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VCC Loan Commitment Highlighted in Congressional Press Release



United States Congress
Washington, D.C.
September 10, 2010
Contact:               Michael Kelly (Perriello) 434-414-2567
                                Will Jenkins (Webb) 202-224-4024
Perriello and Webb Announce over $1 Million for Robert Russa Moton Civil Rights Museum
Washington, D.C.—Congressman Tom Perriello and Senator Jim Webb today announced a $1.026 million federal  loan to support the Robert Russa Moton Museum, a center for the study of civil rights in education located in Farmville. The loan will finance the restoration of the historic Robert Russa Moton High School auditorium where Barbara Johns delivered her famous “call to action” on April 23, 1951.
“The Moton Museum tells an incredibly compelling story about a very dark period in our history, but does so in a way that educates the visitor and honors those who led the fight for equality. This loan is going to allow the Museum to tell the story more fully and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead,” said Rep. Perriello. “Historic resources have cultural, intrinsic, and economic value to our communities and I congratulate the Museum on this step forward in realizing their vision.”
“This funding will help Robert Russa Moton Museum preserve an important part of Virginia civil rights history, so that future generations can learn from the past and be inspired to challenge injustice,” said Senator Webb.
When restoration of the auditorium is completed with the help of this loan, museum visitors will begin their experience with a dramatization of Miss Johns’ speech, directed by Virginian Tim Reid. Loan funds will also assist in renovating museum administrative offices, the gift shop and the main entrance corridors to ensure a world-class experience for visitors.
“We are extremely grateful of the assistance provided by the offices of Sen. Webb and Congressman Perriello in making these funds available,” said Lacy Ward, executive director of the Moton Museum. “It's been a pleasure working with both of our partners on this deal: USDA Rural Development and Virginia Community Capital.”
This loan comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities program and includes $700,000 in direct loans to the museum, as well as $326,000 in additional conditional loans, at a rate of 4% for over a 40 year term. Rep. Perriello advocated for the USDA loan, and he and Sen. Webb previously requested and secured $100,000 in support of the Museum.
On April 23, 1951, student Barbara Johns led a walk out in protest of the deplorable conditions at her segregated high school, Moton High School. Following the walkout, a legal challenge was made against the Prince Edward County School Board to address the disparity between segregated schools in the county. The suit eventually became part of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education suit which ordered the desegregation of public schools.
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