Heather Heyer’s mother called on people to listen to others’ points of view one day after James Alex Fields Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder for driving a car into counterprotesters at a 2017 Charlottesville, Va., rally, killing her daughter.
“Heather made it a point to talk to people, to Listen First to their point of view,” Susan Bro said in a statement. “She asked them why they believed the things they believed. And then she listened.”
“She even was doing that with a girl from the alt-right on the day she died. How can we do less?” Bro added.
Heyer was killed in August 2017 during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville when Fields rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters.
A jury found him guilty of first-degree murder on Friday, as well as five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run. He faces six potential life sentences for the murder conviction when sentencing begins Monday.
Bro told reporters on the anniversary of her daughter’s death to “please remember not to think of Heather, but why she was here.”
“She was here to support equality, she was here to support affordable housing, she was here to support taking care of people the way you would want to be taken care of,” she said. “The Golden Rule still applies, I don’t care how old you are. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
“Susan Bro has personally felt the cost of America’s deepening divisions and the dehumanization of those with whom we disagree in a way most of us cannot imagine,” said Pearce Godwin, executive director of National Conversation Project and founder of the Listen First Project.
“We are honored and inspired by Susan’s courageous leadership on a mission to mend the frayed fabric of America by bridging those divides. Out of this tragedy that gripped the nation, may we all honor Heather in how we relate to others—listening first to understand,” Godwin added.
Bro joined the Listen First Project, which aims to “mend the frayed fabric of America by bridging divides one conversation at a time,” earlier this year.