Charlottesville and Beyond: Bending Toward Justice

In the wake of the tragic events in Charlottesville on August 11 and 12, the country is confronted with difficult questions about how and why racial and religious divides have so publicly resurfaced, and how we move forward. Counterprotesters, including activists, students, professors, and religious leaders, are trying to make sense of what happened and find ways to combat the prejudices the world saw on display in Virginia. Religious communities, in particular, played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement and many other social justice movements in American history. They now must reassess their role as moral leaders and bridge builders in responding to racial and religious discrimination in a movement with multiple actors and concerns—reckoning with the historical roots of white supremacy that persist in society to this day.

Panelists addressed key questions such as: How are religious communities addressing racial justice issues, including examining their own histories of racial injustice in light of current events? How can religious leaders and communities effectively fight injustice? What role does the university, in particular, play in countering unjust racist and discriminatory/exclusionary narratives? How can members of the campus community best serve as allies and sustain movements?

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