Susan Bro will hand out the Best Fight Against the System award, in honor of her deceased daughter
Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, will present at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night.
Bro is set to announce the winner of the Best Fight Against the System award, a newly added VMAs category designed to reflect “the audience’s passion and activism surrounding environmental justice, immigration, LGBTQ equality, and racial justice.”
“Since my daughter Heather Heyer’s death two weeks ago I have committed myself to making her death count. That is why I am launching the Heather Heyer Foundation. I can think of no better platform to promote this foundation to the world than at the MTV’s Video Music Awards. It’s going to be an honor for me to be presenting the Best Fight the System award there tonight,” Bro said in a statement.
Heyer was killed in the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.
“When they first asked me I hadn’t realized how far-reaching Heather’s message had been,” Bro told PEOPLE of the MTV appearance. “I was a bit skeptical. ‘What do you want a 60-year-old woman on your show for?’ I didn’t realize how many people were paying attention. But now I’ve realized this is bigger than Heather, this is bigger than me. This is something that touches people everywhere, the idea that you can stand up and be counted, that you have it within you to be that hero, so I feel like I have an obligation to share that.”
Bro has started a foundation in her daughter’s name and left her job to devote full-time efforts to the organization. “The Heather Heyer Foundation was created to honor Heather Heyer, a young civil rights activist, who dedicated her life to promoting equal rights for all people,” reads a statement on the Heather Heyer Foundation website. “The Foundation has established a scholarship program to provide financial assistance to individuals passionate about positive social change. Scholarships will be awarded to those seeking a degree or certification in, but not limited to, law, paralegal studies, social work, social justice, and education.”
“I want to make her death count,” Bro told PEOPLE. “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.”
The nominees for Best Fight Against the System award are:
Logic ft. Damian Lemar Hudson – “Black SpiderMan”
The Hamilton Mixtape – “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”
Big Sean – “Light”
Alessia Cara – “Scars To Your Beautiful”
Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley – “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”
John Legend – “Surefire”
The MTV VMAs air Sunday night beginning at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.