Atlanta LGBT and Allied Organizations Joint Community Response to Shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando

Atlanta LGBT and Allied Organizations Joint Community Response to Shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando

June 13, 2016 – Atlanta, GA – We are devastated to learn of the terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub in 13413710_477714265769404_2769914251990228095_nOrlando. As organizations and leaders in Atlanta, we keep the victims of this tragedy along with their loved ones and their community in our hearts and in our prayers. This tragedy marks the largest mass shooting to date in US history. Pulse, a gay dance club, was hosting ‘Latin Night’, which means that the overwhelming number of victims were people of color and members of the LGBT community. This tragedy is a sobering reminder that although large legal advancements have been made for people in the LGBT community, the hatred and desire to cause harm to our community is alive, well and empowered. There is much work ahead to wage peace through relationship building, dialogue and acts of solidarity in order to prevent this terrible harm from happening again. This attack is part of a much larger pattern of violence in our country towards people who are perceived as ‘different.’ The ability of citizens to procure high-powered assault rifles, like the AR 15, increases the magnitude of violence that can be perpetrated by a single person. It is also fueled, in part, by the heated and hateful political rhetoric we continue to hear in public discourse. We condemn this rhetoric and the violence that follows it and call for a new respectful dialogue in our country that honors the diversity among us and fosters peaceful interactions.

These attacks continue to happen to people of color, religious, racial, sexual and gender minorities, and many others. They happen in our schools, houses of worship, places of recreation, places where we receive services and now in our nightlife. We do not live in silos. We are all deeply connected through the various intersections of race, gender, ability, sexuality, religion, and background and we call for unity against violence and solidarity in love. We must take care of each other in our pain, with a commitment not to return violence with violence either in word or deed. Instead, we must advance ideas of inclusion, affirmation and understanding. This massacre occurred in a time in our country where Islamaphobia is an increasing threat. We urge people to refrain from using this tragedy to further bigotry or hatred towards the Muslim community; let it ignite in us the commitment to work against hatred and violence directed at LGBTQ people and all people.

Out of this spirit of intersectionality and solidarity, we invite you to join us on Tuesday, June 14 at 7pm at the Center for Civil and Human Rights for a vigil in memory of those who were killed in Orlando and a call to action to prevent this terrible violence from happening again in the future.

Signed,

AID Atlanta
Anti-Defamation League
Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Atlanta Pride Committee
Center for Civil and Human Rights LGBT Institute
Compassionate Atlanta Board of Directors
Congregation Bet Haverim
Counter Narrative Project
Fellowship of Reconciliation
GA TransLatina Coalition
Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Georgia Equality
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials
Georgia Safe Schools Coalition
The Health Initiative
Human Rights Campaign- Atlanta Steering Committee
Imagine Hope
In the Life Atlanta
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
Kashi Atlanta Ashram
Lambda Legal
Latino LinQ
Lost-n-Found Youth
Muslims for Progressive Values at Atlanta Unity Mosque
NAESM
The Phillip Rush Center
Positive Impact Health Center
PRISM Health
ProGeorgia
Saint Mark United Methodist Church
SisterLove
Second Sundays with Sister Harriet
SOJOURN
THRIVE SS
ZAMI NOBLA: National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging


2016 ATLANTA PRIDE PARADE GRAND MARSHALS ANNOUNCED

(For full bios and pictures of the 2016 Grand Marshals, click here.)

GM collage 2016

Atlanta, Georgia. – The Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) is pleased to announce that the 2016 Atlanta Parade Grand Marshals have been selected!

The Grand Marshals are comprised of individuals and organizations, residing or based in Georgia who are recognized for their outstanding working advancing LGBTQ equality in the metro Atlanta area and across all of Georgia.

The 2016 Atlanta Pride Parade Grand Marshals are:

  • Anne “Sarge” Barr
  • Simone Bell
  • Cheryl C. Courtney-Evans
  • David Hayward
  • For the Kid in All of Us
  • Leo Martinez
  • Out on Film
  • PFLAG Atlanta
  • Estrella Sanchez
  • Anneliese Singh, PhD, LPC
  • Southerners On New Ground
  • The Solutions NOT Punishment Coalition

Atlanta Pride Committee Committee Executive Director, Jamie Fergerson, said, “The selection of Grand Marshals not only allows us to recognize the people and organizations who have made and are making contributions to the Atlanta LGBTQ community; it also allows us to enact Atlanta Pride’s mission by bringing attention to the causes that are important to our organization and community.”

Six years ago, the Atlanta Pride Committee chose to expand the categories and criteria by which Grand Marshals were selected.  About that development Fergerson stated, “When we chose only two Grand Marshals (one male identified and one female identified) – there was no way to fully recognize the richness of identities and causes that are important to Atlanta Pride. We are so much bigger and more colorful than two binary categories could ever showcase, so we invited more people to the party!”

Fergerson continued, “This year, among our Grand Marshals, we are so proud to name people, organizations, and causes as diverse as the rainbow we represent. We acknowledge the work of allies, immigrants, people of color led organizations, artists, transgender individuals, grassroots activists, and leaders in their professional fields. We honor people who have been in the struggle for decades and those who have answered recent and pressing calls for justice.”

She noted, “The Atlanta Pride Committee has a mandate to capture and compliment the wide range of diverse activists among us.  The Pride Festival is a celebratory space, and our community deserves to be celebrated, but the work of a Pride organization is more than throwing a party. I am so pleased not only to honor the work of these Grand Marshals not only by asking them to lead our fabulous parade but also by supporting their work year-round.”

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About Atlanta Pride:

OUR VISION
We envision a world where persons with widely diverse gender and sexual identities are united, visible, and equal.

OUR PURPOSE
The main purpose of the Atlanta Pride Committee, a 501(c)(3) organization, is to advance unity, visibility and self-esteem among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender and queer persons and to promote a positive image in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeastern United States through community activities and services.

OUR MISSION
The mission of the Atlanta Pride Committee is to advance unity, visibility, and wellness among persons with widely diverse gender and sexual identities through cultural, social, political, and educational programs and activities.

OUR VALUES
We value social justice, culture, self-esteem, history, health and wellness.