We here at TJMC-Unitarian Universalist in Charlottesville, Virginia are working with the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, Congregate Cville, Black Lives Matter Charlottesville, Showing Up for Racial Justice Charlottesville and others to counter the ‘Summer of Hate’ taking place in our community.
As ‘Congregate Cville’ explains:
“Charlottesville has recently become a hotspot for national white supremacist organizations and demonstrations. Our city council recently voted to move Confederate monuments from our prominent public parks, sparking increasingly explicit and violent expressions of white supremacy in our community. An infamous white nationalist held a threatening torch-lit rally in our park. Most recently, a KKK chapter from North Carolina held a rally in the center of our city. During this rally, non-violent community members standing against racial hatred were met with chemical weapons, military vehicles, and hundreds of militarized police, some carrying grenade launchers and automatic weapons.
On August 12, hundreds of white supremacists from around the country will rally with white nationalist leaders for hours in our most prominent public park.
We need your help – we don’t have the numbers to stand up to this on our own.
This is a local event, but white supremacy is a national problem, and the way we respond on August 12 will have national implications as we move through these trying times. It is our hope and prayer that your congregations will commission you to join us in this movement to confront white supremacy.”
The call is for 1,000 clergy and faith leaders to show up in Charlottesville, VA to confront a national white supremacist rally—to stand in solidarity and to take non-violent direct action. We will also gather in prayer and witness at an interfaith worship service on August 11th. There will also be other interfaith worship services in the week preceding Aug. 12th. Orientation for the events and training for direct action are being planned (and it is likely they will be space limited). Logistical assistance is also needed if you are able to join a support team. Please sign up here to let us know if you can come, what you can do and what you will need.
In the call to our congregation, we quoted our Universalist ancestor, the Rev. Olympia Brown, who said: “Dear Friends, stand by this faith. Work for it and sacrifice for it. There is nothing in all the world so important to you as to be loyal to this faith which has placed before you the loftiest ideals, which has comforted you in sorrow, strengthened you for noble duty, and made the world beautiful for you. Do not demand immediate results but rejoice that you are worthy to be entrusted with this great message and that you are strong enough to work for a great true principle without counting the cost. Go on finding ever new applications of these truths and new enjoyments in their contemplation.”
We hope to see you in Charlottesville if you can come. And for those who cannot we need your prayers and your amplification on social media and your support. Follow along with #LoveOverFear and #CVilleClergyCall.