Creating Beloved Community in Cville!
Most are familiar with MLK’s vision of a society based on justice, equality, and the love of one’s fellow human beings. What is often forgotten is how threatening his vision of “the beloved community” was to people. When King was killed, he was not well liked. In fact, he had a 60% disapproval rating. Why was that? Essentially, he was asking people to come into another way of being, to start matching our actions to our values and ideals, and to end white supremacy for the sake of everyone’s well-being.
“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls. as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
How do we work towards creating the beloved community in Charlottesville? The pathway to a community that sustains us all involves cultivating trust, more mutual aid, radical compassion, less individualism, and more humility. It has been said: “Social change happens at the speed of relationships. Relationships are built at the speed of trust.” In order to do this work we have to do it right here, right now within ourselves and within our hometown. And.... we won’t do it perfectly. We’re definitely going to make mistakes, that’s part of the practice.
Another essential part of social change work involves learning your community’s racial history. How did things become the way that they are today? What are the unhealed stories? Whose shoulders do we stand on and who’s already involved in the work now? It’s really important to respect the past leadership in the movement for black lives within Charlottesville, as well as the leadership of today, both established and emerging.
With this in mind, we’re developing the Beloved Community Virtual Tour as a resource to help folks learn the local black history of Charlottesville. And very importantly, to learn it from people who grew up here! The tour isn’t ready for viewing yet, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meanwhile each issue of our e-newsletter will contain a small piece of local black history, along with links to learn more.
Another important feature of the e-newsletter will be a spotlight on local black leadership. We will be featuring a black-owned business or a black-led organization in each issue. The goal is to increase awareness of these resources, as well as to help increase participation, donations, foot traffic (brick & mortar and online), and sales. Supporting these black-led/owned organizations and businesses will help our entire community to be more successful!
We hope that you will grow to appreciate the content of our newsletter, which will also include announcements of local events, with an emphasis on those being led / for / to benefit Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). The content will be carefully chosen to focus on racial justice and it will be hyper-local, with the goal of inspiring learning, increasing awareness, and activism for social change within our beloved community.
Change is coming!
On behalf of the Beloved Charlottesville Cville team