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Entertainment Weekly

MTV Video Music Awards

Heather Heyer's mother joined by Robert E. Lee descendant at VMAs

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Heather Heyer’s mother and a descendant of Confederate general Robert E. Lee made an impassioned plea for unity and denounced racism at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.

“Today, I call on all of us to tackle white supremacy head on,” Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV said during the telecast, adding, “We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women’s March in January, and especially Heather Heyer.”

He then introduced Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, who spoke about her daughter. Heyer was killed during the Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacist riots earlier this month.

“Only 15 days ago, my daughter Heather was killed as she protested racism,” she said. “I miss her but I know she’s here tonight. I’ve been deeply moved to see people across the world, the whole world, find inspiration in her courage.”

GALLERY: VMAs’ Most Political Moments

Bro, who announced a foundation for Heyer during the broadcast, added, “I want people to know that Heather never marched alone. She was always joined by people of every race and every background in this country.” With that, she revealed all six contenders in the Best Fight Against the System category — Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson for “Black SpiderMan,” The Hamilton Mixtape for “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),” Big Sean for “Light,” Alessia Cara for “Scars To Your Beautiful,” Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley for “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL,” and John Legend for “Surefire” — shared the award on Sunday night.

“Through their diversity, these six videos show there are many ways to take action and many battlegrounds in the fight for social good,” Bro added.

Watch her speech above.