The Richmond Lesbian-Feminists 40th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, July 18th, from 2-4pm, at Diversity Richmond’s gallery (formerly the Gay Community Center of Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond VA) the Richmond Lesbian-Feminists are holding their 40th anniversary celebration! Cake and punch will be served, followed by a screening of the film “Radical Harmonies,” a documentary about the Women’s Music Cultural Movement.

This celebration is open to the community. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

See link for further information.


Anybody know what’s up with these new City of Richmond vehicles? It has these weird things on each side where a gas tank should be (maybe it’s electric?) and 2 camera like things on top. I pulled up behind it in Shockoe Slip and, judging from the angle of the cameras, it was scanning LICENSE PLATES!

For some reason I think they are trying to log everyone’s plates on the street and match them up real-time to payment records from the new rip-off Pay-To-Park stations. Glorified, digital, environmentally friendly meter maids?!? Maybe…

I would love some feedback if anyone has any info.
Tensions run high after man makes threats outside of Richmond church
A video sent to 8News shows a man yelling at parishioners at one of the entrances.

Late Thursday night (June 18th, 2015), a white man, who appeared to be armed with a knife, tried to enter the United Nations Church International in Richmond, Virginia, shouting threats and racial slurs at those inside. 

Witnesses, who began filming and quickly locked all of the doors as they waited for help to arrive, reported that the man said  “I’m gonna kill all you and all you are gonna get killed tonight,” and called them “useless n*ggers,” among other things. Police came and took him into custody- he’s currently thought to be undergoing a mental health evaluation- but it’s not clear who he is, or if he will be charged. 

This happened just one day after white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Like the nine murdered in South Carolina, those threatened were participating in a Bible study. 

News report via ABC 8 Local News. I’ll be keeping an eye out for updates.
Sources: Interim director of Richmond DSS resigns

Richmond’s interim director of the Department of Social Services resigned Friday, according to sources.

Tonya Vincent was named to the post and was expected to help clean up the department after it was plagued by issues, including allegations DSS was putting children in harm’s way.

Instead, Vincent was appointed as Virginia’s Deputy Director of Public Safety and will not be returning to Richmond Police, as originally planned, according to sources.

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones’ administration has yet to say who is taking over the post.


A painted comic that deals with my sometimes irrational fears


[First image: a stylized graphic of black hands breaking free from chains. Second image: a black and white photo of a large crowd of black Americans in their Sunday best celebrating Juneteenth.]

Happy Juneteenth! This holiday marks the end of the official institution of slavery in the United States, and was historically widely celebrated by black Americans. The photo above is of a 1905 celebration in Richmond, Virginia. 

On this day in 1865, enslaved people in Texas were informed of their freedom, two years following the Emancipation Proclamation. Also on this day, the Civil Rights Act of 1963 was passed, after an 83 day filibuster in the US Senate. 


3north Principal Jay Hugo (far left in middle photo) joined dignitaries on the stage today for the groundbreaking of the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.  Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones thanked Jay and 3north in the ceremony for the firm’s guidance and leadership throughout the site selection, planning and design process. With Peter Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System (at podium), Jay unveiled the rendering for the new facility slated to open this summer.

Pictured above with burgundy and gold shovels are Jay Hugo, Drew Gould-Timmons Group, Richard Johnson-Chairman of Economic Development Authority of Richmond, First Lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Bruce Allen-Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Washington Redskins, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, Sister Anne Marie Mack of Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Charles Samuels-President of Richmond City Council and Peter Bernard.

More info here on the Redskins website and the Times-Dispatch story here

 A bunch has been going on in Richmond, Virginia, regarding the city’s many memorials and symbols honoring the Confederacy. This has always been a conflict here, but the national conversation in the wake of the racially-motivated Charleston mass shooting has had it at the forefront of everyone’s minds. 

Additionally, RVA News published an excellent piece titled “De-Venerating Richmond’s Confederate Symbols,” by Susan Howson and Ross Catrow, which includes an inventory of all of the things and places in Richmond which were named in honor of Confederate figures. They also announced a new RVA News policy: they will no longer accept Picture of the Day submissions which include items honoring Confederates. 

More below the cut, but first, an excerpt from the RVA News story: “These aren’t just meaningless names of schools or streets. Nobody shrugged their shoulders and said “Semmes, that sounds like a cool name.” No, they said “We should honor Raphael Semmes, Confederate naval superstar, by naming this street after him.” These were conscious decisions, often made in other times of troubling racial tension, to make statements.”

Keep reading
More problems found in Richmond social services

A months-long investigation of the Richmond Department of Social Services, the third examination in recent months, has found further problems in the agency’s care of children and a lack of even basic understanding of procedures. Released late Thursday, a 22-page report from the Child Welfare League of America found that seriously ill children were left at home in dangerous conditions, sometimes never being placed on organ transplant lists for care. Social workers and city attorneys were overruled “without sufficient justification that alternate decisions were in the best interests” of a child’s safety. Chock-full of negative findings, the report perhaps more importantly fails to mention a single positive element of the agency’s operations, going so far as to describe the agency’s hotline as being “in disarray without a permanent supervisor” and out of touch with other units within the agency. In a blistering workforce recommendation, Child Welfare League investigators suggest that the Social Services Department “conduct a review of supervisory staff” to determine if the staff members possess the knowledge to “execute stated job responsibilities.”

~ Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond sends off summer with waterfront celebration by My VanCity posted on My VanCity

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Richmond sends off summer with waterfront celebration

Celebrate the end of summer at Richmond’s outdoor movie and concert bash this Sunday, August 31 at the Richmond Olympic Oval waterfront plaza. Come enjoy free live musical performances from up-and-coming Vancouver artists Jordan Klassen and Kytami before kicking back with the whole family for a free outdoor screening of the newest Disney animated classic, Frozen.

The celebration begins at 4 p.m. with lots of free family fun activities as the finale for Richmond’s Summer PlayDays program.

Fast rising Western Canadian singer-songwriter Jordan Klassen heads the entertainment line-up with a performance at 7 p.m. Following the release of his nationally-acclaimed full-length debut Repentance, Jordan’s catchy folk-pop ballads are gaining critical and popular acclaim. “Violinistextremist” Kytami also hits the stage at 5:45 p.m. With her fusion of classical violin and fiddle mixed with modern hip-hop, Kytami’s award-winning musical style will quickly get you on your feet dancing.

The evening wraps up with the screening of Frozen on a 40-foot screen at 8:15 p.m., proceeded by a Let It Go singalong with The Frozen Queen.

Throughout the evening, other performers include jugglers Mike Battie and Yuki Ueda, the Phase 3 Steel Drummers and plenty of fun for the kids including bouncy castles, the Richmond Art Gallery Truck, Tumble Bus, Cartwheels Inc. gymnastics zone, ping pong and more.

Delicious food will be available including BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs, Asian cuisine from All About the Grill, Cravings Kettle Corn, Tin Lizzy Donuts and Rocky Point Ice Cream.

The Richmond Food Bank Society will be on site and the first 200 people to visit their booth will receive a coupon for a free bag of popcorn. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or make a cash donation.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the shows. Space is limited so get there early. Ample free parking will be available at the City of Richmond’s Works Yard (5599 Lynas Lane). Bus shuttles will be running from 3:30 – 10:30 p.m. between the Works Yard and the Richmond Olympic Oval. Additional parking can be found at the WorkSafe BC parking lot.

For more details, visit or go to OvalSummerPlayDays on Facebook and @FunRichmond on Instagram and Twitter (#SummerPlayDays).

Summer PlayDays is presented by the City of Richmond and the Richmond Olympic Oval. Media partners are 102.7 The Peak and Miss 604. Summer PlayDays is part of Richmond Days of Summer, which is presented by Vancouver International Airport.

New Mural at RYSE Speaks to Values and Support for the Arts

by Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Media Justice Organizer

The new “RYSE Values Mural” sprawls like a woven tapestry of color on the wall facing MacDonald Avenue at 41st Street. The mural unveiling event held late June celebrated the completion with RYSE staff, youth members, city and county officials and public in attendance. The RYSE Values Mural is a literal and graphic representation of the center’s values. Founded in 2008 by a local youth led organizing campaign, the RYSE Youth Center serves youth and develops youth leadership through a social justice lens. The center has six values that guide its mission: Safety, Youth Leadership, Justice and Equity, Partnership, Creativity and Fun.  The vibrant mural makes a statement of what RYSE is all about.

“Before it was a blank wall and nobody driving from MacDonald Avenue would know what the center was. Now you can see this vibrant color and energy and identify it with RYSE and the youth,” says Anthony Martinez, former RYSE member and the Visual Arts Assistant for the Media Arts and Culture Department.

The mural is divided into 14 quadrants spanning across the wall.  In the top portion of the mural, each quadrant states a value in different font types.  The quadrants are in contrasting colors, yellow, lavender, blues and reds. Beneath the top quadrant is the row of pictorial and text quadrants.  The letters of RYSE of done in graffiti style while images such as a sunflower, the RYSE anniversary logo and hands holding graduation caps and globes.

In her speech, Executive Director Kimberly Aceves spoke on the mural’s importance. “The values that you see up there are the values that RYSE espouses. Its what we hold and it’s how we live our lives. Its our vision for how the Richmond community will live their lives,” said Aceves.

The RYSE Values Mural has been in production for close to a year. According to Cameron Thompson, Media Arts and Culture coordinator, the process involved designing and selecting graphics and text. Anthony Martinez helped conceptualized the mural and garnered feedback from RYSE youth members and staff.  The mural involved more than 30 youth throughout its creation, exposing youth to graffiti art form and technique, and mural preparation.

Michael Morales, a RYSE youth member, assisted on painting two of the lower row quadrants.  A four-year member and now 21 and attending Berkeley City College for graphic design, Morales says his involvement with the mural came natural. He was already in the youth center regularly and had previous experience with the arts. In return for his help, Morales says he received mentorship and exposure. “Cameron definitely helped me along the way in designing the hands and text. Being involved with RYSE has made it easier for me to show off my art and have it seen by multiple people other than just my immediate friends,” says Morales.

The Media Arts and Culture department from RYSE has helped fill a void in supporting the visual arts scene in Richmond says Morales and Martinez. In fact, the Visual Arts program, organized by Martinez and Visual Arts Coordinator Veronica Orozco, is a fairly recent program. In its short span it has provided youth artists opportunities to produce.  “There is no money coming into the arts. No one is coming up to youth and saying I will fund you. We are trying to build an art culture here in the city of Richmond. In SF and Oakland you have incredible art scenes, and Richmond has the culture for it too,” says Martinez.   

The support for the arts has recently fluctuated in Richmond. While the city of Richmond in its current budget for 2014-2014 fiscal year averted a $395,000 cut to the city’s public arts program, the city of Richmond approved a $100,000 funding cut to the Richmond Art Center, the largest and longest serving visual arts center in Richmond. Noting the affect budget cuts would have on the center, the City of Richmond chose to forgive a $96,000 loan from the Richmond Art Center.  Yet, support for the arts is also dwindling in the larger Bay Area, as public art institutions such as Intersection for the Arts has closed under the inability to navigate high cost in San Francisco. Yet, art continues to be a draw for interested public case in point Oakland’s First Friday event, Oakland Art Murmur. The Richmond Arts and Culture Commission from the City of Richmond, funded $5,500 through its Neighborhood Public Art mini-grant to the RYSE Values mural. The Richmond Arts and Culture Commission has supported other murals including the Alive and Free Richmond Mural at Harbour Way and MacDonald Avenue.

Richmond is not as developed as those two scenes, but the potential is there according to many. Morales adds, more places like RYSE are needed to support the arts in Richmond. “There are great artists but who are under rocks,” he says. Support is needed.Visual Arts Assistant Anthony Martinez, former RYSE youth member and intern, helps inaugurate the RYSE Values Mural at 41st and MacDonald. Photo Credit: Gemikia Henderson

  • AdrienneChainey
  • Monica Quesada Cordero
  • Monica Quesada Cordero's Album

Adrienne Chainey, junior at Salesian High School, won second place in the high school division of Richmond Writes! 2011 competition with her poem “What I give to you”.
On March 2, she recited her poem to the mayor of Richmond, Gayle McLaughlin, during the Meet with the Mayor monthly meeting at the M.F. Whittlesey Community Room at the Richmond Public Library.
“I wanted to give a more deep and more personal present to the latter generations,” said Chainey about her poem. “I know a lot of people tend to not have hope in themselves … I wanted to give them hope [to strive for] what they want to achieve.”

Music in the podcast by Jason Shaw, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR (
Update: Richmond Water Rates

Link is to the original Change.Org petition against the plan to raise Richmond’s water service rates to $49.99 a month.

Here’s the update from the petition starter, Scott Burger:

Hi, first of all, thank you so much for signing the petition. It now has over 1200 signatures.

It is getting through to City of Richmond leaders that citizens are demanding reform. This is good news, because it means that this petition is making more of an impact then 5 years ago when I first publicly spoke to City Council on this same subject.

It is worth noting that the City’s Department of Public Utilities is now seeking a consultant for cost of service analysis.

But I am not ready to declare victory yet. We need to see more action.

You may recall from the original petition statement:

The city does not need to hire a consultant or to commission a study of its water/sewer rates because the solution to this problem is simple: all Richmond needs to do is to adopt the rate schedule used by Henrico County, which buys water from Richmond. Henrico’s water/sewer rates are equitable and promote conservation.

Please keep sharing the online petition with your neighbors. Please keep demanding reform.