Maria Elena Torres-Quevedo | 21st August 2017.
When I got to writing this article this week, I quickly realised I couldn’t write something that didn’t address the recent events in Charlottesville. However, I was also keenly aware that it was not necessarily my place nor within my capabilities to provide a response, beyond an expression of the horror, devastation, disappointment, and determination that so many have been expressing in the past few days. I know I am not alone in feeling helpless in the face of these events, and I know that many of us have been looking for ways to support the counter-protestors of Charlottesville, both in the work they have already done to fight white supremacists and neo-nazis, and in the work that they will doubtless continue to do in the future. I also know that many of us would like all the guidance we can get in helping us to understand what has been happening and how best to move forward. With this in mind, I have decided to use my platform this week for two purposes: providing links to organisations doing invaluable work that would greatly benefit from our financial support; and providing links to excellent, spark-inciting pieces written by those most affected by the rise of these racist movements and those who have been fighting this fight for a long time.
Organisations that you can donate to include:
- The Charlottesville Chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)— Addresses civil rights issues and community development.
- African American Teaching Fellows— Works to fund and train more African American teachers and eliminate racial disparity in schools
- The Black Student Alliance at UVA
- IMPACT Charlottesville — Seeks to unite people from different faiths to work together towards social justice
- The Southern Poverty Law Centre — Fights bigotry and seeks justice for vulnerable members of society. The webpage also has plenty of interesting reading.
- The Virginian ACLU — Promotes civil liberties through education, litigation, and advocacy.
- Legal AID Justice — Provides legal representation for low-income individuals and seeks equal justice.
- Medical funds for victims of neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville
- Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (JSAAHC)– Works to celebrate and preserve the heritage of the African-American community of Charlottesville.
- Congregation Beth Israel — The only synagogue in Charlottesville, which was targeted during the rally
- The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) — Serves the Jewish community of Charlottesville.
- The Jewish Centre at the University of Virginia
The following is a list of important reading surrounding Charlottesville:
- “So You Want To Fight White Supremacy” Ijeoma Oluo, The Establishment. An excellent piece exploring the legacy of white supremacy in the USA, how it affects various institutions, and how to fight back.
- “Hate That Doesn’t Hide” Roxane Gay, New York Times. Gay ruminates on the connection between the rise of White supremacy and the Trump administration.
- “What to Do About Charlottesville” by Sara Benincasa— More information on how to help
- “The Charlottesville Syllabus”. A resource created by the Graduate Student Coalition for Liberation to be used to educate readers about the long history of white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- “Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves” A crowdsourced google document with resources exploring the history and continued influence of white supremacy
- “Black Lives Matter Is Not a Hate Group” Richard Cohen, Souther Poverty Law Center. A discussion of Black Lives Matter, the work it does, and why it does not qualify as a hate group.
- “What Jewish Children Learned From Charlottesville”— Nathan Englander, New York Times. A Jewish New Yorker laments the resurgence of the anti-semitism he experienced in his youth
- “White Supremacists Pop Off in Va. and Police Don’t Seem to Give a Damn. Why Is That?” Angela Helm, The Roots A consideration of the influence of race on police responses to protests.
- “We Need to Talk About the Anti-Semitism At the Charlottesville Protest”, Lily Herman, Refinery 29. Some thoughts on the continued legacy of antisemitism in the USA
- “Charlottesville Was Not a ‘Protest Turned Violent,’ It Was a Planned Race Riot” Zenobia Jeffries, Yes Magazine
I hope these resources prove useful, thought-provoking, action-provoking, and comforting. I would also like to note that I did not put these lists together alone, and am hence incredibly grateful for the community, both online and off, who continue to provide guidance and education through all the difficult times our world is facing.
Maria is a PhD student in English Literature, focussing on contemporary American life writing through a postmodern feminist lens. She previously studied at the University of Seville and Cornell University. Her research interests include gender, identity politics, the intersection of narrative and identity construction, and genre theory.
Article edited by Tess Goodman.