Heyer Voices Bring Higher Voices

Local students work on spreading awareness and presenting individual passion projects


Michal Kipnis, Staff Writer

“They tried to kill my daughter to shut her up, well, guess what? You just magnified her.” Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said during an event hosted by the Washington Post. The event was meant to remember and honor Heather Heyer, a victim of the traumatic events of August 12, when white supremacists came to Charlottesville. 

Bro’s message inspired the creation of a project called Heyer Voices that was “designed to pull in high school students in the area to get involved in an activist project,” senior Grace Berigan said. The Heyer Voices Foundation works alongside the Sum foundation to allow students a chance to spread an important message of their choice.  

Working with Heyer Voices in the past year has allowed local students the chance to work on a passion project, which, for seniors, Kate Kennedy, Grace Berigan, and Quinn Loftus, as well as junior Diana Kim has given them a chance to work alongside Bro as a mentor and other peers to spread their message. The students were given freedom in what topics they chose for their passion project. Berigan presented her project on police brutality during a library lunch seminar to a group of western students. Noting the importance of police brutality over time, Berigan centered her project in the Jim Crow period and the civil rights era. Other students participating in the Heyer and Sum foundation are still working on their projects, including Kate Kennedy. Kennedy recently interviewed some Western students about the impact of discrimination. Being a part of the Heyer and Sum foundation allows local students to embrace an idea and create a passion project out of it. Although Heather Heyer may be gone, her voice, spread by others, will never be silenced.