Raise your voice and take action. Help build the groundswell of support that will stop the spread of gun violence and honor the lives lost in Orlando.
Reflections from Judy Belk, June 14, 2016
My nephew and his girlfriend were visiting Saturday, so my husband, Roger, and I joined them for a rare late night on the town. We took in a 10 o’clock show at a Los Angeles comedy club. Rog and I were the oldest folks in the place by far, but the energy was great — “We should go out more!” I thought to myself. On the streets, the city was abuzz, rainbow flags were flying and celebrations were underway for Sunday’s Pride parade. I made it home well past my bedtime, but aglow from a fun night out with loved ones.
Then, like millions of other Americans, I woke up Sunday to the horrific news that gun violence had again destroyed innocent lives and shattered a community’s sense of safety. Just as I was enjoying my Saturday night out, a mass shooting — the largest in modern U.S. history — was taking place in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, where members of the LGBTQ and Latino communities were enjoying a night out. I couldn’t help but recall how I felt less than a year ago when nine people who had gathered for a Wednesday night Bible study at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, were gunned down. At moments like these, saying #Enough! just doesn’t feel like enough.
The California Wellness Foundation has long worked to prevent gun violence and promote safety as a critical factor in the health and wellness of communities — especially for underserved populations such as people of color and members of the LGBTQ community — who are too often marginalized and disproportionately victimized by violence. This work is personal to me and my colleagues. Many of us come from these communities we serve.
I know many of you — our partners, our grantees and those of you who follow our work — share this commitment to the health and safety of all Californians and all people. We encourage you to raise your voice and take action. Help build the groundswell of support that will stop the spread of gun violence and honor the lives lost in Orlando.
Here are three things you can do:
Losses like we experienced Sunday make us feel vulnerable. But we are not alone in our grief and our outrage, and we all can take action to make a positive difference. Our hearts go out to the victims in Orlando and their families. Let’s stand up for them and for ourselves to say #Enough! Let’s continue to work together to stop gun violence.
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