Appomattox for Equality: A Conversation with Joetricia Humbles
Written by Alyssa Wilson, University of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
Appomattox for Equality is a local nonprofit organization that aims to promote equality and minimize discrimination through the use of education, communication and community support. Appomattox for Equality wants to ensure that every underrepresented individual has an equal seat at the table. Read more below to learn more about this passion-driven organization.
SHARE: Tell me about who you are and what you do with Appomattox for Equality.
Joetricia: I am one of the founding members and lead agent [of Appomattox for Equality]. I organize and set up different activities. I guess you could say I’m kind of like the public relations person.
SHARE: What is the mission and vision of Appomattox for Equality?
Joetricia: Appomattox for Equality is a grassroots organization that really wants to educate the community regarding racial equity, social justice and our main focus is to have a united community while understanding each other’s perspectives. We are not free unless everyone is free.
We want to end discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices because we all have them. We are also wanting to bring resources to individuals here in Appomattox, because we are a rural area and some services are hard to get. We do a lot of collaborations in order to help people. We work with the Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park on educating people about the true foundations of Appomattox and the impact of enslaved and free people.
We do a Laptop for Scholars program where we give away two laptops to anyone that lives in Appomattox who needs a laptop for college. There is no age limit, because there are a lot of adults who are going back to school. We also do a backpack giveaway and school supply drive. This past year was our biggest; we gave away about 25 backpacks.
Our really big thing that we do is Juneteenth. I think that’s really important as far as the legacy and heritage that we have here in Appomattox. It’s an opportunity for various local historical museums to get involved as well that a lot of people don’t go to. For us to move forward we have to learn about our past.
SHARE: What would you say are some of the organizations’ biggest goals for the year?
Joetricia: We are collaborating with the Historical Park in getting programs together for their Freedom Surrender day, so that’s a big goal for us. Another goal is getting data and information from community members in order to get a better handle on what the needs are. Getting data is important to move towards helping to create programs and collaborations. One thing we also want to do is have a health fair. The ability to get health services in rural areas, and especially in the African American community, can be difficult. Our biggest thing is really bringing the support and the needs for our community.
SHARE: What events and programs are coming up soon for your organization?
Joetricia: The earliest event is the collaboration with the Appomattox Historical Park for Freedom Surrender Day, which is April 7 - 9, and the actual surrender day happened on the ninth. The next thing is our Juneteenth celebration, which we have decided on June 16th as the kick-off for Juneteenth. We feel like because the enslaved people of Appomattox were the first to be freed, that it’s important for us to be part of this historical day. We think that us being the kick-off to all of the celebrations in the area would be a great foundation for us. In May, we do our Laptop for Scholars program. On May 30th we are collaborating with the Hillcats for a fundraiser. Part of the ticket proceeds will go to Appomattox for Equality. The game is at 6:30 and the opening for the selling of those tickets will be March 1st.
SHARE: What is your favorite Juneteenth memory?
Joetricia: Just being able to have an annual Juneteenth celebration and the willingness of community businesses and individuals to come out and support us.
To learn more about this wonderful organization, visit their SHARE profile here.
To see our SHARE Greater Lynchburg interview with Joetricia on The Mike Show/Radio434.com, click the image below.