Bridge Builders, Charlottesville, VA 2001-2016
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A compilation of 37 biographies, Bridge Builders 2001-2016 Charlottesville, VA provides a glimpse into the history of the community in the latter half of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century when issues of race, economic and social equity, and criminal justice have emerged not only as local but also national issues.
In 1998, members of City Council replaced the old West Main Street structure with a newly designed bridge, which they named for civil rights leader Drewary J. Brown. In addition, the Council decided that the Drewary J. Brown Memorial Bridge should also institute a program to recognize other community leaders who – like Brown — had metaphorically crossed bridges to build relationships to create a more just and equitable community. Over the years, as persons have been recognized, plaques with their names have been affixed to railings of the bridge.
This book telling the stories of 37 local heroes hopefully will inspire additional work and perseverance to address continuing issues of racial and economic disparities in our community.
More than ever, our local stories need to be told to inspire citizens, including students, to discover the history and to take inspiration to find their own roles in continuing to build bridges to create a beloved community for all.
We especially reach out to young people to discover more of the rich history of this city and to the schools and teachers, civic and educational organizations who will assist students to research and evaluate the historical records and other resources in that discovery process.