'We’re Fighting For Our Rights': Meet The People Of Charlottesville

“I want to make a difference."

Charlottesville, Virginia, is a resilient city. The white supremacist rally that turned violent in August has only reinforced the strength and hope of Charlottesville’s residents.

HuffPost is hitting the road this fall to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears ― and what it means to be American today.

The storied University of Virginia is in the heart of the city, and HuffPost nestled in the school’s McIntire Amphitheatre to chat with locals about the place they call home. Here’s what they had to say:

“It’s a place of excellence and drive. ... Charlottesville is a place of incredible empathy and heart. They’ve really engendered that in me.”

― Lauren Levan, 21, student

“I want to make a difference. ... I want to go into education policy, hopefully to address racial concerns.”

― Chloe Cohen, 18, student

“I am a black woman and I’m taking my power back. I’m also encouraging other women of color to stand up and fight for our rights.” 

― Rosia Parker, 45, activist

“I was born here. ... I’m a UVA student and this is the place that I really love.”

― Joshua King, 20, student

“We’re here for a cause, we’re here not for hating people -- we’re here because, right now, black lives are under attack. We just want people to know we’re fighting for our rights.”

― Katrina Turner, 48, housewife

“It’s a pretty great place to live if you like art and if you like history.” 

― Jemar Harris, 26, actor

“I’m living here in Charlottesville with my beautiful fiancee, about to get married.”

― Michael Taylor, 30, musician, writer, illustrator

“I’m doing a tour around Virginia.”

― Gerry McCann, 60, retired

“I came here in 1972. I was the third group of women to go through UVA. ... I love it here. I raised three children here.”

― KaeRenae Mitchell, director of Virginia Women’s Chorus