It’s been a tough weekend, to say the least, for the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, and all Americans affected by this protest.
Thoughts and prayers for the families who were affected by the brutal attacks in the small college town have been streaming in since Friday. But aside from hoping that this will not happen again, we must come together and each do our part to make sure Charlottesville isn’t repeated.
Below are a few ways we can all get involved, from donating money to speaking up in our own communities. Together, we can make a change.
1. Donate to Charlottesville’s Legal Aid Justice Center.
According to their website, the Legal Aid Justice Center provides “legal representation for low-income individuals in Virginia.” Their goal is to “seek equal justice for all by solving clients’ legal problems, strengthening the voices of low-income communities, and rooting out the inequities that keep people in poverty.”
2. Support the family of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed at Saturday’s rally.
Honor her memory. As of the writing of this article, more than $225,ooo has been raised for Heather’s family.
3. Donate to Beloved Community Charlottesville.
Though the pledge drive is now closed, $67,000 was raised to fund various local community charities. The City of Promise is an organization that leads neighborhood-based programs which help children achieve academic success.
The Public Housing Association of Residents works to make public housing projects a reality and breaks down racist housing policies in the area. You can still donate to the numerous charities Beloved Community Charlottesville supports.
4. Contribute to Charlottesville Solidarity Legal Fund.
The Charlottesville Solidarity Legal Fund “is an independent community resource that is available to all anti-racist activists in the ongoing struggle to confront and end white supremacy in Charlottesville.” They work to help support those who are putting themselves on the front lines to end racism.
5. Support Charlottesville’s NAACP or your local branch.
By donating to either your own local branch of the NAACP or Charlottesville’s office, you’ll help to fight white nationalism with education initiatives and anti-racist legislation. By addressing discrimination head-on, we can work towards ending it for good.
6. Educate your family and friends.
Please talk to your kids & make them understand how disgusting it is to hate a individual because of the color of their skin.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) August 12, 2017
We are all born without preconceptions, prejudices, or hate. Racism is taught and therefore learned. But it can also be reformed. Have a conversation with your family and friends about how to love everyone, no matter the color of their skin. Love is love.
7. Refuse to stay silent when you see racism around you.
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) August 12, 2017
“If you see something, say something.” That phrase can be applied to more than just public transit security. We all have a responsibility to speak up for those who are being pushed down. If you don’t say something when others are being discriminated against, who will speak up when you are the one who is targetted?
First They Came…
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
(Written by Martin Niemöller, a German pastor and outspoken protester of Hitler’s regime, who was thrown into concentration camps for his opposing beliefs)