The mother of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed while protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month, presented an award at the 2017 VMAs in a category dedicated to social messages.
Susan Bro announced that MTV all the nominees in its Best Fight Against the System award, which was created to reflect “the audience’s passion and activism around social justice issues such as environmental justice, immigration, LGBTQ equality, and racial justice,” an MTV spokesperson told People.
“I want people to know that Heather never marched alone. She was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country,” Bro said. “In that spirit, MTV has decided to honor all 6 nominees for Best Fight Against the System.”
Nominees for the award included Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson with “Black SpiderMan,” The Hamilton Mixtape’s “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done,” Big Sean’s “Light,” Alessia Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful,” Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley with “Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL” and John Legend’s “Surfire.” All were recognized for their individual work in celebrating diversity, rebelling against government exploitation, calling out the targeting of immigrants and decrying violence and body shaming.
“I want to make her death count,” Bro told People of Heyer ahead of appearing at the VMAs. “We’re not going to waste this. I would never give up my child willingly. If she had to die, at least we’re going to serve a purpose with it.”