Unite Oregon Mourns Victims of Orlando Hate Crime

Unite Oregon expresses solidarity with the LGBTQ and Muslim communities.

MEDIA ADVISORY

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CONTACTS:
Kayse Jama, Executive Director – (503) 913-5154, kayse@uniteoregon.org
Darlene Huntress, Associate Director – (503) 983-3258, darlene@uniteoregon.org

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Unite Oregon Mourns Victims of Orlando Hate Crime

Unite Oregon is in mourning today over the tragic deaths of 49 innocent, predominantly Latinx* people in Orlando, who were targeted simply for being themselves. We condemn this monstrous act and all hate crimes against our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, and queer communities, and offer our condolences to the families of those killed or injured.

"Our hearts are truly broken. The mass shooting in Orlando goes against everything our organization stands for," said Kayse Jama, Unite Oregon's Executive Director. "I am a Muslim. Our associate director is a member of the LGBTQ community. Together with our members, staff and board, we fight every day against fear and bigotry, and as an organization we are committed to creating safe, liberated spaces for queer and trans immigrants and refugees. We know that acts of violence happen here in Oregon too. Just hours after the mass shooting in Orlando, a gay man in Cottage Grove was brutally assaulted because he was gay. We will continue to organize against transphobia, sexism, Islamaphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, and any other form bigotry takes in our communities. All individuals should be able to live their lives without being targeted for who they are. "

"In the wake of the attacks in Orlando, we've heard some people in the media call for racial, ethnic, and religious profiling as a response. We reject the xenophobia and violent rhetoric of politicians, candidates, and media outlets alike. We stand together, as members of the queer community and allies, as Muslims and non-Muslims, in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Orlando," said Darlene Huntress, Associate Director of Unite Oregon. "Especially as so many members of our communities celebrate the holy month of Ramadan as well as Pride, we will not allow bigots to use this tragedy as justification for their own twisted agendas."

Unite Oregon, its members, staff, and board, urge every member of our community to come together in this time of tragedy. Together, we must organize to interrupt hate, advance justice, support our LGBTQ and Latinx communities, and work to create a better world.

*Unite Oregon uses the term “Latinx,” instead of “Latino/a,” to recognize and honor that gender is not a binary.

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Led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty, we work across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice.

Unite Oregon represents the merger of two strong organizations – Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) and Oregon Action (OA) – who together have decades of experience organizing immigrants, refugees, people of color, and low-income Oregonians to address racial and economic disparities and improve quality of life in our state.