Meet Princess Blanding
As a single LGBTQIA+ mother based in the Middle Peninsula with roots in the rural working class, Princess’s connection to marginalized communities runs deep. Our campaign will prioritize the growing challenges of hard-working families in all regions of Virginia.
A veteran educator and community activist, Princess’s expertise has been in-demand in the Virginia General Assembly. In 2020, Princess worked closely with prominent members of the Virginia State Senate and House of Delegates in proposing legislation that puts community care and safety first.
Princess’s fearless advocacy has, and always will, prioritize the needs of everyday people.
Photo by: Foster Johnston
A Virginian since 2004, Princess spent the first part of her life in Newburgh, a small town in Upstate New York. As a one-year-old she was taken in by her paternal aunt, making her one of seventeen siblings across households. Within this loving family, Princess found her own identity as the strong-willed piano player of the bunch. With her biological parents’ continued love and support, Princess’s community-based upbringing instilled the importance of family, education, a strong work ethic and fighting for what she believes. Princess is the proud single mother of three extraordinary daughters, Zakara, Tionna, and Leah, who she calls her “Reasons Why.”
After overcoming early struggles with reading, Princess persevered, excelled academically, and graduated a year early from high school. With hard work and an abundance of family support, Princess enrolled at Morgan State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in biology and became the first in her immediate family to graduate college. In her youth, Princess aspired to become a pediatrician to help children. After college, her calling to help children would manifest as an educator. Princess went on to earn her master's degree in K-12 education and supervision, and her Ed.S in Educational Leadership. Soon after, she utilized these degrees to teach middle school science and served as an assistant principal at the elementary and high school level.
On May 14, 2018, Princess’s brother, Marcus-David Peters, was murdered by a Richmond Police officer while unarmed, undressed and experiencing a mental health crisis. An alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Marcus was a talented biology teacher at Essex High School in Tappahannock, Virginia, where Blanding served as assistant principal.
In the wake of her brother’s death, Blanding founded Justice and Reformation, a leading advocacy organization for mental health care, public safety and the protection of the most vulnerable communities from police violence.
For over two-and-a-half years Princess, Justice and Reformation, and supporting grassroots organizations and community members have pleaded for local and state legislators to prioritize the needs and concerns of the marginalized, particularly Black and Brown communities. As countless meetings with elected officials came and went, promises were made and broken, and the path forward became clear: Substantive changes that place people above profit, and prioritize community care and safety over politics, can not be implemented under our two-party system.