CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An independent candidate for Charlottesville City Council plans to offer an event to counter a controversial rally.

Kenneth Jackson announced Friday, June 30, the he will be holding an ice cream social on the same day members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are to rally support for the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Emancipation Park (previously named Lee Park).

Jackson’s Unity in the Community event is scheduled to take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at the West Haven Community Center.

The candidate said it's not protesting that will strengthen Charlottesville's neighborhoods, but coming together and getting to know each other regardless of race or age.

“I was born and raised here, and I've watched Charlottesville go from something of just being a wonderful place to live where we all got along and we all cared about each other to being just split all to pieces over things that don't make a difference," said Jackson.

The North Carolina-based hate group had originally filed paperwork to rally in front of Charlottesville Circuit Court, but are now expected to gather at nearby Justice Park. The park contains a statue to Confederate General Thomas Johnathan "Stonewall" Jackson.

Several groups and churches are also planning alternative events at the same time as July’s rally.

Jackson, who had previously ran as a Republican, says he is running as an independent for City Council to reach all people and help better the community.