Hampton Roads, Va. – Virginia Organizing has chapters in most of Hampton Roads: Suffolk, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Hampton, and Newport News. Chapters organize local campaigns and their 17 chapters around the state come together to work on broader statewide issues. One third of Virginia Organizing’s budget comes from grassroots donations.
This year, chapters in the 757 are participating in Give Local 757, which is a “program created by the Peninsula Community Foundation to spark and grow philanthropy” in Hampton Roads. Give Local 757 has raised $9 million for non-profits in the area since its inception.
Some of the efforts that Virginia Organizing’s chapters have organized:
- The Portsmouth chapter won a campaign to implement mindfulness in the elementary schools. They are currently trying to get city council to give more funding for mental health and the local CSB.
- The Norfolk Chapter won a campaign to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. They are now focusing on asking the city to provide more affordable housing.
- The Suffolk Chapter has been working to implement Marcus Alert and a Civilian Review Board in Suffolk.
- The Newport News and Hampton Chapter has been working on establishing a regional overnight shelter on the peninsula to address housing insecurity and homelessness, and they are asking city council to use vacant hotels to address the immediate need for safe housing.
“There are no shelters. So where do you go?” said Akoma Love, a Newport News/Hampton Chapter member who is an unhoused Newport News resident.
“I was glad to learn of Virginia Organizing and the issues they are working on. We have people in the street. We cannot step over this issue which impacts everyone. Everyone needs a place,” Love added.
“We are excited about all of the activity that is happening all over Hampton Roads to promote social justice and improve our communities,” said Barbara Harris, a member of Virginia Organizing’s State Governing Board and a leader in the Norfolk Chapter.
Chapter members are available for interview, to talk about all of the campaigns they are working on throughout Hampton Roads. Please contact Meghan to set up interviews in any of the above-mentioned cities at 847-922-1213 or Meghan@virginia-organizing.org.