On Monday, CNE’s Executive Director Cristine Nardi reached out with a simple message: it’s up to us. In the wake of the tragic events of this past weekend, it’s up to all of us to step up, get involved, and do what we can to fight against racism, intolerance and bigotry.
The good news is that we don’t have to go it alone. Nonprofits play a unique and critical role in promoting democracy by encouraging civic engagement. Below are just a few examples of the nonprofits and grassroots groups in the area who are already stepping up to make our community stronger:
- Yesterday, The Paramount Theater hosted a memorial service for the community to come together and honor Heather Heyer. Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, asked the more than 1,000 mourners in attendance to find a spark of accountability. “You poke that finger at yourself like Heather would have done and you make it happen . . . you take that extra step and you find a way to make a difference in the world.” (Watch the full service here).
- The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center hosted a community conversation including thought leaders from various organizations, including the Office of Human Rights, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials, and Public Spaces, Black Lives Matter, and the Charlottesville Clergy Collective. At the standing-room-only event, the audience broke into groups to discuss where we go as a community from here, with follow-up to come.
- The Charlottesville Clergy Collective is offering ongoing support for those injured, hospitalized, and/or traumatized. Subscribe to their email list for ongoing community events.
- This upcoming Sunday at the Jefferson Theater, more than a dozen area musicians are set to perform at a benefit for the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation’s Heal Charlottesville Fund.
- Learn more about Virginia Organizing, a statewide, grassroots nonprofit challenging injustice by empowering people in their own communities to address issues that affect their lives, and their Dismantling Racism Checklist.
- New City Arts organized a Letter Writing Day to encourage progress, healing, and community. If you’re in need of a letter of encouragement, stop by the Welcome Gallery space on 3rd Street to pick one up.
- The Women’s Initiative’s ongoing groups offer safe spaces to gather and their walk-in clinics provide one-on-one sessions with a therapist for free, no appointment necessary. On Our Own provides free resources and works with trauma patients.
- ReadyKids provides resources to help talk about the events of this weekend with young people. Contact the ReadyKids Youth Counseling Team if you need additional support.
- Check out local movement Together Cville for tips on activism, ways to stay involved, and relevant news updates. Stay current by keeping up with their Events Calendar.
We’ll post new opportunities to step up and get involved as we hear about them. Feel free to share community events with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.