Author Archives: Lynn Boyd




Strength In Unity – Premier Link


December 28, 2020

The Sentara Move2Health Equity Coalition has awarded a grant in the amount of $10,000.00 to the Albemarle-Charlottesville Branch of the NAACP for the purpose of addressing vaccine hesitancy in communities of color.

The grant tasks the Albemarle-Charlottesville Branch of the NAACP, in partnership with Blue Ridge Health District, UVA Health, Sentara Martha Jefferson, and religious leaders to develop a communication and information sharing plan that would address the concerns of communities of color regarding the reluctance of being vaccinated.

Our focus will be to host listening sessions and town hall meetings (virtual and socially distanced in-person if safely possible) in the communities of color to understand the barriers of being vaccinated, and to receive feedback on the roll out as well as to inform/influence a vaccination strategy.

The product of this endeavor is to produce a factually accurate and transparent video/Public Service Announcement (PSA) to be shared via all forms of media (YouTube, Face Book, local TV stations and religious leader) to educate communities of color and positively impact the acceptance of being vaccinated.

Baker-Butler Elementary School Is Nationally Recognized For Closing Achievement Gaps

Baker-Butler is the first school in Virginia to be named a National Blue Ribbon school for closing the achievement gap between student population, English learners, special education students, and students coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

According to the Virginia Department of Education, 53 schools in the state met the criteria for the Blue Ribbon Program’s Exemplary Award for Closing Achievement Gaps, but only four schools this year received this award.


The Equity Specialist team at Albemarle County Public Schools received the Virginia Department of Education’s Mary Peake Award for Excellence in Education Equity. This award honors individuals and organizations that have “demonstrated a sustained commitment to eliminating inequities or remedying the effects of inequities in education”. 

 In describing the Excellence in Education Equity award, State Superintendent Dr. James Lane said: “This commitment includes efforts to close opportunity and achievement gaps; the elimination of disproportionality in school discipline, graduation and dropout rates; expanding access to gifted education and advanced programs and improving supports and outcomes for English learners”. 

The equity specialists include Ayanna Mitchell, Leilani Keys, and Lars Holmstrom and are led by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bernard Hairston. 

Ms. Peake, who the award was named for, taught freed and enslaved blacks in the Hampton area to read.  Her classes were often held underneath the Emancipation Oak on Hampton University’s campus.  (Ms. Peake taught in the 1820-30’s before Hampton was organized, and died of tuberculosis in her early 30’s.)


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The corona virus pandemic focused the nation’s attention on the essential role public schools play in the lives of families and communities. It’s also exposed the severe racial inequalities that continue to plague our education system and disadvantage students of color.

But rather than addressing these problems, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, fully supported and endorsed by the Trump Administration, took action to exploit the pandemic and promote her personal agenda of funneling taxpayer dollars to private schools and taking resources away from the schools and the students who need it most.

We weren’t just going to standby and watch it happen. That’s why we sued on behalf of students of color across the nation – and we WON!

This decision sends a clear signal that Secretary DeVos cannot use illegal means to advance her harmful agenda to the detriment of our highest need students.

Janette, we didn’t stop with Betsy DeVos. We also sued Governor DeSantis in Florida for trying to force schools to reopen in August – endangering teachers and students alike. The court found that DeSantis arbitrarily prioritized reopening schools statewide over the safety and the advice of health experts.

This decision showed that the DeSantis Order was unconstitutional to the extent that it arbitrarily disregards safety, denies local school boards decision making with respect to reopening brick and mortar schools, and conditions funding on an approved reopening plan.

These cases are great victories but when it comes to confronting and overcoming the systemic racism that is deeply rooted in our education system, the fight is far from over! Janette, will you make a generous donation today to help us continue to tackle these challenges and protect our nation’s school children?

The march continues,

Janette McCarthy-Wallace
NAACP, Interim General Counsel


Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, issued the following statement regarding the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Wisconsin father of three:

“The appalling and heinous shooting of Jacob Blake is yet another stark reminder of the free-willing atrocities committed against Black people at the hands of those entrusted to maintain public safety. This recent shooting comes on the heels of civil unrest that has caused the world to take heed to a long-standing pandemic of systemic racism and injustice. 

The unfortunate and sobering reality is that Black men and women are under perpetual fear of having their life taken from them at any given moment while engaging with police officers. In a country where the phrase, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” epitomizes “unalienable rights,” Jacob Blake is another prime example, in a succession of individuals, that the promises of this nation ring hollow for too many to be meritorious. 

At this moment, the work of the American people is clear and unquestionable; we must continue to fight, organize, and mobilize against police brutality, and state-sanctioned killings at the hands of law enforcement. While the visions of Jacob Blake, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others play over and over in our minds, we must not grow weary until we’ve achieved police liability and substantive change is realized. If there was ever a time for us to unite against a common threat to the existence of Black people, it is now.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jacob Blake, his family, and friends, as he continues to fight for his life and to return to his children.