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ERA panel hosted at JMU

(WHSV)
Published: Feb. 18, 2019 at 11:54 PM EST
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On Monday night, students and members of the community gathered at JMU to watch a short film and learn more about the Equal Rights Amendment.

The event was hosted by JMuse Cafe and the Madison Caucus for Gender Equality. Students heard from three panelists: Dr. Carah Ong Whaley from the Madison Center for Civic Engagement, Dr. Megan Tracy from the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, and Sylvia Rogers from the American Association of University Women of Harrisonburg.

Tim Ball, an associate professor at JMU, said the event was a chance for students to learn more about the ERA.

"Letting students know about the equal rights amendment, what's happening in Virginia, I think is really important, and whether they support it or they don't support it, just becoming aware of this process," Ball said.

If it passed, the amendment would constitutionally guarantee equal legal rights for all Americans. One student at the panel hoped the event would encourage other students to get involved.

"I hope that it encourages a lot more people to get involved and call their delegates, but also help open up dialogues for these conversations going forward," Liza Mickens, a JMU senior, said.

Virginia could become the 38th state to ratify the amendment. The senate passed the resolution earlier this session, but it's still in a subcommittee in the House of Delegates. In order for Virginia to ratify the ERA, the House must pass the resolution before Friday.