Va. special commission formed after Charlottesville violence to start Tuesday

WASHINGTON — A special commission established to look at what sparked the deadly violence in Charlottesville in August will meet for the first time on Tuesday. 

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe formed the Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with the goal to look into the violence that stemmed from the Aug. 11-12 white supremacist rally and counter-protests.

“The commission will be charged with assessing how hatred and discrimination against racial minorities, religious groups and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals led to those tragic events,” a news release on the commission stated.

The commission will also be tasked to identify changes that could be made at a state and federal level, which will make Virginia a more inclusive state, according to the governor’s office. It will also be made up of religious leaders, community leaders, state officials and lawmakers.

“I think it’s a model and many other states should follow suit,” said Doron Ezickson, Anti-Defamation League Washington, D.C. regional director, who is also a member of the new commission.

Ezikson said some of what he hopes to contribute is offering information on the tactics hate groups use and how he believes the community should respond to these events. He added that he wants to learn what is going on, on a local level, to combat hate in the commonwealth.

“It will take cooperation from all of us to make a difference and to overcome this challenge,” Ezikson said.

The first meeting takes place Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Virginia.


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