Statement on This Weekend's Events in Charlottesville
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." — Nelson Mandela
We are deeply troubled and saddened by this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We mourn the loss of life – Heather Heyer, 32, the woman protesting against hatred and bigotry who was killed by a man driving a car into the crowd, and two Virginia State Police officers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40, who died in a tragic helicopter accident while on duty assisting in Charlottesville. At least 35 other people have been injured. We offer our deepest condolences, as well as our thoughts and prayers, to the families and loved ones of all of the victims.
We strongly condemn the hateful ideology that led to this weekend’s events. White supremacy, extremism of any kind, and domestic terrorism have no place in our society. We will continue to oppose it and will not give it cover, oxygen nor respectability. The Southeastern Council of Foundations supports efforts that unite people of all backgrounds, races, gender, and identity through dialogue, love of humankind, cooperation and understanding around shared values. SECF stands ready to support our members in the Commonwealth who, in the weeks and months ahead, may be called upon to help the community heal.