RICHMOND – Virginia State Conference NAACP President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. issued the following statement following last week’s announcement by Governor Ralph Northam outlining his plan to invest $700 million in American Rescue Plan funding to expedite the deployment of last-mile broadband infrastructure to unserved areas and close the digital divide within the next three years:
“The Virginia NAACP looks forward to universal broadband becoming a reality for the Commonwealth by 2024.
While we applaud the governor’s announcement, we reaffirm our repeated request of Governor Northam and the legislature to ensure that Virginia responsibly uses funds from the American Rescue Plan to drastically invest in infrastructure, programs, and scholarships at Virginia’s five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The Virginia NAACP and our more than 100 branches, youth councils and college chapters pledge to advocate with unprecedented vigor alongside Virginia’s HBCU leaders to demand that this one-time federal funding is used to make historic, once-in-a-lifetime investments in Virginia’s HBCUs.”
There are five Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia: Virginia Union University (1865), Hampton University (1868), Virginia State University (1882), Virginia University of Lynchburg (1886) and Norfolk State University (1935).
ABOUT THE VIRGINIA NAACP
Founded in 1935, the Virginia State Conference of NAACP Branches (Virginia NAACP) is the oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization in the Commonwealth, overseeing over 100 NAACP branches, youth councils, and college chapters. The Virginia NAACP is focused on being the preeminent voice of Black Virginians and advocating for policies and programs to benefit Blacks and people of color. You can read more about the Virginia NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting NAACPVA.org.
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