The Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County, Virginia, approved funding for a study looking at the impacts of illegal segregation, which occurred in the county for 14 years after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case.
The study will be conducted by the University of Virginia’s Center for Race and Public Education in the South in two phases and will cost $250,000. The first phase will take a closer look at how residents were impacted and the social and educational ramifications. The second phase will focus on remedies and a path forward for the county.
Plans for the study began in September 2021. The year before, Loudoun County Public Schools and the Board of Supervisors co-signed a letter apologizing to the Black community for “the negative impact, damage and disadvantages to Black students and families that were caused by decisions made” by the county government and school leaders at the time.
Six supervisors voted in favor of conducting the study with one board member absent during Tuesday’s meeting. Catoctin Supervisor Caleb Kershner voted against the proposal, while Dulles Supervisor Matt Letourneau abstained, citing a need for more details about how the study’s findings will be addressed.
Kershner said the wrongs of the past by those in the past should not impact the community today.
“To ask the community to make restorative reparations for the wrongs of those in the past becomes quite frankly an impossible task,” he added.
Chair Phyllis Randall was among those supporting the study, saying, “Just because it didn’t happen today doesn’t mean you still don’t feel it. The history of this country is still played out currently.”
The study is expected to take two years to complete. The task force will begin next March and plans to present findings to the board in October 2024.