Over the weekend, while civil rights champions commemorated the 60th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, once again Black community members’ lives were taken by a bigoted shooter. This time the racist attack took place in New Town, a predominantly Black community in Jacksonville, Florida – ultimately at a store, after a foiled attempt at Edward Waters University, Florida’s first Historically Black College and University (HBCU). What should be safe spaces were violated by a white supremacist targeting Black people and communities, while donning antisemitic paraphernalia and referencing wide-ranging hateful ideology. This heartbreaking, all-too-familiar incident serves as another reminder of the ongoing trauma these attacks cause. While these events have become common, we believe it is important that LIIF continues to acknowledge and denounce them, and reiterate that our commitment to communities of opportunity, equity and well-being remains steadfast.
Today, we honor and uplift the victims of this violence: Angela Michelle Carr, Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr. and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion. Their lives matter, and their stories deserve to be remembered. LIIF stands in solidarity with those impacted by this tragedy: Black people and communities; HBCU networks, including many of our colleagues; as well as all members of communities who are targeted simply due to their identity. By condemning this horrifying act, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting Black, Latino, and other people and communities of color through our community development work, and to those aligned in our valuing and respecting all communities through our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts.