Leaders of Virginia Union University (VUU), a Historic Black College and University, the Virginia Hispanic Foundation (VHF), and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC), gathered on Friday, November 8, in front of the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial at the State Capitol. They announced the signing of a historic resolution to “jointly promote education to those who are considered socially and economically disadvantaged.”
Political dignitaries joining VUU’s President and CEO, Dr. Hakim Lucas, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s CEO and Founder, Michel Zajur, and VHF’s Director, Lisa Zajur, included Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia Delegate Lamont Bagby, chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, Virginia Delegate Betsy Carr and former Richmond Mayor, Dwight Jones.
“This historic resolution between these two esteemed institutions serves to create unprecedented educational and other opportunities for Virginia’s Black and Hispanic students, and builds on the rich accomplishments and legacies of both institutions,” said Dr. Lucas.
Specifically, the resolution –– approved by both organizations’ governing Boards –– calls for an exclusive, five-year relationship to enhance, promote, create and develop educational opportunities, economic programs, cross cultural understanding, diversity inclusion initiatives, and cultural engagement advocacy for the Hispanic and African American communities at large, as well as to assist socially and economically disadvantaged students acquire a strong educational foundation and support as a result of the resources both organizations collectively possess.
“Our mission drives everything that we do in offering accessible direct services, information, and education to the Hispanic community to successfully integrate themselves in Virginia,” stated President/CEO, Michel Zajur of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber.
Hispanic students are the youngest demographic in the U.S. and fastest growing segment of our labor force, with the lowest high school and college graduation rates out of any demographic. The VHF’s Passport to Education Programs aim to support the aspiration of Hispanic students in their journey to be proactive and successful leaders in the community, through education and mentorship.
Details, including when the program will go into effect, who may qualify and how they apply for access to resources or monetary aid will be released in the near future, as well as via a public website to be launched in the near future.
About Virginia Union University
Virginia Union University is a premier liberal arts urban institution of higher education and center of excellence for the preparation of students and the development of leaders for tomorrow’s world. It was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. Virginia Union University offers a broad range of educational opportunities that advances liberal arts education, teaching, research, science, technology, continuing education, civic engagement, and international experiences. Visit https://www.vuu.edu/ for more information.
About the Virginia Hispanic Foundation (VHF)
Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of providing information, education and resources to Virginia’s Hispanic community, and to support the aspiration of Hispanic students in their journey to be proactive and successful leaders in the community, through education and mentorship. www.VAHF.org