1791 by African American congregants. The original structure was built by free Blacks and slaves in 1842, but deliberately set afire in 1856. The building was rebuilt in 1858 in downtown Norfolk where it still stands.

“This grant will help the Basilica congregation hire senior preservation staff to implement its preservation plan, which will help the church remain an active presence during a time of neighborhood change and racial displacement within the broader community,” the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund stated in a recent press release that lists its first round of 2023 grants to 35 historic Black churches nationwide.

Father Jim Curran, who pastors St. Mary’s, said in a recent WVEC-TV interview after the 35 grants were announced, “This…very generous grant will allow us to hire somebody on staff who will be in charge of the maintenance and who knows what to look for in historic buildings…All of the significant moments of life occur in a church,” he said.

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