Southside’s ‘History United’ wins honorable mention for Civvy Awards

The group promotes looking within to help build the future

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – A Southside non-profit is celebrating our country’s latest achievements and their own.

History United works to build common bonds across races and industries and was nationally recognized this year for that work.

It’s only been up for a few years, but the neon sign that says “Home” in downtown Danville is once again a city icon. It rose from the ashes of the old Dan River Fabrics with a little help from a group called History United

Chad Martin is the group’s director and also a Martinsville City Councilman.

“We really want to capture everybody’s story and say everybody’s story is relevant,” Martin said.

The group aims to grow the region by embracing, not burying, their history, both good and bad, across all races.

“As Dr. King said, riots are the language of the unheard. We want to make sure everybody’s story is heard and promoted, whatever that history may be,” Martin said.

The group is only five years old but is already making waves. It received an honorable mention for the 2020 Civvy Awards - recognizing initiatives that cross divides working toward greater equity, diversity and inclusion.

Danville City Councilman James Buckner said the group is worthy of the high honor.

“History United does a great job with preserving and educating people about our history and certainly are a huge part of our future,” Buckner said.

Martin said Vice President Kamala Harris’ historic achievement Wednesday as a woman of color parallels their work, and strengthens their foundation moving through 2021.

“Seeing all that encompassed in one person today that just got sworn in, we are in the crescendo of time to see change happen and so it’s just amazing how history plays out,” Martin said.

About the Author:

Shayne Dwyer is an award-winning journalist and a member of the 10 News team since May 2018.