Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Arc of Virginia

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This week on Richmond Independent Radio News, community organization rallies Monday.

Many people associate February with civil rights. It is, after all, Black History Month and a time to reflect on African Americans’ struggle for equality. But another group also celebrates its progress during February. Fifty-five years ago – on February 15th 19-55 -- families of people with developmental disabilities formed the organization called The Arc of Virginia to create a voice in Virginia’s capital. … This created a movement that brought the community together in recognizing Virginians with developmental disabilities. Monday, to continue their movement, The Arc of Virginia is having a March for Rights at the Bell Tower in Capitol Square. Continuing on, the rally will march to the Virginia General Assembly building. There they will hold a vigil for the 6,000 Virginians who are still waiting for community-based services. They will fill every floor of the building and stand in protest of the $47 million being spent on the rebuilding and renovations of segregated state institutions. Each of the nine floors are for specific regions of Virginia, the first floor designated for Richmond. At 1 p.m. the group will meet with their legislators to voice their concerns about what should be done for the intellectual and developmental disabled people of Virginia.

Jamie Liban, executive director of The Arc of Virginia urges people to come out.

Arc’s main 2010 Legislative goal is to restore major cuts that have been imposed and oppose new building of institutions.

The Arc of Virginia is an advocacy group with the mission to advocate the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization speaks out on issues that not only affect the people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities but, their families as well. They seek to help people with disabilities, and urge others to become a part of the movement. They have six core values starting with people first, then creating involvement through democracy. With their leadership they create community participation, and have diversity among their members and conduct their business with integrity and excellence.

The rally starts at 10am at the intersection of 9th and Franklin Streets. To keep up with The Arc of Virginia you can visit their website at or catch them on twitter or facebook at or You can also sign up for Action Alerts that tell you about budget issues and legislation that may affect you by going to

I’m Laura Peters for Richmond Independent Radio News. If you have news ideas you can email them to or check out our blog at

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