ALEXANDRIA, VA – A local candlelight vigil honoring the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, September 24 at Market Square in the 300 block of King Street in Old Town Alexandria.
Spearheaded by local business leader, Kelly Grant, the event is open to all and is expected to attract residents of all ages, as well as civic and political pacesetters. “RGB was a champion of civil rights for women, gender bias and stood for justice, and I am thrilled to be joined by Councilwoman Amy Jackson and Gina White to put this together,” says Grant, who is also the driving force behind the new Alexandria Drive-In and is the Chief Operating Officer of ALX Community, a shared office workspace with two buildings in historic Alexandria.
“When Kelly Grant called me on the night Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, asking me to help with an event paying tribute to RBG, I jumped in with “YES” before she could even finish her sentence,” said Gina Rollo White, a mindfulness educator, and researcher.
Councilwoman Amy Jackson echoed White’s eagerness to participate, stating “Friday night was a shock to many of us. Her “sudden” death caught us off balance. This vigil is the call to action created from that gut-punch moment, leading us to need this dedicated time to honor a phenomenal woman as we share our own fear, anger, and uncertainty.”
“We had an open conversation about what RGB meant to each of us — women’s rights, disability advocacy, same-sex marriage advocacy, and on and on,” continued White, who is also the owner of Mindful Junkie, a not-for-profit organization that empowers first responders with mindfulness strategies to be safe, healthy, and emotionally regulated.
At the vigil, battery-operated candles will be distributed, and speakers will lead attendees in a moment of silence to reflect on RBG’s life, work, and service.
At 7:30 pm, the group will walk one block down King Street to the pedestrian-only part of lower King Street, and on to Waterfront Park and the art installation. Speakers will lead the group in a tribute to RBG and the event will end at 8:15 pm.
Reflecting on the power of the opportunity, White said, “As Kelly and I talked that night, I imagined Ruth Bader Ginsburg walking down a street, elegantly and powerfully taking steps towards equality, with each of us standing behind her and beside her. Her legacy is right here, right now, with each of us. I was thinking that we are all on a path, walking towards what we believe in. And just as Ruth did, we can all lay a path for others to follow.”
Jackson agrees, “Her life’s work, her life, is one that should be revered. Her perspective as a woman along with her brilliant tenacious legal mind gave the voice needed to project the knowing inequality of many social injustices that have not just needed attention to be resolved, but has given us the scope of true civility, humanity to enact countering solutions for a balance of justice. RBG will forever be a trailblazer, a ‘shero,’ for so many of us for so many reasons. Justice Ginsburg is irreplaceable. Her leadership gave way to a following that must continue her path and honor her life’s work.”
Voter registration volunteers will also be on-site to offer help to those who may not have registered yet.
Attendees are expected to wear masks and observe social distancing standards. Registration is not required but requested. Click here to register.