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Trigger warning: This statement speaks about a mass tragedy and gun violence. If you or someone you know is a survivor of a mass tragedy or is coping and needs to speak with someone who can help, please call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline

Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) sends everyone strength as our nation grapples with the fear, grief, and anger we feel in response to recent tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde.

Our condolences go out to the loved ones of the 10 Black residents of Buffalo whose lost lives are the consequences of white supremacy in action. We support the teachers, activists, leaders, and community members who are healing and fighting for justice at the same time. Black communities everywhere are inundated with racial injustice, and the fight to acknowledge and address the dangers of white supremacy continues. State bans on discussing race relations, violence against Black Americans, segregation, and prejudice, will only enable and instigate similar violence. We vehemently oppose this whitewashing of our region and country’s history. 

We mourn for the children of Uvalde who were killed, their classmates and others for whom school is no longer a safe learning space, and all who lost their lives in the deadliest mass school shooting since the Sandy Hook tragedy a decade ago. Despite public outcry, 10 years on, state and federal elected officials have failed to implement any substantive gun control measures — a stark reminder of how representatives in safe districts continually put their pursuit of power over the safety of the people they serve.  

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SCSJ affirms its support for grassroots organizations working toward a community vision which puts the needs of people over politicians. In Buffalo, you can directly support Black Love Resists in the Rust, Feed More WNY, and Buffalo Urban League. In Uvalde, a fund created by University Health, a second fund set up by the League of United Latin American Citizens, and an emergency blood drive are helping save lives. More ways to assist can be found here.

More than anything, we wish we did not have to continue suffering from atrocities. We urge everyone to take care of themselves and prioritize their mental health in the wake of this latest mass violence

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.

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