Justice Coalition Explains Its Mission

Oct. 12, 2020

Editor, The News-Gazette:

This past summer, the Rockbridge Justice Coalition formed with a simple but ambitious goal: to help end the racism experienced by our Black friends, family and neighbors in Rockbridge County. Nearly all of us have lived here our entire lives. We love Rockbridge County and we want this place to feel welcoming to all people.

This simple goal is something we believe everyone can get behind. However, in these divisive times, misinformation runs rampant — even here in Rockbridge — and false rumors do a great deal to divide all of us. It has come to our attention that misinformation has been spread in an attempt to distort who we are, what we do, and what we want for our county.

Rockbridge Justice Coalition is not and has never been affiliated in any way with Antifa or any radical leftist groups. Rockbridge Justice Coalition also is not, and has never been, associated with groups promoting socialism, Communism, Marxism, or any other leftist ideology.

Furthermore, Rockbridge Justice Coalition members do not use and have never used threats or intimidation tactics when communicating with other members of our community, including local educators, public officials, and activists. This would go against our values and our goal of making Rockbridge a more welcoming place to all people. Instead, we believe in fostering change by showing up to important meetings, sharing the impact racism has had on ourselves and our neighbors, and having conversations with local educators, public officials, and most importantly, members of our Black community.

We are new to this. We have work to do. But we look forward to seeing Rockbridge County as a place where all are welcome, and no one has to live in fear for any reason, including the color of their skin.

We look forward to working with all of you to make this goal a reality.

CHRIS RITTER

On Behalf Of Rockbridge Justice Coalition

The News-Gazette

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