Equality summit to discuss ERA ratification today

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Heather Bell

BLACKSBURG – An event being held today in Blacksburg seeks to engage participants in the importance of passing the Equal Rights Amendment.

VAratifyERA, an all-volunteer, nonpartisan grassroots campaign supporting ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia, is hosting the Central by SWVA Women’s Equality Summit beginning today at 11 a.m. at the Blacksburg Community Center. Everyone is welcome and no registration is required.

“Sadly, there have been many misconceptions about the ERA,”said event organizer Laurie Buchwald Thursday. “We hope to dispel those misunderstandings and help people understand how the ERA benefits all of us – women, men, and families.

We are bringing together speakers from around the Commonwealth, speakers with a variety of backgrounds and interests – attorneys, health care providers, those with a back ground in faith, and activists.”

“We anticipate conversations, not lectures; [we seek] interactions and explanations.  Overall, an inspiring day! People can come for one conversation or all four, and this is a non-partisan event,” she continued.

The four areas of discussion that will be covered include:

Faith, Culture and the ERA: A conversation on the intersection of faith, Appalachian culture and the role of women.

Equity and the ERA: A conversation on how equity for women will improve quality of life for women, families and our community.

Diversity and the ERA: A conversation focused on the impact the ERA will have on communities of color and diverse political views.

A Better World Because of Equal Rights: A conversation about how women’s entrance to traditionally male spaces (e.g., government, manufacturing) has improved the lives of men.

“Bring a bag lunch and your favorite beverage to join the fun as we connect people across the state to develop fellowship, synergy, and action plans to effect political change,” states a description about the event.

The VAratifyERA campaign “works with other organizations across the commonwealth and nationally who support ERA ratification.”

“We advocate for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, but do not endorse or support candidates,” states the organization mission. “Virginia is one vote away
from ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. This fall, every seat in Virginia’s Senate and House of Delegates is up for election.”