As Charlottesville contemplates another rally by white supremacists on August 12th, many residents report frustration. They don’t want to confront demonstrators who have threatened violence, but they want to show their disapproval. Now, two area residents have come up with a way for them to do that.
Tim Michel and Sharon Beckman-Brindley met at fundraiser for the International Rescue Committee and started talking about all the negative energy generated by members of the Alt-Right. They wanted to do something positive, so they organized a fundraiser of their own for four local charities
“People are pledging a certain amount of money per participant who shows up at the white nationalist rally, so that the more people who come the more money we will make for the local charities,” Beckman-Brindley explains.
Those non-profits support the African-American community and refugees – the very people attacked by the Alt-Right.
“The numbers of people who come are actually supporting causes that they don’t support,” Michel says with a smile.
They set up a website – belovedcommunitycville.com. It went live a week ago, and Beckman-Brindley says dozens of people have pledged.
“People can pledge as little as a penny or five cents per participant, or they can pledge quite a lot," she says. "We’re finding that people not even from the state of Virginia are offering support, are making pledges.”
Working through social media, Tim Michel believes the word is spreading fast.
"People have said, 'I’m sending it to my book group,' or' I've just sent it to 22 of my friends,' so there's some enthusiasm out there, which is nice!"
And, he says, very positive – an anti-venom for the hate speech locals expect to hear on August 12th.
For more information: http://www.belovedcommunitycville.com/