Message from OPEIU International President Richard Lanigan

Our country is still reeling from the shocking events in Charlottesville this weekend. In no uncertain terms, OPEIU strongly condemns the violence and hatred that was displayed by Nazi white nationalists in Charlottesville and the racist rhetoric that has followed.

While we may not share the same political views, all Americans share a desire for freedom, justice and equality. And in these confusing, disheartening times, one thing is clear – now is the time that all good people must act, stand up and speak out against this hatred and bigotry. We must all educate ourselves on the issues and then demand that our elected leaders stand with us against all forms of racism, violence and injustice. Each and every one of us shares this responsibility; we must not and cannot remain silent in the face of hatred.

As part of this responsibility, OPEIU is making a donation to both the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center, two civil rights organizations working to eliminate injustice for all Americans. We hope you’ll join us in supporting these organizations. If you’re able, we encourage you to make a donation. You can donate to the NAACP here, and to the Southern Poverty Law Center here. Every donation, no matter how small, can make a tremendous difference.

Our thoughts are with those who suffered injury in Charlottesville, and of course, to the family of Heather Heyer, who died standing up to hatred. My hope is that her courage and bravery will inspire each of us to stand up, speak out and do our part to further the ideals shared by our organization of freedom, justice and equality.