The next installment in the Madison Vision series at James Madison University will focus on the rewriting of the Virginia Constitution and will take place on April 8.

The 1971 rewriting of the Virginia Constitution reversed a century-old practice of disenfranchising Black voters, according to a press release.

This progressive rewriting on the heels of the civil rights movement omitted the poll tax and other barriers to voting in Virginia, as well as the requirement of racial segregation in public schools. It also prohibited governmental discrimination based on “religious conviction, race, color, sex, or national origin” and in effect granted to every school-age person in the commonwealth a right to a high-quality education in a public school.

On April 8 at 7 p.m., James Madison University and Norfolk State University will host “Looking Back, Looking Forward: The 50th Anniversary of the 1971 Rewriting of the Virginia Constitution,” a virtual Madison Vision Series event.

A. E. Dick Howard, the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law at the University of Virginia, and retired Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth A. McClanahan will examine the 1971 revisions to the Virginia Constitution and their impact on the commonwealth.

The program will include a question-and-answer session with NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston and JMU President Jonathan R. Alger, as well as a student-led Q&A with members of the audience. Questions may be submitted the night of the event via chat or in advance.

The event will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Contact Megan Williams at 574-6272 or mwilliams@dnronline.com. Follow Megan on Twitter @DNR_Learn

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