The Memorial Fund's Statement of Charlottesville

“Defeating racism, tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will liberate us all, victim and perpetrator alike.”

—Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the United Nations.


The Trustees and Staff of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund unequivocally, and without exception, reject the mythology of white supremacy and the white nationalism which seems to be embraced by the current President and his administration. Unlike the President, we believe that there is only one side: the side of love, morality, and justice. There is no legitimate debate to be had about whether people coming together to defend their communities against hate and threats of violence are the moral equivalent to those seeking to intimidate and cause harm to others based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and/or identity.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville and people everywhere who are brutalized and disempowered by institutionalized and systemic racism that is deeply rooted in our history and is still pervasive today. We mourn the murder of Heather Heyer and all others who have been injured or killed in the name of white supremacy and religious intolerance.  

We remain committed to providing support and resources to Connecticut communities that are under attack.  After the election, the Memorial Fund created Responsive Grants to address the threats arising from the President’s campaign and subsequent victory.  We encourage organizations, groups and individuals to apply for a Responsive Grant, which provides funds or space to respond to current and emerging threats of white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia. This support could include gatherings, nonviolent direct action, crisis response or therapeutic support that address the physical, social and emotional wellbeing and safety of those being threatened.

Please review the invitation and use the application on this page to submit your request for support. It is our intent to move funds as quickly as possible to meet the urgent needs in our community. We will assist applicants lacking 501(c)(3) status by matching them with a fiscal sponsor where possible.  

The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund remains steadfast in our mission of creating equity in education by working with people affected and inspiring all to end racism and poverty. Despite the enormity of the daunting task before us, we remain committed.  It is by working together and struggling together that we will transform the world we live in to one filled with the justice.