Charlottesville, VA—The Make It Right (MIR) Project announced a new billboard calling for the removal of monuments glorifying leaders of the Confederate army, which fought the Civil War to ensure the permanence of black chattel slavery.
The sign was erected by MIR to further bolster Charlottesville anti-racist organizers’ tireless efforts to take down Confederate monuments. The billboard depicts local statues of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee flanking the words “Monumental Change Needed,” almost immediately garnering widespread media attention in the Charlottesville area. (Media coverage listed at the bottom of this release)
“A little over a year ago, neo-Nazis, MAGA thugs and other garden-variety racists descended on Charlottesville in violent defense of these statues, which they recognize as overt odes to white supremacy. The result was the murder of Heather Heyer, the brutal beating of DeAndre Harris and the injury of dozens more,” said MIR Director Kali Holloway. “It is not incidental that Confederate monuments—in Charlottesville and across this country—are so often the sites of racist violence and intimidation.
“These statues were erected to serve as key elements in a domestic terror campaign against African-Americans, and they continue to be a threat to public safety and well-being. The billboard is erected in support of Charlottesville’s anti-racist activists who are working to eradicate these racist symbols and reckon with the legacy of white supremacy, such as the Hate-Free Schools Coalition of Albemarle County and the Community Remembrance Project.”
“Monumental change is needed because these statues are monumentally wrong,” said University of Virginia English professor and Black Lives Matter organizer Lisa Woolfork. “Charlottesville must remove these racist Jim Crow monuments to the antebellum slave regime also known as the confederacy. These statues continue to draw racial terror to our community, as white supremacists fight in our streets and in our courts to defend the lies of their ‘Lost Cause.’”
“Confederate monuments and racist imagery do not belong in our public spaces,” said Zyahna Bryant, who at age 15 initiated the 2016 petition to remove the Lee monument. “These statues represent a deeper history of white supremacy that continues to oppress people of color. In toppling these local odes to the Confederacy, protesters and student activists at UNC-Chapel Hill and Durham have shown why the removal of these monuments must remain at the forefront of our conversations.”
The Make It Right Project is dedicated to working with multiple groups—activists, artists, historians and media outlets—to remove Confederate monuments and develop post-removal protocols to tell the truth about history. , The sign is located in a prominent area in Charlottesville, on East High Street near the intersection with Long Street.
CBS Channel 19 – Billboard calls for removal of Lee, Jackson statues
ABC Channel 8 – Billboard calls for removal of Lee, Jackson statues
CBS Channel WKYT (Lexington, KY) – Virginia billboard calls for removal of Lee, Jackson statues
WVTF – Virginia NPR – Cville Billboard Urges Monumental Change
WCVE Radio News – PBS Affiliate — Billboards Urge Charlottesville Confederate Statue Removal
RADIO News Radio WINA 1070/98.9 – Anti-Confederate statue billboard installed on city’s eastern gateway
WCHV 1260/107.5 – Cville Billboard Says Remove Confederate Monuments
Watch CBS News 19 Below: