Statement on the Events in Charlottesville, VA from CBCF President and CEO A. Shuanise Washington

WASHINGTON—A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF), released the following statement on the events that transpired this past weekend.

“I am deeply saddened about the death of Heather Heyer who died while peacefully protesting in Charlottesville, VA and the loss of two members of the Virginia State Police, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, who devoted their lives to the safety of those in the Commonwealth. It pains me to know that countless others have lost their lives over this country’s history of injustices committed against people of color and other marginalized communities.

Now, more than ever, the American people need reassurance in the values of liberty, unity, diversity and equality. Regrettably, we have been subjected to flaccid remarks and morally bankrupt leadership. As an organization that envisions a world where all communities have an equal voice, what occurred this past weekend is the antithesis of what the CBCF represents. We must not allow racism, hatred and intolerance to corrupt the arc of progress we have made thus far.

The Southern Poverty Law Center counted over 1,800 incidents of hate or bias from November 9, 2016 to March 31, 2017, and over 600 incidents at our nation’s schools. I vehemently oppose any person of any race being targeted or treated unfairly based upon the color of their skin or their perceived socioeconomic status. In a democracy, the power of peaceful protest and civic engagement are the true instruments of change.

This year’s 47th Annual Legislative Conference offers us a unique opportunity to come together, united as one, to reflect on the legacy of resilience that emphasizes the collective strength of the black community to rise above racial, social and political inequalities while simultaneously creating a pathway forward from protest to substantive changes in policy.

The CBCF is dedicated and committed to working with congressional leaders, state and local elected officials, local activists and concerned citizens as we continue to inform policy efforts that impact African Americans and the global Black community.

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