Hispanics in Philanthropy Statement on Orlando
The numbing horror of the mass-shooting at an Orlando nightclub over this past weekend is an unspeakable tragedy. Our nation joins in mourning, with flags at half-staff, for the 49 victims of a mass murderer. Whether the shooter acted out of unhinged bigotry or self-hatred, in the end, doesn’t matter. That people were killed for who they have every right to be – as members of the LGBTQ community and as Latinos – offends the conscience of everyone who prizes that most essential liberty, the right to freely and safely express oneself.
Here at Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), our thoughts go to the many people, in particular Latinos and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, across the Americas, who were touched by this tragedy. We salute the first responders at the Orlando nightclub the night of the tragedy, as well as the Central Florida healthcare workers who still tend to the dozens of injured victims. We salute all those who stand in solidarity in our call for peace and love amidst this hateful act.
Even as we grieve, we hope that this tragedy can be used to further unify the country in its determination to value and embrace human rights and to reject fear mongers hoping to divide us. During this historic time in U.S. history, we hope that these terrible events will drive people from all backgrounds to support leaders who value human rights and gun control, who will emphasize inclusiveness in framing laws and policies.
In the immediate future, HIP will be working in concert with our partner organizations serving the Latino and LGBTQ communities, in Florida as well as nationwide, to ensure we leverage support effectively. We will be in touch with news on this in the near future.
We hope that the stories of those affected by the events in Orlando will endure as a lasting inspiration for the rejection of violence in favor of tolerance for ethnic, religious, sexual and gender diversity in the U.S. and around the world.
Allies for human rights have learned to leverage the strength in numbers and know that there is no turning back, no yielding of hard-fought ground for peace. In the words of Cesar Chavez:
“Only when we have become non-violent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves.”
President, Hispanics in Philanthropy