The Virginia Civil Rights Commission
In 2005, the Governor Mark R. Warner and the Virginia General Assembly established a memorial commission tasked with selecting a monument for Capitol Square in honor of the struggle for full civil rights for Virginia's African American citizens.
The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial Commission, comprised of elected and civic leaders, selected a subject for the memorial, a site and an artist. The memorial honors the student protest at the Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia. Their organized walkout in 1951, and subsequent lawsuit, became one of the cases joined with and argued before the Supreme Court as Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka.
The memorial is sited on Capitol Square grounds in Richmond, Virginia, outside the gates of the Executive Mansion and to the right of the statue of Hunter McGuire, MD. Stanley Bleifeld, an accomplished sculptor, was selected from a competitive process to capture the spirit of the protest and those who participated in this important event. The memorial was installed on July 21, 2008.
Members of the Civil Rights Memorial Commission
- Governor Timothy M. Kaine, Chair
- The Honorable Bill Bolling, Lieutenant Governor
- The Honorable William J. Howell, Speaker of the House of Delegates
- The Honorable Thomas K. Norment, Senator of Virginia
- The Honorable Jennifer McClellan, Delegate in the Virginia House of Delegates
- Lisa Collis, former First Lady of Virginia.
- Leroy R. Hassell, Sr., Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court.
- Judith C. Anderson, former Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- Dr. Woody Holton, Professor of History at the University of Richmond.
- Rita O. Moseley, a 25-year employee with Prince Edward County High School