Members of the Clergy Stand Up for Charlottesville

A week ahead of the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally, our team headed down to Charlottesville, VA to assist the clergy and local activists with messaging, media relations, crisis communications, and spokesperson training. Balestra worked with Solidarity C’Ville, a coalition whose membership included Clergy from Congregate, Charlottesville; activists from Black Lives Matter, Charlottesville; and allies from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Charlottesville.  

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We produced over a dozen documents guiding reporters covering the weekend's events and staffed dozens of interviews with local activists and faith leaders. Hundreds of top-tier media outlets provided extensive coverage to the Charlottesville residents who were showing up to challenge the spectre of white supremacy that imposed itself on their small town. When tragedy struck, creative director Andy Stepanian stayed throughout the tumultuous time, late through the evening to facilitate rapid response message aggregation and reporting for the activists on the ground. Andy's constant support to the clergy and local residents was a guide for journalists who were able to tell the real stories of human impact while honoring and respecting those who were harmed.

Christina DiPasquale