Virginia: Let's Make History

November 16, 2018

MBU students and alumni show their support with Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and MBCW Dean Carey Usher.

“I’m hoping that when I go into the workforce, the ERA will help put me at the same advantage as my male co-workers,” Kyra Blount ’22 said.

That’s what it’s all about for the bipartisan group VAratifyERA. On November 14, they brought the “10 Days of ERA” bus tour to MBU, part of a road trip of rallies at colleges across the state promoting Virginia’s historic opportunity to become the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).   

MBU students and alumni show their support with Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and MBCW Dean Carey Usher.

A statement ensuring gender equality is not yet part of the U.S. Constitution, even though the ERA ratification effort began 46 years ago. During its 400th consecutive General Assembly session in January 2019, Virginia can be the state that completes the process.

“The ERA applies to all of us: those here tonight, in Virginia, and all citizens of the United States, both men and women,” said Qadira Muhammad ’19, SGA president, to the crowd.

MBU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members, including Staunton Mayor Carolyn Dull, listened as Virginia Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, co-patron of the ERA resolution, called for action.

“We can’t just speak about gender equality, we have to make a movement,” Foy said.

MBU gets ready to greet the VAratifyERA bus outside the event.

Hosted by the Mary Baldwin College for Women (MBCW), the ERA event hoped to inspire people to sign a petition calling for Virginia to ratify. The organizers aim to deliver 20,000 signatures to the General Assembly in early January.

“We were so pleased to welcome VAratifyERA to Staunton with this wonderful opportunity to educate and engage our community in the ongoing work for equal rights,” said Carey Usher, MBCW dean. “Our students prepared for the visit with information sessions, a lecture with Dean Martha Walker, and a film screening and discussion.”   

Earlier in the day, the bus also visited the University of Virginia and James Madison University, and made stops at a total of 16 colleges and universities over the course of the tour.