We are grateful for the work of the law enforcement community in apprehending the teen suspect from Albemarle county, ending a period of fear and allowing students to return to school. And, we are grateful for the work of Charlottesville City Schools in prioritizing the protection of students and staff during those uncertain days.
We resonate with Charlottesville City Police Chief RaShall Brackney when she said: “We want the community and the world to know that hate is not welcomed in Charlottesville.”
We also echo the sentiment of Charlottesville City School Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins: “We do not tolerate hate or racism. … [We] stand in solidarity with our students of color ... [A] threat against one is a threat against all.”
In addition, we commend the establishment of a Police Civilian Review Board to address systemic injustice and to promote accountability and mutual trust between the community and the police. We are also heartened by Charlottesville City Schools’ outreach to neighborhoods and houses of worship to address racial inequity in public education.
We, the undersigned members of the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, commit ourselves to work for racial equity and to pray for all who were affected by this incident and worked for its resolution, especially the African American and Latinx students who were specifically singled out as targets. As a community of faith leaders, we are committed to standing as witnesses for love, justice, and unity. We will continue to work for an end to racial hate and violence.
Rev. Will Brown, University Baptist Church
The Rev Dr Harry Kennon
Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin, Congregation Beth Israel
Steve Johnson, Oak Chapel Baptist Church
Pastor Sarah A. Kelley, Faith, Hope And Love Church
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Emrey, New Beginnings Christian Community
Rev. Dr. Albert Connette, Olivet Presbyterian Church
Rev. Rabia Povich, Inayati Sufi Order, Charlottesville
Rev. Liz Hulme Adam, Tabor Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Jill Duffield, Cove Presbyterian Church
Manouchehr Mohajeri, Baha'i Faith
Rev. Sandra J. Wisco, Lutheran (ELCA)
Rev. Dr. Michael Cheuk