The STAY Project believes everyone deserves basic human rights no matter where they live, their economic background, race, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, presentation or cultural background. We are stronger when we bring together and support diverse voices in our region and that our communities should support our youth of color and LGBTQ youth living in the region. We do not believe that white supremacists have a place in our communities.
This moment, in the wake of the rally in Charlottesville this weekend, calls on us to reflect on one of STAY Project's core beliefs, that we have the ability to shape our own narratives about the past, present, and future of our region.
When we shape the narratives of our past we are called to recognize and confront the ways in which white supremacy has erased the histories of indigenous, black, and brown folx in Appalachia, just as we are called to remember our regional history of resistance.
When we shape the narratives of our present we are called to recognize and confront white supremacy in our lives and our communities. We are called to acknowledge that what happened in Charlottesville is not an isolated event, we know this because in April of this year white supremacists descended on Pikeville, KY and were met with local resistance and support. Furthermore, we cannot forget that white supremacy isn't always as apparent as a rally, it is institutional and pervasive in our everyday lives and conversations.
When we shape the narratives of our future we are called to decide if we will continue to let white supremacy have a seat at the table in our communities.
To young white folx in Appalachia, this starts by having conversations with your families, your friends, your communities about white supremacy. Conversations that will be difficult and stressful and urgent, as a comrade who was up in Charlottesville wrote, "resistance will always require giving up some degree of comfort."
To young folx of color in Appalachia, your lives, your histories, your stories matter. We are committed to lifting your stories.
To our STAY members and comrades who organized and put their bodies and lives on the line in Charlottesville we are so grateful for you, we love you and we are here for you.
The STAY Project is committed to sustainable, engaging, and inclusive communities in Appalachia, we are committed to the broader movement of Southern resistance, we are committed to collective liberation.
Love & Solidarity,
The STAY Project
Here area couple immediate ways to plug-in:
Comprehensive List of Defend Charlottesville Donation Funds
From the Movement for Black Lives: Confront Hate from Charlottesville to the White House call on Monday August 14th. Register Here
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