Forward Together Statement on Charlottesville, VA

Lately, I’ve been sitting with the image of a world on fire. Climate change, nuclear war, fascism, white supremacy, patriarchy – all of it burning across the globe.

Then this weekend. We all saw the photos. White supremacists in Charlottesville chanting and carrying torches.

A world on fire.

Our thoughts are with the family of Heather Heyer and those attacked in Charlottesville. We’re horrified by white supremacy’s violent, shameless presence. We know this is neither its beginning nor its end.

This country was founded on the genocide of Indigenous peoples, the enslavement of Black communities and the violent seizure of Mexican land. This history emboldens White people across this country to think and act in ways that harm Black and brown folks, queer and trans folks, disabled people, poor people, Indigenous people, Jewish people, immigrants and women.

And they’re getting bolder.

In the next two weeks, there will be a “free speech” rally in Boston, an alt-right demonstration in Berkeley, and rallies in nine cities to defend a fired Google employee and his sexist manifesto.

I’ve been sitting with the image of a world on fire. Fire can burn and destroy all in its path. But it can also illuminate and transform.

We know from Indigenous practices of cultural burnings that fire can remake and fortify the land. Let the light of those torches illuminate the truth of this nation. Let it spark a fire in our bellies to transform this world into one where we all thrive.

Let us fight like our ancestors before us and like the freedom fighters of today. Let us extinguish the fire of white supremacy, misogyny, greed and extraction.

Let us instead follow the light of women of color leaders. Like them, let us resist white supremacy while creating new models and movements like Reproductive Justice, Black Lives Matter, Echoing Ida, Strong Families and the Women’s March.

We have a long, challenging journey ahead of us. Our communities are suffering, and the trials may get worse. For now, let us come together, hold each other close and act in solidarity with those attacked in Charlottesville. Let us take care of our families and communities the best we can. Let us lead with our hearts and our values. Together, we’ll burn a new path – towards transformation, healing and justice.

Eveline Shen, Executive Director
Forward Together