Heather D. Heyer, a young woman with a big heart and a passion for equity for all individuals regardless of race, religion, gender identity or preference, lost her life August 12, 2017 when a car plowed into a crowd of counter-demonstrators who were protesting a rally of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists.
Heather was a high school graduate who had worked for years as a waitress and a bartender until 2012 when she was given the opportunity to work at a local law firm in Charlottesville, VA. Upon getting this opportunity to establish a career, Heather worked hard to become a paralegal. While working as a paralegal, Heather continued to voice her concerns and views about equality. She often expressed her deep frustration because minorities, genders, and religious cultures were being unjustly treated. By speaking out for justice and equality, Heather embodied the spirit of the civil rights movement.
Although not a locally known activist, Heather spoke passionately on social media and in small groups and with individuals. She asked people to explain why they believed what they believed. And then she would share facts and statistics with them to explain her points of view.
Heather was a young woman deeply involved in taking a stand against injustice when she didn’t have to do so. Heather’s story shows how much has changed since the civil rights movement, but it also shows how much hasn’t changed. And it shows how a small act can make a big difference.
The Heather Heyer Foundation was created to honor Heather Heyer. The Foundation has established a scholarship program to provide financial assistance to individuals passionate about positive social change. Scholarships are awarded to those seeking a degree or certification in, but not limited to, law, paralegal studies, social work, social justice, and education. Help us make a difference, and as Heather had often quoted “If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention” (Unknown)