The Heal Charlottesville Fund
The story of the Heal Charlottesville Fund is, in certain respects, a simple one. There was violence in August 2017 and the community responded with generosity and love.
With the majority of its funds contributed as a result of the Concert for Charlottesville, a benefit concert organized by Dave Matthews Band, the Heal Fund distributed more than $2 million. Survivors received immediate aid while the Community Foundation sought ways to respond to the other kinds of pain experienced that weekend. Through a special grant round, the Heal Fund sought to address, in particular, our long history of anti-Semitism and racism. These projects created new opportunities but also complicated our community’s story of itself. Listen to the voices here, and we think you’ll see not just that we live in a community that doesn’t work the same for everyone, especially if you are black, but how that’s true.
You’ll also see the ways in which the Heal Charlottesville Fund has had a profound impact on the Community Foundation itself. Since our founding, we’ve embraced the idea that we are all interconnected; that in order to thrive together, we must value and invest in one another. But the Heal Fund has helped us forge entirely new collaborations and new ways of connecting. We have come to understand that a commitment to racial equity is entirely consistent with our founding values, and at the same time it requires us to operate differently, see differently, and engage with the community differently.
Our new relationships and ways of connecting, in turn, have pointed us toward what we hope is an even deeper kind of healing. A way of being together in community that strives for something new, that reaches beyond the status quo.
To tell this story, though, we must begin on one of the darkest Friday nights Charlottesville has ever known …