Truth and Reconciliation Committee

On July 8, 2021, Williamsburg City Council passed Resolution #21-05, which directed City Manager Andrew O. Trivette to form a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to study the impact of racism and racial injustice both historically and presently on residents of the City and to present their findings and recommendations to City Council for further action.

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee, made up of seven community members, held its first meeting on Sept. 15, 2021 and met regularly through June 2023. 

Using the Truth and Reconciliation Committee's report as a guide, City Council directed City staff to pursue 1) hiring a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant and 2) launching a scholarship fund for degree or certificate programs for City residents with African American ancestors.

Members

City Manager Andrew O. Trivette and Mayor Douglas G. Pons invited seven members, five City of Williamsburg residents and two at-large members, to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

  • Bobby Braxton, Chair
  • Adam Canaday, Vice Chair
  • Katherine Barko-Alva
  • Helen Casey-Rutland
  • Lawrence Gholson II
  • Laura Hill
  • Benming "Benny" Zhang

Vice Mayor Pat Dent serves as an ex officio member. City Manager Andrew O. Trivette and three City staff members support the committee and attend meetings monthly.

To contact the committee, email trc@williamsburgva.gov.

Truth and Reconciliation Committee

(From left) Benming "Benny" Zhang, Lawrence Gholson II, Katherine Barko-Alva, Laura Hill, Helen Casey-Rutland, Adam Canaday, and Bobby Braxton.

Mission Statement

On Oct. 7, 2021, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee adopted a mission statement that provides the framework for its initial work:

The initial mission of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee includes but is not limited to:

  1. uncovering and acknowledging the truth about the City of Williamsburg’s racial history by understanding, assessing and dissecting the pervasive role that slavery, racial injustices, systemic racism and racial biases have played in defining our community today, and
  2. critically examining the ways the statutes, policies and practices of the City of Williamsburg have disadvantaged and disenfranchised its citizens of African ancestry; and
  3. offering remedies to make amends that will foster racial healing, equity and reconciliation.

Committee Report

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee presented its report to the Williamsburg City Council on Monday, July 10, 2023.

Photo Gallery

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