Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

I commend your staff for wonderful photographs and talented reporting. However, I wish to clarify that my group – featured in the second photo (protesters)- is not affiliated with VCU. We are graduate students at Union Presbyterian Seminary, one clergy member, and friends from my church, East End Fellowship. We were there with a positive message of #RVALovesLatinos in response to a personal attack against my family from a Trump supporter. Last week, my 1-year-old and 3-year-old sons were called “rapist drugmules” simply for their Mexican heritage.

We commend the courageous VCU students who brought injustice to light inside the rally, and only hope to amplify the movement by adding that protests were also held by Seminarians and other members of the community.

Mostly, we are just so thankful for the many different groups of advocates all doing our part to raise awareness of marginalized communities. We hope to build a local immigrant rights coalition in the coming months so feel free to share my contact info with anyone who might be interested.

As an aside, I attended VACOLAO’s Immigrant Rights Summit last month and hate speech was the number 1 concern of those in attendance. I also work at the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy where our Muslim members have identified Islamophobia as their number 1 concern.

Thank you for your work.

Best,
Lana Heath de Martinez
Public Policy Fellow
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

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