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Statement on Planned Monument Protest

September 14, 2017

An alert about a planned rally, this Saturday, on Monument Avenue by those who seek to preserve Confederate History.

Dear Virginia Union University Family,

I want to alert you about a planned rally, this Saturday, on Monument Avenue by those who seek to preserve Confederate History. This gathering has not been approved by the City of Richmond and may be met with counter-protesters. It has the potential to, very quickly, become emotionally and racially charged much like what was witnessed in Charlottesville, VA.

It is my recommendation, and that of the university, that you avoid Monument Avenue and Broad Street beginning tonight through Sunday.  This is out of concern for your safety and your right of free speech and peaceful assembly.  The VUU Police Department is closely monitoring information and plans put in place by city and state authorities. This event is not expected to be a safe environment of free expression.

As another layer of precaution, we suggest that everyone adhere to a temporary change in traffic pattern and access to campus. Please access VUU’s campus and Saturday’s 6:00 p.m. game by using Chamberlayne Avenue, Brook Road, or Lombardy Street. These requests should begin tonight (Thursday) through Sunday. We are being mindful of Saturday’s 6:00 p.m. football game vs. Winston-Salem State University. It is our desire to keep everyone safe and that means avoiding Monument Avenue and Broad Street.

Again, this request is out of concern for your safety and that of our guests. We respect your right to the freedom of speech, expression and peaceful assembly.  We respect your right to stand and speak up for what you believe in as an American Citizen. However, this should be done in a setting that promotes the free flow of ideas and beliefs without the threat of violence and bodily harm.

The Virginia Union University Police Department will continue to monitor the situation on this weekend. The safety and well-being of all VUU community members is our foremost concern.

Sincerely,

Col. Carlton G. Edwards

Chief of Police

Virginia Union University