Two rallies on the same topic—critical race theory—but from different points of view will be held when the Loudoun County School Board meets Tuesday afternoon.
“Eraced,” a rally against CRT, will be held at the division’s administration building from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13.
At the same time and same location, a pro-CRT rally will also take place. Its intent, according to rally founder Heather Gottlieb, is to gather peacefully to show support of teaching accurate history, CRT, and social emotional learning at division schools.
Eraced is a movement that “loves life of every race and color and sees all mankind as one blood and equally valuable,” according to an event flyer.
Clint Thomas, a father of a Loudoun County student and one of the rally organizers said in a press release, “Parents have had enough. Enough of the division caused by LCPS policies on race, gender, and equity which have dumbed down and lied to our kids and led to increased mental health issues.”
Elicia Brand, president and co-founder of Army of Parents and rally organizer said in a press release, “We want the good, bad, and ugly of American history to be taught in our schools. We want slavery and racism to be discussed. We want it taught within a framework of compassion and understanding, designed to unify not divide, educate not blame and shame. We stand firmly against any policy, action, or teaching that infers one group of people is inferior or superior to another, discriminates based on skin color, supports the bigotry of low expectations and that is anti-American.”
It will feature 10th District Congressional candidate Hung Cao, candidates for both the Leesburg District and Broad Run District School Board seat, Moms for Liberty, Army of Parents, The Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club and Fight for Schools. John K. Amanchukwu Sr., a former college football player turned pastor, speaker and author of the book “Eraced: Uncovering the Lies of Critical Race Theory and Abortion” will speak. Other speakers include Erin Roselle Poe, president of the Loudoun County Republic Women’s Club and Vice President and Co-founder of Army of Parents; Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior; Moms for Liberty Loudoun President Cheryl Onderchain, Loudoun moms Xi Van Fleet and Shawntel Cooper, Republican 10th District Committee Chairman Geary Higgins, NOVA High School Republican Club President Michael Gregory and others, according to a press release.
Gottlieb said in an email that critical race theory really just means “that while learning about American history and economics and healthcare (and anything really) that we need to consider the experiences of Black people and people of color.”
She said that 57% of the county students are non-white and said she believes that percentage makes CRT appropriate for students here.
Gottlieb said it’s acknowledging that Black people and people of color experience life differently, and their experience matters. She added that it’s not about feeling guilty about one’s ancestors being oppressors. She said many times, racism is an unconscious thing, and people don’t realize they are doing it until they start to learn more about it.
“We want the Black community and the community of color to understand that we are going to show up for them and we aren’t going to back down,” said Gottlieb in an interview.
Gottlieb organized the rally because she wanted the community to know there is a loud majority that do not agree with the message coming from the other side. She said she can’t imagine what Black people and people of color in the community are feeling when they see anti-CRT talk all over the media and don’t see pushback from the community. She said she couldn’t sit by and do nothing after she heard about the Eraced rally.
“This really is a grassroots effort. It’s just individual people who really feel this is important,” Gottlieb said. She said she began organizing the rally two weeks ago, created a Facebook event and has been sharing it to let people know about the rally.
Gottlieb said the rally is meant to show why it’s important to learn about other cultures, accurate history and how differently people are treated based on the color of their skin.
“A lot of people want to talk about fascism or bash the other side. That wasn’t the intent,” she Gottlieb.
“But if we want to make a difference and move the needle, we have to show up together for everything,” she added.
Both rallies will be held outside the school administration building at 21000 Education Court in Ashburn.