Emgage Applauds Creation of Civil Rights Division Within Virginia Attorney General Office

January 7, 2020

After years of dedication from Emgage and other advocacy organizations, yesterday Attorney General Mark Herring announced the creation of the Office of Civil Rights within the Office of the Attorney General. This is a first step in a long-term plan to protect the civil rights of Virginians.

The office will focus on compliance with civil rights laws and policies, investigate civil rights complaints, and provide resources for Virginians. This office will include division to:

  • Conduct pattern or practice investigations to identify and eliminate unconstitutional and illegal policing
  • Combat LGBTQ and gender-based discrimination
  • Combat discrimination in employment and places of public accommodation
  • Protect the Rights of expectant and new mothers

“We are grateful that our advocacy alongside the Virginia Coalition of Immigrant Rights has led the Office of the Attorney General to reflect the centrality in upholding civil rights in its mission. We hope this move ushers in an era of increased vigilance towards criminal justice reform and in advocating for the rights and protections of the most vulnerable communities in our commonwealth.” – Mohamed Gula,  Executive Director of Emgage Virginia

“The creation of the Office of Civil Rights is a step for the Commonwealth to stand up for equity,” said Monica Sarmiento, the Executive Director for Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “The creation of this office is long overdue. This office will serve as a resource to both individuals and communities that deserve to have the integrity of their civil rights upheld and defended.”

There will be legislation for the 2021 General Assembly Session to ensure the office is a permanent part of the Office of the Attorney General.

To contact Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, reach out to Ariel Garayar at Press@vacir.org.

Emgage is a 501c(3) with national headquarters in Washington, D.C., and state chapters in Michigan, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York, that implements an ecosystem of programs to develop the capacity of the Muslim voter to ensure that our narrative is part of the American fabric. Our programs include civic educational events such as issue forums and town halls, voter initiatives including Get Out The Vote (GOTV), and specific programs for the youth in order to mentor and support the next generation of leaders.