The tragedy that occurred this past August in Charlottesville, Virginia left the rest of the United States in a fresh state of horror, scarring the nation yet again. On Wednesday, September 13, student organizations collaborated to host a Charlottesville Town Hall Meeting and Prayer Vigil in order to pray and grieve for Charlottesville.
The night featured Todd Allen, provost for Diversity Affairs, who spoke during the Town Hall section of the event.
“We do not grieve as though we have no hope,” Allen said. ”We do have hope but in the strength of our savior, not in ourselves.
Allen presented a photo of Charlottesville clergymen standing together in counter-protest against the “Unite the Right” rally. However, Allen explained that it doesn’t mean God’s people are to fight the protesters specifically as their enemy, but instead the wickedness and superior complex they are exhibiting.
Allen also added, “Lament allows for suffering to speak and to contribute to the story. We need to go through lament to understand what it is.” He encouraged the event’s attendees to be present for each other as well as others who are suffering.
Following the Town Hall meeting, a panel and a few audience members expressed their thoughts on the recent event.
“It is about all of us entwined together,” Student Prayer Chaplain Isabelle Gonzalez said. “Christians pursuing justice, that’s what we should be doing.”
Student Body President Jamie-Claire Chau also urged the audience to utilize their privilege as students to educate their peers, be educated themselves and be aware of injustice.
The night ended with the panel leading everyone on a prayer walk across campus.
Minds Matter Education Leader Libby Sawyer said, “I live in Charlottesville. It was not ‘both sides,’ these people came to hurt others, to hate and kill. We are going to subvert hate. We are going to walk in declaration of victory, peace and justice.”