Heather Heyer's Mother Honored Her Daughter with a Heartfelt MTV VMAs Speech

If you told Susan Bro a month ago that she would be speaking at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, the 60-year-old woman might not have believed you.

But Bro unexpectedly lost her daughter, Heather Heyer, during the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month. She appeared at the VMAs two weeks later to honor Heyer and the causes she fought for. She presented the award for "Best Fight Against the System"—a new VMAs category honoring artists engaged in social issues—and discussed her daughter's fight.

"Only 15 days ago, my daughter Heather was killed as she protested racism," Bro stated during the emotional speech. "I miss her, but I know she’s here tonight. I’ve been deeply moved to see people across the world—a whole world—find inspiration in her courage.

"I want people to know that Heather never marched alone," said the mother of the 32-year-old paralegal, who was killed when a car crashed into protesters on August 12. "She was always joined by people of every race and every background in this country. In that spirit, MTV has decided to honor all six nominees for Best Fight Against the System."

Bro took the opportunity to introduce the Heather Heyer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that will raise money for scholarships to students interested in pursuing social justice issues and joining Heyer's fight against racism.

Related: Robert E. Lee's direct descendant denounces Charlottesville white supremacists: 'There's no place for that hate'

Just before Bro took the stage, Robert Wright Lee IV, a descendant of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee, spoke against racism and white supremacy.

"We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism and hate," Lee said. "As a pastor, it is my mortal duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin. Today I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head on."

It was a charged, socially conscious moment for an awards ceremony that mostly steered clear of political statements.