To Orlando with Love



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With heavy hearts, REC sends our condolences and solidarity to the Orlando community, especially the family and friends of the Pulse nightclub victims who were fatally shot on Sunday, June 13. We condemn this horrible massacre of primarily queer/trans people of color in the largest mass shooting the modern United States has ever seen. We grieve with you, we see you, and our hearts are with you.


As a diverse organization whose staff and board finds home within the LGBTQIGNC, Muslim, POC, and even the local Orlando community, we call for unity and healing in this dark and difficult time. The murder of fifty innocent people and the violence towards so many more should be dealt with in love, healing, and collective action rather than used as a pretext for more violence and hatred. We also mourn the murder of the many other LGBTQIGNC POC and remember their names: Goddess Diamond, Penny Proud, Lamia Beard, Zella Ziona, Elisha Walker, Kiesha Jenkins, Mya Hall, Sakia Gunn, and many more.We encourage everyone to resist the backlash against Muslim communities that is already happening and to remember that xenophobia and fear mongering reminiscent of post-911 did nothing to heal the wounds within our society and is only meant to pit marginalized communities against each other. “War on Terror” tactics only serve to further terrorize and murder thousands of people domestically and abroad, rather than address the root problems of our society.

Let us not fall into the historical trap of divide-and-conquer. Let us unite our communities in the face of a militarized police state that has long facilitated and fueled the type of violence that we saw in Orlando this past weekend. The struggles of LGBTQIGNC, people of color, migrants, and Muslim communities are not only inextricably linked but are one in the face of a system that profits and has a vested interest in our oppression.

Now is the time to grieve, reflect, and hold our loved ones. We must make space for our communities to process the loss of life and desecration of a safe space for LGBTQIGNC POC. But in healing, we must also act. REC commits to support efforts against G4S, the private surveillance company that employed and cleared the Pulse gunman as an armed security guard in a juvenile detention center. Companies like G4S, who profit from the incarceration of mostly Black and brown people, directly contribute to the conditions that led up to the Pulse shooting. As a private prison corporation that provides equipment and “security” training, G4S has played an especially big role in incarcerating and surveilling Muslims in Palestine and in the United States.

Our hope is that young people continue to be educated and given the tools to think critically and negotiate through a world that propagates hatred as a solution to trauma and hardship. We must hold space for each other, protect each other, and love each other. And most importantly, we must act in solidarity with each other in and keep fighting for a world where our communities are no longer in danger for merely existing.

We hold the names of the fallen close to our hearts:


Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34

Stanley Almodovar III, 23

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22

Luis S. Vielma, 22

Kimberly Morris, 37

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50

Martin Benitez Torres, 33

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26

Amanda Alvear, 25

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19

Cory James Connell, 21

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37

Luis Daniel Conde, 39

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33

Juan Chavez Martinez, 25

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28

Frank Hernandez Escalante, 27

Paul Terrell Henry, 41

Antonio Davon Brown, 29

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24

Akyra Monet Murray, 18

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25



























With love & light,


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