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Editorial: The Healing Begins

This statue is a symbol of oppression, and if it’s a symbol, it’s an idol, and if it’s an idol, I as a Christian am convinced that the idols must be torn down.

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This statue is a symbol of oppression, and if it’s a symbol, it’s an idol, and if it’s an idol, I as a Christian am convinced that the idols must be torn down.

These words were spoken by Reverend Rob W Lee, great-great-nephew of Confederate General Robert E Lee. His words carry weight with the family name. And with any family requests, any arguments afterwards are null and void.

With convincing words, the Reverend Lee set the course for healing. Along with Governor Northam’s order, motions were set to remove the Lee Monument. The next day, all votes from City Council were secured to remove all the Confederate Monuments per Mayor Stoney’s declaration.

It hasn’t been 2 weeks since George Floyd was murdered by police and the world feels different. Demonstrations and protests were met with violent resistance. Looting and destruction forced many businesses around the country to board their windows. Richmond was no different. Peaceful demonstrators were met with tear gas and pepper spray at the Lee and JEB Stuart monuments.

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up
-James Baldwin

Finally, I had to chance to go see the Lee Statue for myself Friday afternoon. I was not able to join in the demonstrations for various reasons (we’re still in a pandemic) but felt the need to go see it with my own eyes and lens. Admittedly, there was some anxiety parking at a location that had experienced so much turmoil just a few days ago. As I walked across Monument, I heard folk tell a couple on a porch “I love y’all!” and all of sudden the trepidation melted. It felt like walking into a cathedral.

Acoustic guitar played notes over the air as the circle was neared. Crossing the circle, I was struck by the image of black mothers walking their children along and up the monument. Tents were set up with sealed bottles of water and cheerful people to give them out along with smiles and grace. Folk sat in lawn chairs soaking up the sun and moment while others ambled around, taking pictures. It felt… euphoric. It felt like a place where many can come together to gain peace

The removal of the statues will take time but it is a huge step.

Instead of an avenue of division, Monument Avenue can be a place where people come together. Instead of discord; harmony. Instead of scars; healing. Instead of the past; the future Instead of the past; love.

Once this pandemic is over, Monument Avenue will become a place where peace is exchanged, where bread is broken, where souls can be healed.

Between Boulevard and Belvidere on Monument, everyone is welcome into the sanctuary to join in on a future well worth embracing.

God didn’t make anybody to be a second-class citizen. Of this country, or the human family. I believe it because I believe that’s what the scripture teaches. And that is clearly what Jesus teaches. He says come into me all of you. He didn’t limit love. The dude, he got it.
– Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry

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Is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in Padow's bacon.

Community

Kickers Announce Initial Roster Decisions

The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

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The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

“We worked very hard over the past few years to develop our culture here in Richmond, and this past season we put together a great run to win the regular season Championship,” Kickers’ Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky said. “With that success, we didn’t win the games we needed to in the playoffs.

“We have some great young players chasing higher-level opportunities, and we have some players heading to new opportunities. We are adding some good players and at the same time, we are bringing back the backbone of the culture the guys have created.”

Forwards Matthew Bentley and Owayne Gordon and midfielder Chandler O’Dwyer return to the Roos after their contract options for 2023 were picked up by the club.

Bentley finished his first professional season tied for second on the team with six goals and tied for fifth with three assists while starting 18 of 26 league matches. Gordon, a midseason signing, tied for fourth on the team with five goals while also making three assists in 22 league appearances. O’Dwyer made his professional debut in the Kickers’ second US Open Cup match and finished with three appearances across all competitions.

Reigning back-to-back-to-back USL League One MVP and Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi and 2022 USL League One Goalkeeper of the Year Nominee and Kickers’ goalkeeping coach Akira Fitzgerald have existing contracts for 2023.

The contract options for midfielders Matthew Bolduc, Leonardo Baima, and Christian Molina and goalkeeper Austin Causey were declined by the club.

The 2023 season will be here before you know it! Kickers fans can get ready now by placing a $100 deposit for a 2023 season ticket. With one additional regular season match and two new opponents joining USL League One, City Stadium will be the place to be. Additional information can be found at richmondkickers.com/seasontickets.

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Rostered Players for 2023 as of December 7, 2022 

GOALKEEPERS: Akira Fitzgerald

DEFENDERS: 

MIDFIELDERS: Chandler O’Dwyer

FORWARDS: Emiliano Terzaghi, Matthew Bentley, Owayne Gordon

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The Fan

Councilperson Jordan hosting last 2nd District meeting of 2022 tonight

Topics of the virtual meeting include a 2023 General Assembly preview, infrastructure and crime updates, and details on the city’s forthcoming short-term rental and accessory dwelling unit changes.

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From Councilperson Jordan’s office:

Our last Second District community meeting of the year is tonight! Join our office, neighbors, and guest presenters at 6pm via Zoom for:

  • 2023 General Assembly preview from Delegate Betsy Carr
  • Public Safety updates from the Richmond Police Department
  • Second District infrastructure updates from Department of Public Works staff
  • Updates on the short term rentals, accessory dwelling units, and parking minimums zoning changes process from Planning Department staff

You can join the Zoom meeting (no pre-registration required) via this link, and check out and share the Facebook event here.

Not able to make it tonight? Send any questions or comments you have to us ahead of time by email, and we’ll address them during the meeting. A full recording of the meeting will be posted to our YouTube channel.

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Community

Toy Drive at WPA

Buy a treat for yourself and donate a toy for someone else.

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Just saw this on Facebook and thought the good folks of H&H might pitch in to help some kids.

WPA Facebook

Hello WPA family! We are hosting a toy drive to support a local non profit @cc4virginia. Grab a treat and drop off a toy into Santa’s bag❤️💚 accepting donations up to 12/20/25
— at WPA Bakery.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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