CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - People in Charlottesville are commemorating two years since white supremacists descended on the city. Dozens gathered at a community discussion hosted by the Heather Heyer Foundation.

Community members and survivors were joined by filmmaker Chris Ivey on Friday night to have constructive conversations about where the city needs to go after the violence that happened in 2017.

"I want to see people embrace change and that happens from within the heart,” said Susan Bro, president and chairman of the Heather Heyer Foundation.

Ivey and the Heather Heyer Foundation held a community discussion on the violent events of August 11 and 12, 2017.

Ivey was joined by car attack survivor Wednesday Alva who says having difficult conversations is a step in the right direction. "I think it’s important to keep the conversation going I think that a lot of groundwork has been laid to start this conversation."

"We have to come to some sort of understanding of each other’s point of view. We're not necessarily going to agree but we need to hear what the other person is thinking,” said Bro. "I was very glad to see a lot of activists including myself pull quietly off to our side for the anniversary and memorialize and celebrate in quiet ways and I think that was needed."

The group also discussed topics ranging from statues to affordable housing in the city. Alva hopes it is the first of many conversations about difficult topics in the city to help the community move forward.

"Be active in the community wherever they can be. I'm blessed to know so many wonderful people doing so many wonderful things in Charlottesville,” said Alva.

On Friday night the group was also encouraging donations to the Heal Charlottesville Fund which helps cover medical costs for survivors of the car attack.