(Richmond, Va.) (AP) — Virginia’s Democratic Party is renaming its annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. It will now be the Blue Commonwealth Gala.
Party chairwoman Susan Swecker told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that the change makes the dinner’s name more inclusive and reflective of the state.
Jefferson-Jackson dinners have been held by state Democratic parties throughout the country. But party leaders have been renaming the events in recent years to remove association with figures who have oppressed racial minorities.
Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were U.S. presidents who had owned slaves. Jackson also championed the 1830 Indian Removal Act that led to the forced relocation of Cherokee Nation.
Swecker said Jefferson’s Virginia roots were a “challenge” in the Democrats’ decision-making process. His legacy looms large in the state.
The dinner is scheduled for June 16.