Susan Bro reflects on healing three years since losing daughter in Charlottesville rally

Wednesday marks three years since the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Wednesday marks three years since the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

10 News sat down with Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, who says despite the hardships of 2020, there's been healing.

Three years ago, Heather Heyer stepped into the streets of Charlottesville to march for black lives.

Never did her mother think she'd die supporting the movement.

“Heather was a random act of murder, in an act of hate that was intended to take down people who were in support of black lives,” Bro said.

Bro has picked up the fight where her daughter left off, but is always quick to say “don’t deify my daughter, don’t put her on a pedestal.”

Since Aug. 12, 2017, Bro has humbly become a voice for social justice.

It’s a role she found wasn’t connecting with the black community.

“I recognized I was not really connecting with the African American community. I knew I wasn’t getting it right,” said Bro.

As America has worked this year to make strides in racial reconciliation, for Bro, the effort began in 2019.

“Trying to learn from people, not talk over top of people, not view myself as a white savior ... which so many of us do, but to actually listen and learn and take to heart and then put into action what people are saying to you makes a big difference,” said Bro.

She's carried on Heather's legacy through speaking engagements and building scholarship and youth empowerment programs.

For Bro, this work has thrust her into the public spotlight and just this year she's starting to heal from Heather's death.

“Over the pandemic, I managed to unpack the rest of the boxes, put her things either on a shelf or pack them away,” said Bro. “For me, it was a chance to sit still, catch my breath for the first time in three years.”

After resting at home, things have picked back up for Bro as she’s been asked to sound off on the growing political divide in a documentary titled, The Reunited States.

It’s a subject matter she’s become an expert in.

“Just because an emotion comes to you doesn’t mean it needs to come out of your lips.”

Or posted to social media.

As Bro has watched what has happened to her daughter and what continues in our world, she has this advice …

“We do need to be a little kind and patient with one another because we’re all hurting.”

About the Author:

After working and going to school in Central Virginia for over five years, Lindsey’s made her way back home to the mountains.