NLADA Statement on Events in Charlottesville, Virginia

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Release Date: 
Monday, August 14, 2017
Public Statement by National Legal Aid & Defender Association Regarding Events in Charlottesville, Virginia


The National Legal Aid & Defender Association is committed to our nation’s core values of equality and justice for all, and defending these values from efforts to erode or undermine them. This is true whether these threats are overt or implicit. NLADA fully and unequivocally denounces those who perpetuate hate and violence, epitomized by the recent terrorist acts of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA, and their underlying ideology of racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, anti-LGBTQ bigotry, and hate. We stand in solidarity with those who combat hate and bigotry and work to dismantle the racism that permeates our institutions, systems, organizations, and perspectives.

NLADA, like so many others, is devoted to building a world in which everyone can live free from racist terror and violence, and in which true equality is no longer an aspirational goal. Our country will not, and cannot, accomplish this without acknowledging, and actively working, to overcome America’s legacy of racial and ethnic inequity.

Racism and bigotry are not new, nor are those who espouse and act upon such beliefs. For more than a century, NLADA has been among those working toward equality and justice for all. Recent events have affirmed that we have much more work to do. We applaud the people and communities across the country who have come together to reject these hateful ideologies, and we applaud the states, cities and towns that are taking steps to remove the idols of racism that venerate the most shameful elements of our history. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring our efforts are driven by the experiences of people subjected to hatred, exclusion, and violence; to consciously challenging our own biases and ways we unintentionally contribute to systems of racial disadvantage; and to building enduring alliances with communities who have and continue to struggle against racism and bigotry every day.

We also know that the current environment, marked by inflammatory rhetoric and tacit approval that fuels hate groups and their actions, may require bolder and stronger stances, and explicit and intentional actions. We pledge to constantly look at how we can do better, be bolder, and strengthen our members and allies in working toward this aspiration.