By Associated Press - Monday, March 25, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed legislation creating a new advisory board aimed at promoting issues important to the black community.

Northam said Friday he signed a bill creating the African American Advisory Board.

The 21-member board will advise governors on issues important to African Americans and submit annual reports to lawmakers.

The board can also undertake studies and conduct research to present to the governor as well accept and spend grant money.

The bill’s sponsor is Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Del. Lamont Bagby. He said the bill will help make sure African-Americans have influence on key decisions made by governors.

Northam has pledged to work toward racial reconciliation after a scandal over a racist yearbook photo and his admission of wearing blackface in the 1980s.

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