On Monday, August 28th, the Peace Center held a reflection and action planning session in response to August’s 12th events in Charlottesville. It was a powerful night as we gathered and engaged in grounding, mindfulness, and honest discussion around self-care & community care in this time of heightened exposure to trauma, especially for marginalized communities.
Action planning was another part of evening. We captured thoughts through a sticky note activity and here are some highlights of the many ideas.
Thank you to everyone who came, participated, and shared ideas in the reflection space! Peace Center is moving forward to oppose, prevent, and prepare the Richmond community again violence and specifically the violence associated with all levels of white supremacy.
The following list includes action opportunities that the Peace Center is behind and encourages you to be involved in with us:
Take a Stand on Monument Ave
After Charlottesville, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced that he is expanding the mandate of his Monument Avenue Commission to allow for consideration of monument removal. This provides an opportunity for a substantive, truthful and healing transformation in Richmond. Although the September 13th commission public meeting has been postponed, it’s crucially important to submit your views here: https://www.monumentavenuecommission.org/input/ . Symbols of white supremacy and black subordination have for too long dominated our city’s public spaces. The time is overdue for change.
Mark Your Calendars for “Voices from Charlottesville”
Mark your calendar for our scheduled program Voices from Charlottesville, to be held on Sept. 28 at the Richmond public library, 101 E. Franklin St., in partnership with Bijou Theater.
Join the Peace Center Advocacy Team
The Peace Center’s newly reorganized Advocacy committee is launching, staffed by new staffmember Jelani Drew. We will be preparing trainings for change and organizing activities to mark the one-year anniversary of the Trump inauguration. Join our efforts on an ongoing basis by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acknowledge Levels of White Supremacy
In order to stand up for racial equity, it is important to recognize the ways in which white supremacy shows up in overt and covert ways. Check out this helpful image from Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence.
Also check out this article on recognizing and dismantling white supremacy within organizations: White Supremacy Culture
Speak Out on Guns
Our elected leaders need to know where we stand when it comes to white supremacists and guns. Virginia’s pro-gun laws restrict localities from regulating and controlling firearms, even the semi-automatic weapons with large magazines toted by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. This purist defense of the right to bear arms makes marches and rallies by heavily armed white supremacists border on paramilitary invasions. We do not want armed neo-Nazis marching down Monument Avenue toting submachine guns. Do you? Contact your US Representative here. Contact your State Delegate here.
READ: Ten Ways to Fight Hate
Read the Southern Poverty Law Center guide on community responses to fighting hate. It opens: “Hate is an open attack on tolerance and acceptance. It must be countered with acts of goodness. Sitting home with your virtue does no good. In the face of hate, silence is deadly.”