In an extraordinary display of solidarity, comrades from around the country came together to raise nearly $200,000 for survivors of right-wing violence in the fascist attack on August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Crowdfunding for hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct aid was a new tactic for DSA initiated in response to a clear need. We have learned many lessons from this experience and will undoubtedly learn more as the process continues. In October, DSA’s Steering Committee voted to give these funds to the National Compassion Fund (NCF) for distribution. A statement explaining this decision was sent shortly after to chapter leaders and was also publicly posted on the fundraiser as an update, which you can read here. DSA’s funds were all successfully transferred to NCF during the second week of November.
The NCF has appointed a local steering committee, which includes one member of DSA Charlottesville and one member of DSA Richmond, to establish the eligibility criteria, application deadlines, validation requirements, and method(s) of distribution. DSA’s elected leadership chose NCF for its track record of confidentially vetting victims and transparently distributing funds as they did following the mass shooting at the Orlando Pulse nightclub in June of 2016. Transferring the money to NCF provided the best route for ensuring that those harmed would not have to file police reports; that their identities and health information would remain confidential at the local and national level; that there would be experienced oversight of the funds and that they would be disbursed correctly based on local need. The NCF is still accepting applications from survivors of the Charlottesville attack to receive funds. To apply, visit http://nationalcompassionfund.org/funds/charlottesville-contact/.
Any questions about the distribution of funds should be directed to NCF at 855-4VICTIM. We will keep DSA membership updated on NCF’s disbursement through posts to this website as their process continues.