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IX Art Park Hosts Inaugural 'We Are Here Diversity Festival'

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Dozens showed up for the inaugural festival. Dozens showed up for the inaugural festival.
Susan Bro was a keynote speaker at the festival. Susan Bro was a keynote speaker at the festival.
Khizr Khan discussed diversity and activism within the community. Khizr Khan discussed diversity and activism within the community.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

In response to the violence in Charlottesville last August, dozens of people gathered at IX Art Park on Saturday to celebrate diversity at the We Are Here Diversity Festival.
     
Saturday’s event was the inaugural kickoff of the festival, which aims to bring people together to see other perspectives. 

“It began as a festival with different performing groups and various local nonprofits and it ended up as quite a big event with a virtual reality station, Khizr Khan, and Susan Bro talking about their versions of activism and diversity in the community,” said Vanessa Braganza, organizer of the festival. 

Organizers say they selected the event's speakers because of their dignity, respect, and diverse perspectives that they have to offer.

 “We all have various complex natures and I think being aware of our complexity enriches us and being aware of each other's complexity allows us to interact in ways that are far more interesting, far more productive than if we all try to fit into these square boxes,” said Susan Bro, the keynote speaker.

While the focus of Susan Bro's speech was on diversity, gold star father Khizr Khan used the stage to honor Bro and her daughter -- Heather Heyer -- who was killed following August’s Unite the Right Rally.
 
“We live in a community that looks after us, that pays attention to our safety I have taken that tragedy that took place in this blesseth city to the nation and everyone has sent their love to this city for being an exemplary city in the United States and they send their condolences and their love to miss bro as well,” said Khan.
     
Organizers are hopeful all attendees will take something positive away from the inaugural event.

 “I hope that every person that comes here today leaves with at least one other way to view the world,” said Braganza.