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Beloved Community Cville will be offering a bi-weekly e-newsletter soon
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In this e-newsletter, we will:
  • Highlight our community’s racial history
  • Provide resources to learn local Black history, like our Virtual Tour!
  • Feature Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations
  • Announce 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.

It has been said: “Social change happens at the speed of relationships. Relationships are built at the speed of trust.” We hope that this newsletter will pave a pathway to a community that sustains us all by cultivating trust, mutual aid, radical compassion, less individualism, and more humility.
Change is coming!

Elizabeth Shillue and Michael Cheuk
On behalf of the Beloved Community Cville team


Beloved Community Cville hosted the
second annual Slave Auction Block Vigil

Photo credit: Eze Amos.
Please visit our blog post for more pictures and to view a recording of the livestream of the vigil.
Last Sunday, Feb. 28th, Beloved Community Cville hosted the “Slave Auction Block Vigil: Honoring the Ancestors” at the Historic Court Square to acknowledge the trauma which took place there and honor the ancestors. The event served as a kick-off to the events of Liberation & Freedom Day, which celebrates the arrival of Union soldiers into Charlottesville in 1865.

During the vigil, the history of the human sales which took place in Court Square was brought alive through song, prayer, reading of names, and ritual by the following community members:
  • Dr. Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor, Dept of Religious Studies at UVA
  • Don Gathers, deacon at First Baptist Church on Main Street; a founding member of Black Lives Matter Charlottesville; organizer with Beloved Community Cville
  • Cauline Yates, Virginia Humanities Receptionist, the seventh-generation grand-niece of Sally Hemings.
  • Rev. Dr. Lehman Bates, Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church
  • Apostle Sarah Kelley, Pastor of Faith, Hope and Love 
  • Dr. Kevin McDonald, University of Virginia’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships
  • Kim Swift, Singer and Special Events Coordinator for Ebenezer Baptist Church 
  • Rev. Xavier Jackson, Pastor of Chapman Grove Baptist Church


1) Albemarle County Courthouse steps  
  • Overview of event -- Don Gathers and Jalane Schmidt
  • Fountain Hughes recording -- 1949 interview with a 101-year-old formerly enslaved Charlottesville man.
2) Eagle Tavern
  • Read aloud the names of 33 people sold there in 1829 -- Cauline Yates
  • Prayer for those who were named and their descendants -- Lehman Bates
3) Slave Auction Block Marker
  • Apostle Sarah Kelley -- Gave testimony & sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”
4) Swan Tavern
  • Kevin McDonald -- Read out loud the 1852 letter by Maria Perkins 
  • Kim Swift -- Sang “Steal Away to Jesus”
5) Courthouse steps area 
  • Ritual -- Libation led by Don Gathers (Bowl & table from Jalane Schmidt)
  • Rev. Xavier Jackson sang “Lift Every Voice & Sing”
  • Final words of thanks -- Don Gathers

Please click on this link to read’s coverage of our vigil.

“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.
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Beloved Community Cville · 703 Concord Avenue · Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 · USA

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