HJ744: Commending Lorraine Payne Williams.


HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 744
Commending Lorraine Payne Williams.

 

Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 6, 2015
Agreed to by the Senate, February 12, 2015

 

WHEREAS, Lorraine Payne Williams of Charlottesville, a retired teacher, a community leader, and an advocate for civil rights, was honored on November 5, 2014, as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club for her leadership, vision, and support, especially in her work to remove racial barriers and provide affordable housing; and

WHEREAS, a native of Ivy, Lorraine Payne attended Terry Elementary School and Jefferson High School in Charlottesville, both of which were segregated; she received a bachelor’s degree from Hampton Institute, now Hampton University and later earned a master’s degree from the University of Virginia; and

WHEREAS, Lorraine Payne married Eugene Williams and became a teacher; she taught hundreds of children from Charlottesville and Albemarle County during a long and distinguished career; and

WHEREAS, in the mid-1950s, Lorraine Williams and her husband, who was president of the Charlottesville Branch of the NAACP, formed a committee of parents to integrate the Charlottesville Public Schools; the group won a lawsuit that ordered the public schools to desegregate, but the school system closed rather than comply with the court order; and

WHEREAS, when the Charlottesville Public Schools reopened in 1962, the Williams’ two daughters, Karol and Scheryl, ages 10 and 8 respectively, were enrolled at and escorted by police to formerly all-white schools; years later, their daughter Scheryl was named Homecoming Queen at Lane High School, which was less than 10 percent African American; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that community involvement can improve people’s lives, Lorraine Williams joined and served as president of the Charlottesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; the group promotes human welfare through established community programs; and

WHEREAS, Lorraine Williams formed Dogwood Housing with her husband and other family members to maintain and improve the inventory of affordable housing in Charlottesville; the company bought 62 housing units and renovated them, creating attractive and affordable housing in the city; and

WHEREAS, for many years, Lorraine Williams and her husband took a personal interest in their tenants, encouraging them to work hard so that they could advance and become homeowners; they owned the successful property management company until they sold it in 2007; and

WHEREAS, Lorraine Williams has devoted much of her life to erasing segregation and helping the less fortunate in Charlottesville; her work epitomizes Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self”; and

WHEREAS, Lorraine Williams, interested in serving others, was a Charter member of the Charlottesville Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, a volunteer service organization of extraordinary women committed to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Lorraine Payne Williams of Charlottesville, a retired teacher, community leader, and civil rights advocate, who was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club for her work to remove racial barriers and provide affordable housing; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Lorraine Payne Williams as an expression of the General Assembly’s great respect and admiration for her unwavering determination to right a wrong and provide equal opportunity for all people.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 744

Offered February 4, 2015
Commending Lorraine Payne Williams.
Patrons-- Toscano; Senator: Deeds

WHEREAS, Lorraine Payne Williams of Charlottesville, a retired teacher, a community leader, and an advocate for civil rights, was honored on November 5, 2014, as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club for her leadership, vision, and support, especially in her work to remove racial barriers and provide affordable housing; and

WHEREAS, a native of Ivy, Lorraine Payne attended Terry Elementary School and Jefferson High School in Charlottesville, both of which were segregated; she received a bachelor’s degree from Hampton Institute, now Hampton University and later earned a master’s degree from the University of Virginia; and

WHEREAS, Lorraine Payne married Eugene Williams and became a teacher; she taught hundreds of children from Charlottesville and Albemarle County during a long and distinguished career; and

WHEREAS, in the mid-1950s, Lorraine Williams and her husband, who was president of the Charlottesville Branch of the NAACP, formed a committee of parents to integrate the Charlottesville public schools; the group won a lawsuit that ordered the public schools to desegregate, but the school system closed rather than comply with the court order; and

WHEREAS, when the Charlottesville public schools reopened in 1962, the Williams’ two daughters, Karol and Scheryl, ages 10 and 8 respectively, were enrolled at and escorted by police to formerly all-white schools; years later, their daughter Scheryl was named Homecoming Queen at Lane High School, which was less than 10 percent African American; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that community involvement can improve people’s lives, Lorraine Williams joined and served as president of the Charlottesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; the group promotes human welfare through established community programs; and

WHEREAS, Lorraine Williams formed Dogwood Housing with her husband and other family members to maintain and improve the inventory of affordable housing in Charlottesville; the company bought 62 housing units and renovated them, creating attractive and affordable housing in the city; and

WHEREAS, for many years, Lorraine Williams and her husband took a personal interest in their tenants, encouraging them to work hard so that they could advance and become homeowners; they owned the successful property management company until they sold it in 2007; and

WHEREAS; Lorraine Williams has devoted much of her life to erasing segregation and helping the less fortunate in Charlottesville; her work epitomizes Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self”; and

WHEREAS, Lorraine Williams, interested in serving others, was a Charter member of the Charlottesville Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, a volunteer service organization of extraordinary women committed to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Lorraine Payne Williams of Charlottesville, a retired teacher, community leader, and civil rights advocate, who was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club for her work to remove racial barriers and provide affordable housing; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Lorraine Payne Williams as an expression of the General Assembly’s great respect and admiration for her unwavering determination to right a wrong and provide equal opportunity for all people.