With direct support from the state of Virginia and abundant taxpayer money, Parity LLC—a company created by the executive director of the Enrichmond Foundation—acquired East End and Evergreen Cemeteries with negligible public disclosure and without substantive involvement of descendants or the citizens responsible for reclaiming large portions of those historic African American burial grounds.
Parity/Enrichmond had no cemetery management or preservation experience. It did not have the money to buy the cemeteries. And it presented no plan to save the cemeteries. State officials ignored all of this, just as they ignored objections raised by the community.
Parity/Enrichmond still has presented no comprehensive preservation plan for the cemeteries—four years after acquiring Evergreen and two years after buying East End. Nor has it proven itself a capable steward of the cemeteries, where thousands of graves remain lost in the woods.
This petition supports the demands that descendants and other members of the Black community made in a letter to Virginia governor Ralph S. Northam on March 10. They are calling for accountability, transparency, and moratorium on the transfer of public funds to Parity/Enrichmond. So are we.
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