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Pilgrimage Aims to Break Barriers of Racism, Shed Light on Untold Stories

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People participated in a four-mile pilgrimage on Saturday People participated in a four-mile pilgrimage on Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A four-mile walk from the Jefferson School to Monticello is helping break barriers of racism and injustice within the Charlottesville community.

The Cville2JTown pilgrimage hopes to shed light on untold stories and build relationships.

The pilgrimage is in honor of African slaves who helped make our world better, but were never recognized.

It also aims to share others’ views and understanding to move forward.

"What will it take to repair 400 years of discrimination?” Rabia Povich of the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, said.

Step by step, song by song, people of the Charlottesville community are trying to destroy the legacy of racism.

"The legacy of enslavement is unfortunately still alive today,” Povich said. “We have disparity and outcomes of education, earnings, and health, and it's part of history of oppression and discrimination.”

The walk on Saturday, October 6, started at the Jefferson School and ended at Monticello and is a journey that hits close to home for many.

"This is a walk I want to remember because, after all, my family came from slavery as well,” Sarah Kelly, a pastor, said.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello once held hundreds of slaves, and their names were read out on Saturday.

“There have been times in my life when there's been great hostility about it, but then I recognized that there's nothing hidden that won't be revealed,” Kelly said.

For some, they know contributions will eventually be recognized.

"It doesn't matter the fact that it's overlooked initially, because you keep reminding people of the injustices in our country and somebody will pay attention and make an effort to right the wrongs,” Alvin Edwards, a pastor, said.

And through it all, learning from each other is the first step to healing.

“Faith community is the deal with moral issues care deeply about race and disparity, and we want to bring people together,” Povich said. “Not with a quick Band-Aid, not pretending the division isn't happening, but recognizing the harm and beginning to talk about repair."

On Friday, October 12, the participants will travel to Richmond to walk Richmond's slave trail, and on October 13, they will travel is Jamestown for the first tour.