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U.Va.’s Howard Inaugurated as Board Member for Virginia Holocaust Museum

A.E. Dick Howard, White Burkett Miller professor of law and public affairs in the University of Virginia School of Law, is among the latest class of board members of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond.

The museum was founded in 1997 in an effort to preserve and educate people on the atrocities of the Holocaust and to promote tolerance toward all, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or creed. Located in Richmond’s historic Shockoe Bottom on East Cary Street, the museum engages visitors through docent-led tours, commemorative programs, lectures, films and other public events, promoting its goal of “tolerance through education.”

An expert in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism and the Supreme Court, Howard was born and raised in Richmond and received his law degree from U.Va. Active in public affairs, he has served as the executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia’s current constitution and successfully directed the referendum campaign for its ratification.

From 1982 to 1986, Howard was counselor to the governor of Virginia and chaired Virginia’s Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

He is the author of numerous books, articles and monographs, including “Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia,” which won a Phi Beta Kappa prize. He has argued cases before state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Foreign governments, ranging from Brazil and Hong Kong to Hungary and Poland, have consulted with Howard, seeking his advice in writing new constitutions. In 1996, the Union of Czech Lawyers cited Howard’s promotion of the idea of civil society in Central Europe in awarding him its Randa Medal, the first time the honor had been bestowed on a foreigner.

Joining Howard in the new class of trustees will be the state Del. Betsy Carr, founder of the Micah Initiative, which provides mentors and tutors for elementary school students through faith-based communities; Miriam Davidow, daughter of a Holocaust survivor and local educator on the Holocaust experience; and Charles Sydnor Jr., former president of Emory & Henry College, current president and chief executive officer of Commonwealth Public Broadcasting in Richmond and a World War II historian whose expert testimony in court cases has led to the deportation from the U.S. of many former Nazis.

“This new class of trustees is truly exceptional in their individual and collective backgrounds, their belief in service to the community, and in their dedication to preserve the memory of the Holocaust, and thereby, to assist the museum in achieving its goal of ‘tolerance through education,’” said Simon Sibelman, the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s president and executive director. “With such people offering advice and guidance, the museum’s future is bright indeed.”

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