Call to Clergy and Faith Leaders
To our Colleagues in Ministry and Friends in Faith,
We need your help. On August 12th we call for 1,000 clergy and faith leaders to show up in Charlottesville, VA to confront a national white supremacist rally.
On August 12, will you please join us in prayer and in person in Charlottesville, Virginia? We call on white clergy, especially, to join us in person. This is a call for partnership in direct, nonviolent action on a crucial day for our city, and in a critical moment for our country. We need your prayerful presence.
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. From information that these groups are presenting and sharing online we have concluded that there is an extremely high potential for physical violence and brutality directed at our community.
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.
As faith leaders in Charlottesville, we are committed to nonviolent direct action, standing in solidarity with community members and groups such as Black Lives Matter and Showing Up for Racial Justice. We do not want a repeat of July 8th - we want to grow forward in number and in narrative to visibly counteract this hate, proclaiming with our bodies and our sanctuaries that God rejects white supremacy, and that God is present with those hurt, angered, afraid and confused by this massive national event in our small town. We call on 1,000 clergy and faith leaders to join us on August 12th
Brittany Caine-Conley, Lead Organizer of Congregate C’ville and MID at Sojourners UCC, Charlottesville, VA
Rev. Seth Wispelwey, Consulting Organizer of Congregate C’ville and Directing Minister of Restoration Village Arts
Cover photo by David McNair, from The DTM.