Northam has so far rejected widespread calls for his resignation. Instead, he has been trying to reach out to black leaders across the state after a racist photo surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page that showed someone in black face and a person in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
Northam claimed he was not in the picture but admitted he wore blackface once in 1984 as part of a Michael Jackson costume.
When the scandal first broke, Rice said she was “very upset” and wanted Northam to step down.
But she has since changed her mind.
“All of us make mistakes,” said Rice. “Everyone deserves a second chance especially when they apologize and are trying to right what was wrong.”
Rice said she hopes Friday’s meeting will help Northam speak out against racial insensitivity.
“I want it to be a learning experience,” she said. “Something has got to be done to negate all of this stuff that’s been coming out. We’ve got to have a positive voice.”
The meeting follows a high-profile canceled visit from Northam at a historically black school Thursday.
Student leaders at Virginia Union University asked Northam not to show up because they were honoring the Richmond 34 and did not want Northam’s appearance to overshadow the tribute.
Northam said on Twitter that he would not attend because he wanted to respect “the wishes of the student body.”
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