Governor Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Commemorative Commission to Honor the Contributions of the Women of Virginia, along with other commission members and legislative leaders House Speaker William J. Howell and State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, today announced that the Commission would hold a series of nine forums or “community conversations” across the Commonwealth during the month of October to gather ideas and broad public input on an appropriate monument in Virginia’s Capitol Square in Richmond to commemorate the contributions of the women of Virginia. These public forums are an outgrowth from Senate Joint Resolution 11, which the Virginia General Assembly unanimously passed in 2010.
Speaking about the monument, Governor McDonnell remarked, “The uplifting and powerful stories of the women ofVirginiaare overdue for telling and underappreciated to this day. This monument will ensure that visitors to our State Capitol will have the opportunity to learn about and celebrate greatVirginiawomen. It will also further enhance the beauty and charm of historicCapitol Square. I encourage all Virginians to be a part of telling this pivotal part of our shared history.”
“Virginia’s history is storied and includes many significant accomplishments and contributions by women, which have strengthened our communities and improved our Commonwealth’s terrific quality of life,” said Speaker Howell. “How best to appropriately recognize these achievements is an important conversation to have and I hope and encourage all Virginians to participate in the forums.”
“The ideals, vision and spirit of sacrifice of Virginiawomen can and do serve as an inspiration to all Virginians,” added Senator Whipple. “It is therefore more than fitting to recognize and honor the contributions of Virginia’s women with the placement of a permanent monument on the grounds of Capitol Square. We welcome the public’s input in making the best decision possible.”
Tonight in the Festival Ballroom at 7p one of these talks is occurring. The purpose of the forums is to gather ideas and broad public input to commemorate the contributions of women inVirginia. Several students from the various schools attended and participated in the previous discussions. The commissions members who were present were very impressed with their input and would like to hear more from students such as JMU’s.
“Before moving forward with plans to honor and commemorate the diversity and remarkable achievements ofVirginiawomen with a monument onCapitol Square, the Commission recognized the value of gathering the ideas and recommendations of all Virginians,” said Governor McDonnell’s Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas. “This special project will serve as an enduring monument to the contributions of all women throughout our Commonwealth’s 400 year history, and we want to ensure that the views of all Virginians are heard and reflected in the final design.”