The Heartland Alliance family joins the nation as it grieves for all the victims of the horrific violence in Orlando over this past weekend – including their family, friends, and communities. Our thoughts will remain with them, as there is shock, anger, mourning and healing where there has been unspeakable loss.
At Heartland Alliance the belief that love and justice must triumph over fear, hate, and tyranny has always guided our way. We have translated it into the work that we do to help people change their own lives and communities. It is at the core of our work in Chicago and all around the world.
The pattern of gun violence, which has become a part of the rhythm of our lives and communities, must be stopped. While the act of hate in Orlando targeted the LGBTQ community, it is representative of the attacks happening across this nation and around the globe. Heartland Alliance will do what it has always done in the face of our world’s most difficult challenges. We will stand in solidarity with the most marginalized, build partnerships, work toward solutions that bring real, lasting change, and not ever give in to the fear of violence and oppression.
During the month of Gay Pride we are reminded of the extraordinary strides that our communities, nation, and world have made in advancing the rights of LGBTQ people everywhere. We are reminded of the brave individuals who stood in defiance at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, and so many around the world who have bravely led the way, often dying as they did so. Just one year ago this month we celebrated the victory of Marriage Equality in the United States. The path to justice, equality, and peace has always included moments of tragedy and sorrow, and there have always been acts that tempt us to believe that we are moving backward, not forward. Yet, these acts are also our call to take action and create the communities and world in which such atrocities don’t exist. Even as we mourn, we know that there is work to be done toward that vision — and that each of us has a role to play in achieving it.