An updated story about the gathering, including the venue, is here.

A “Community Gathering for Peace and Justice supporting Black Lives Matter” will be held in Rappahannock County on Sunday, June 28, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“We have not finalized the location, but will notify you as soon as we do,” said organizers, speculating the event will most likely be held “in Sperryville.”

Nan Butler Roberts, who grew up in Rappahannock County and serves as president of the Scrabble School Preservation Foundation, told the News early Thursday evening that those planning and participating in the gathering consist of familiar names in the county from varied backgrounds. 

“We’re a grassroots group,” she said. “It’s a group of citizens coming together — the Rappahannock Clergy Association, the Hate Has No Home Here organization, and other citizens who thought it would be good to have something in Rappahannock.

“We’ve also reached out to the public schools, as well as the private schools, and to the sheriff's department, and some local ministers, certain legislators from outside the county — folks I’ve met along the way who have agreed to come,” Butler Roberts said.

She stressed that the event will be a “gathering” as opposed to a rally or march. Also, in light of COVID-19 “we are following all rules and guidance.”

The next step will be to solidify a venue for the event, Butler Roberts said, a location that should be known by early next week.

Butler Roberts, Kit Goldfarb and Steph Ridder — three of the BLM event organizers — said in an email that the “goal of this gathering is to show our solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality. It is a peaceful gathering and will include prayer, speakers, music, and voter registration information.”

“Additionally, we will have representatives from the sheriff’s department to ensure that we are safe. It is open to anyone who follows the rules.”

The organizers are hoping for “a very large turnout.”

Numerous speakers are already lined up for the gathering, clergy prominently among them.

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