Confronting Racism in Charlottesville & Beyond
Monday, August 14, 2017
As an LGBTQ+ youth organization, Side by Side recognizes that fighting against racism and white supremacy are an important part of what we do. As we work to ensure all LGBTQ+ youth have safe, affirming, and loving spaces to define themselves, belong, and flourish we must also work to ensure those spaces are actively combating racism. Whether that racism manifests in the ugly hate-filled violence we saw in Charlottesville this past weekend or in the micro aggressions and daily indignities people of color face, we have a responsibility to do better.
Side by Side calls on our community to not only condemn the "Unite the Right" rally and the racist violence that ensued, but to also take time to investigate how racism shows up in our own lives and work.
As an organization, we recommit to training our facilitators to be better at creating space for multiracial dialogue. We recommit to ensuring youth of all races and ethnicities have space to be their full authentic selves. And we recommit to finding ways to center LGBTQ+ youth of color in these moments where their personhood is attacked in our communities.
"The white supremacist violence that erupted in Charlottesville this past weekend is the latest in a rising tide of racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment we are seeing across the country and throughout Central Virginia," said Side by Side Executive Director, Ted Lewis. "We must stand together against hatred and denounce the work of white supremacist terrorist."
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Heather Heyer's family and friends. We also send our well wishes to all those injured in the violence this past weekend.
Side by Side will hold space this week for our youth in Charlottesville and Richmond as we work to process the increased hatred and violence we have witnessed this past weekend in our own backyard.