Richmond Crusade for Voters

 Founded in 1956

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned "separate but equal," the racist doctrine allowing Virginia and other states to maintain segregated schools that shortchanged black students for years to come.

 

In 1956, the Richmond Crusade for Voters was founded to give implementation to the decision. 

 

The Richmond Crusade for Voters grew out of an interracial group called The Council to save Public Schools that was formed to oppose a January 1956 statewide referendum that would have allowed local governments to block integration of public schools. 

 

The measure passed statewide by about a 4-1 margin. Black voters turnout in Richmond was disappointing, with less than a 50 percent turnout of approximately 8,500 blacks then registered. 

 

About one dozen blacks from the Council To Save Public Schools decided after the referendum that a voter education organization devoted to black people was needed in Richmond. Thus the Richmond Crusade for Voters was founded. 

 

The "founding" meeting was held at the Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church on North First Street in Jackson Ward. In attendance were Dr. Williams S. Thornton, Dr. William Ferguson Reid, and Mr. John M. Brooks. They were thereafter known as the "founders" of the organization.

 

In 1956, the objectives of the organization were:

  1. Increase the Negro votes in Richmond, Virginia through year-round voter registration activities.

  2. To increase Negroes political awareness.

  3. To study the records of candidates and give recommendations.

  4. To push for equal job opportunities in City Hall.

Since its inception, the Crusade for Voters gained prominence for increasing the political influence and voting strength of African-Americans. Today, the struggle continues, and the Crusade for Voters remains diligent to opening closed doors, challenging voter suppression, and educating citizens on the power of the vote. 

Awards

Crusader of the Year

Gerry Rawlinson

In Appreciation of Your Outstanding Services

Richmond Crusade for Voters

October 7, 2017

Community Service Award

Club 533

In Appreciation of Your Outstanding Community Services

Richmond Crusade for Voters

October 7, 2017

Community Service Award

Military Retirees Club

In Appreciation of Your Outstanding Community Services

Richmond Crusade for Voters

October 7, 2017

Community Service Award

Sheriff "C.T." Woody

In Appreciation of Your Community Services and Ledership at the Richmond Justice Center

Richmond Crusade for Voters

October 7, 2017

Crusade Founders Award

Governor Terence McAuliffe

In Appreciation of Your Valor in Restoring the Voting Rights to 167,000 Felons

Richmond Crusade for Voters

October 7, 2017

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