Virginia Historical Society’s Created Equal Film Series renamed in honor of Grady Wilson Powell
The Created Equal Film Series is now in its second year at the Virginia Historical Society. It focuses on themes related to civil rights, human rights, and social justice in American history. Over the course of 2015, the VHS will show four films that encourage audiences to explore these topics and their significance in contemporary American society.
At a recent meeting, the board of trustees voted unanimously to rename the program in honor of Grady W. Powell. Powell, who has served on the board since 1996 and as honorary vice chair since 2011, has been instrumental in programming efforts to make history at the VHS more relevant and accessible.
“Grady supported Created Equal from the beginning, and he often shares comments from his personal experience in the civil rights movement during the discussions after the films. His knowledge and influence are invaluable to us, and we wish to make that known with this honor,” said Dr. Paul Levengood, President and CEO of the VHS.
Powell grew up in Brunswick County, Virginia, and presided over the historic Gillfield Baptist Church, founded in 1788, for thirty-six years. Among his many successful endeavors was his ordination of the first women deacons in a black Baptist church in the United States.
The first Created Equal program of 2015, The March, will take place at the VHS on Thursday, April 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the Robins Family Forum. Light refreshments will be served and the film will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. The film tells the story of the famous 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which is remembered for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Emilie Raymond, associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement, will speak after the film. Other programs in the series include Meet Me in the Bottom (June 18), Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (September 10), and They Closed our Schools (October 22). Created Equal is hosted by the VHS in partnership with the Richmond Peace Education Center and supported in part by Diversity Richmond’s VHS Guy Kinman Research Award.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS)—a privately funded nonprofit organization—collects, preserves, and interprets the Commonwealth’s history, linking past with present to inspire future generations. The VHS is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond’s Museum District. Hours are Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.for the library, museum shop and a variety of programs. The VHS is closed on Sunday. For more information about the VHS call (804) 358-4901, visit www.vahistorical.org, or connect with the VHS on Facebook and Twitter.