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At One with Charlottesville

While Michael Nafziger ’18 was in Barcelona on a preseason men’s soccer team trip, white nationalist demonstrators were descending on Charlottesville, Va., to protest the planned removal of Confederate statues. It hit close to home—he’s from nearby Crozet, and his parents, brother, and grandfather were among the local Quaker counterprotesters.

“It was disconcerting to hear about it from afar,” he says about the violence in August. “My family was actually in the crowd that was driven into about 20 minutes before it happened.”

Nafziger, a peace and conflict studies major, reflected on the event when he led an All-Campus Collection this fall and shared a poem entitled “If Swarthmore Were Charlottesville” written by Leslee Wagner, wife of men’s head soccer coach Eric Wagner.

“It said that Charlottesville could have happened anywhere around the country,” Nafziger says. “It was great to share at the collection because it brought home the reality of what happened.”