In the wake of the racist violence in Charlottesville, VA, Stony Point Center and the Community of Living Traditions join in mourning for Heather Heyer and countless people of color whose lives have been lost by racist actions and systems, and renew our commitment to anti-racist action.
by Susan Smith
Confronting racism and bigotry in the United States is at the forefront of intentional work that takes place at Stony Point Center. It is engaged in by both the Community of Living Traditions in residence at the Center, and also a myriad of amazing groups that choose our conference center to further their work. The violent Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, and act of terrorism that ensued when a white supremacist plowed into a crowd of peaceful protesters with his vehicle killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others, serves as a reminder that we have a long way to go to end and reverse a 400-year history of systemic and structural hate and oppression in the U.S.
This month, CLT Muslim cohort member Sahar Alsahlani (pictured, 2nd from right) was on the frontline of the nonviolent movement to end white supremacy in Charlottesville, VA. She joined with clergy and other counter-protesters from across the nation who convened to send a message of love, solidarity and unity with the targets and victims of hate crimes, racial injustice and bigotry. SPC is proud that Sahar represented our community and also happy that she returned safely home.
Also this month, SPC and CLT were honored to welcome The Andrew Goodman Foundation for a four-day National Civic Leadership Training Summit attended by 50 college-age civil rights leaders from across the United States. The Foundation was established in 1966 by the parents of social worker Andrew Goodman, who along with civil rights activists James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were murdered by the KKK with the complicity of police in Mississippi in 1964, where they were engaged in the anti-segregation “Freedom Summer” African American voter registration project. The story of these three young men struck a public chord that galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The summit culminated with nationally renown speakers Myra Perez Esq. of the Brennan Center for Justice, Rashad Robinson of the Color of Change, Verna Eggleston of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and David Goodman the Foundation’s executive director driving home the message that “Democracy Never Sleeps” and bestowing awards on six college students deemed the “Hidden Heroes of 2017”.