Thirteen months ago, the Virginia Anti-Violence Project [VAVP] issued a statement articulating our organizational commitment to stand in solidarity with black and brown communities in the face of state sanctioned violence. Given the hyper-visible manifestations of white supremacy over the past weekend in Charlottesville, it is with deep feelings of pain, love for our communities, and fierceness that VAVP says, yet again, to our black and brown family, we see you, we support you, we are you, and VAVP will continue to fight for our lives.
As an organization whose mission is to address and prevent all forms of violence against Virginia’s diverse LGBTQ+ communities, the Virginia Anti-Violence Project understands, through both individual and organizational lived experiences, the adverse effects of violence and trauma on intersectionally oppressed communities. The broad LGBTQ+ community holds many diverse identities and the strategies that we use to individually address and end white supremacy will vary greatly. It is our moral imperative, however, to collectively work to identify and dismantle the individual, interpersonal, and institutional structures that were intentionally created to prop up white supremacy.
Racism impacts black and brown people’s access to, and experience of, education, employment, the economy, housing, and health and wellness. The systematic and disproportionate levels of education, employment, and economic discrimination; housing instability; and health disparities that communities of color experience are inextricably linked to greater risks of experiencing violence. To be clear, the nature of these identities do not make us more prone to violence, it’s the community and cultural conditions of white supremacy that lead to this increased risk. These realities are the reasons that intersectionality and racial justice are two of the primary organizational values that guide and direct the work of the Virginia Anti-Violence Project.
As always, VAVP will be holding space in community throughout August in various places. We are inviting LGBTQ+ identified folks that might be in need of emotional support to join us in community. This month, these spaces will be specifically staffed by LGBTQ+ identified people of color and we will be intentionally focussed on providing support related to being impacted by racialized violence. The upcoming August dates/spaces include:
Wednesday, August 16, 6:30pm – 8:30pm Youth [ages 14-20] of Color Support Group [collaboration with Side by Side, come at 6 p.m. if you have never been before]
Thursday, August 17, 12pm – 3pm, VAVP Pop-Up advocacy hours @ Diversity Richmond
Jueves 17 de agosto, de 7pm a 8:30pm, busca la casita junto a la piscina en la esquina de Clarkson Rd & Southwood Parkway
Monday, August 21, 6pm – 8pm, VAVP Pop-Up advocacy hours @ Nationz Foundation
Tuesday, August 22, 3:30pm – 6:30pm, VAVP Pop-Up advocacy hours @ Side by Side
Monday, August 28, 6pm – 9pm, SONG/VAVP Black August Bail Out: Care Package & Art Party, The Comm Room
VAVP offers services to LGBTQ+ individuals that have been impacted by intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking, as well as hate/bias motivated harassment and violence. VAVP also has resources to support training and consultation with agencies, community groups, congregations, and other interested organizations. For more information on the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, email email@example.com or call 804-925-9242. If you are LGBTQ+-identified and you have been impacted by violence, you can also call the 24-hour, toll-free, confidential Virginia LGBTQ+ Helpline at 1-866-356-6998.