We at CCEJ (California Conference for Equality and Justice) are disturbed and saddened by last weekend's hateful white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that resulted in violence and death. We condemn these acts of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, homophobia and all forms of bigotry and stand by communities and our affiliate organizations throughout the country who are impacted regularly by the activity and hate of white supremacist groups.
In particular, we stand in solidarity with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, who released this statement and are unfortunately preparing to respond to more "Unite the Right" rallies and actions in the coming months.
Three months ago, we at CCEJ received a copy of flyers that were left on cars in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach by an underground white supremacist group. The flyer was not only filled with hateful rhetoric, but was a call for action and recruitment.
While the events in Charlottesville may seem distant and unlikely to occur in the communities of Southern California, it is evident that we are still struggling with the same ideologies that motivated last weekend's events in another part of the country.
However and wherever racism shows up, whether overtly or covertly, it is clear we still have much work to do not only nationally but here at home in our local communities. While we must come together to loudly declare that there is no room for violence, white supremacy and hate in our communities and nation, we must and can do more.
We urge our CCEJ community to challenge itself to reflect on the ways that racism and other forms of oppression impact what we think, feel and do towards others. None of us are immune from the legacy of racism in this country.
CCEJ will remain consistent in our decades-long work to combat oppression in all its forms through our life changing educational and restorative practices programs that can heal harms. Our work with youth through Building Bridges will continue to educate young people on structural racism and other forms of oppression, and give them a forum to build real alliances with others so they can challenge racism in their everyday lives.
Our work with the Hate Violence Prevention Partnership of Los Angeles (HVPPLA) builds collaboration with partner organizations Bienestar, Brotherhood Crusade and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) to increase awareness and reporting of hate crimes throughout Los Angeles County.
Thank you for your continued commitment to CCEJ's mission. Together, we will stand strong and continue strengthening all our efforts to foster learning and build compassionate communities so that #JusticeForAll can be achieved within our lifetime.
Kimmy Maniquis is CCEJ Executive Director and Drew A. Gagner is Board Chair.