Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Secretary To The Commonwealth To Speak At Gemeinschaft's Annual Fundraiser April 22 (Note Change of Venue)

Levar Stoney
“We put ourselves up to be a first-class state, yet we have one of the highest rates of second-class citizens—one of the highest rates of disenfranchisement.” 
- Levar Stoney

The following is a condensed version of an article in the Winter, 2015, Gemeinschaft newsletter promoting its annual fundraising dinner to be held at the Harrisonburg Mennonite Church Friday, April 22, with a silent auction from 5 pm and the program and meal (prepared by Gemeinschaft chefs!) starting at 6 pm: 

A 2004 graduate of James Madison University, Levar Stoney is a living inspiration. After completing his undergraduate degree in political science, he attended the Virginia Commonwealth University Minority Political Leadership Institute, finishing in 2006. 

Currently serving as the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, since January of 2015, Stoney has made tremendous strides. Not only has he broken racial barriers by becoming the first African American to be Secretary of the Commonwealth, he is also presently the youngest affiliate of Governor McAuliffe’s cabinet. 

In line with the mission of Gemeinschaft Home, Levar Stoney’s attitude and motivation to reach above and beyond the “status quo,” to achieve something greater, offers encouragement to individuals who have experienced hardships and substantial setbacks, giving them a sense of hope and a desire to persevere. We extend our gratitude to Levar Stoney who has accepted our invitation to give the keynote address during our annual banquet next April. 

Board member Kay Knickrehm initially approached Stoney about speaking at the event, because of his heavy involvement with reforming policies that concern restoring citizen rights for ex-offenders. Stoney’s continuous work to help a population that is oftentimes overlooked and disregarded resonates loudly with the goals of Gemeinschaft Home. 

In October of 2015, Governor McAuliffe assigned Stoney to lead Virginia’s efforts to streamline the process of restoring voting rights for convicted felons who have completed their prison sentence. He also co-chairs the governor’s commission that will review the Commonwealth’s policy on parole. 

Read Lativia Taylor's entire piece at
Please RSVP, by April 15 if possible, to 540-434-1690  or to
If you can't attend, you can make a contribution online at

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