Gov. Northam doubles down on improving equity during stop in Roanoke


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Ralph Northam made a stop at Family Service of Roanoke Wednesday to deliver PPE and school supplies to students and community members.

City Council leaders and Mayor Sherman Lea were present during the governor’s visit on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Lea announced before the proceedings that Northam had endorsed him in his race for re-election.

Northan covered a variety of topics, including improving equity and shortcomings of the Commonwealth.

“Now, we know this is really impacting people of color. It has affected access to education, access to healthcare,” Northam stated.

The governor says while there is a need to improve equity, the pandemic pushed that need to the forefront.

Dr. Janice Underwood — the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer appointed by the governor — pointed out the importance of partnering with outreach programs like Family Service.

“The health equity task force with Virginia Department of Emergency Management, my team partnered with the local city here and family services and figured out how to get commodity distribution as well as the life-saving PPE.”

Linda Hentschel, the Family Service of Roanoke Valley CEO, agreed, explaining their role in the community.

“Family Service is one of the organizations in the area that is very much aware of how diversity is so important for our community and for our world.”

Hentschel says she hopes to continue the partnership in the future.

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