VA250 Conference calls for unity in America’s 250th anniversary commemoration

March 26, 2024
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Governor Glenn Youngkin VA 250

The second “Common Cause To All” conference was held in Williamsburg March 18 to 20, 2024 by the Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission (VA250).  This annual conference brings together 250th planners from across the country in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation as we approach the nation’s semiquincentennial.  The VA250 Commission and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation provided networking opportunities, and inspiration to attendees, and a strong forum to discuss what Americans are looking for in their 250th anniversary.  Of the 450 attendees, thirty-three Commonwealth of Virginia cities and counties were represented and thirty-seven different states.  The Eastern Shore of Virginia was represented by Cara Burton, Chair of the Northampton County 250 Local Commission, and James McDaniel, also of Northampton County.

A resounding call for unity opened the A Common Cause to All conference as keynote speakers emphasized the importance of an inclusive commemoration of America’s 250th anniversary while honoring the revolutionary spirit of 1776.  Conference sessions included topics on teacher resources, digital content, multi-state collaboration, Gen Z engagement, diversity, democracy in polarizing times, and a sneak-peak of Ken Burn’s upcoming new documentary, “The American Revolution.”

Governor Glenn Youngkin, acknowledging the contributions of all states, emphasized the importance of understanding our collective history. With a touch of Virginia pride, he reiterated the state’s commitment to leading the national effort, building a brighter future on the foundation of the past. Youngkin expressed confidence that the commemoration will be an “extraordinary celebration” filled with lessons to help the nation live up to its founding principles.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation President and CEO Cliff Fleet opined that the founding ideals of liberty and equality, while revolutionary, were just the beginning. The hard work of creating a more perfect union continues, he said, and a truly inclusive commemoration requires reflecting the stories that have been left out of the historical narrative.

ESVA Tourism Activity Guide at Common Cause 2024
The new ESVA Tourism Visitor’s Guide that includes a QR code to the Revolutionary Shore driving tour was distributed at the conference.

Established in 2020 to commemorate Virginia’s role in the 250th anniversary of American independence, the Virginia American Revolution 250 Commission (VA250) aims to form a more perfect union by educating Virginians about their history and civic duty and sharing diverse narratives that capture Virginia’s complete story and role in shaping the nation.

To learn more and to sign-up for a free monthly e-newsletter, visit va250.org.  For local information, go to https://www.co.northampton.va.us/visitors/tourism/free_things_to_see_and_do/free_history_lessons/northampton250.  A new self-guided driving tour, “Revolutionary Shore,” is available to download for free.

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