Fluvanna residents show support for Black Lives Matter movement

By Madeline Otten

As many as 200 residents of Fluvanna County came together at a safe distance to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on Sunday, June 14, at Pleasant Grove.

Amanda Pace Dickinson organized the peaceful protest from 9 a.m. to noon to support the BLM movement as well as the African American community in Fluvanna County.

Dickinson was inspired by a conversation she had with her daughters, ages eight and 10, about racism. The topic of actions speak louder than words came up and Dickinson put what she called a “feeler” on Facebook to friends and ended up getting a massive response.  This prompted her to create a public Facebook event to share with more than just friends.

“I was so incredibly proud of our community,” said Dickinson on Facebook Sunday afternoon. “The Black Lives Matter – Fluvanna Peaceful Protest was a wonderful first step towards progressive conversation and change for Fluvanna County. Thank you to everyone who supported this event in various ways.”

The protestors, ranging in all ages and races, lined up in Pleasant Grove Park along Thomas Jefferson Parkway holding homemade posters with positive and supporting messages. Those driving by  showed their support by honking their car horns and waving to the protesters.

“This was Fluvanna at its finest – a wonderful, peaceful gathering to demonstrate to all of our friends and neighbors that we support and value them all,” said Fluvanna resident Tricia Johnson. “I was especially happy to see so many children, from toddlers to teens, in attendance. They were able to see first-hand what community activism is all about, and experience the difference they can make in our society.”

Even though this protest was held during the pandemic, Dickinson posted on Facebook that masks were encouraged and that a local group called FLUcares donated 100 masks which were given away. There was even a way for people to support the protest and stay safe by remaining in their cars.

“I urge anyone to educate themselves,” said Fluvanna County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip who also attended the protest. “There are a lot of books and podcasts about the criminal justice system and I think it is important to educate, learn about the problems, and understand the thoughts of others.”

For those who are unable to attend protests in person due to health conditions or from fear of contracting COVID-19, there are other ways to support the BLM movement and making a difference, even from the comfort of home. For more information visit https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co.



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