Statement on El Paso and Dayton Shootings

By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on August 6, 2019

This past weekend, two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio took the lives of at least 31 people, with many more injured. Everyone at Funders for LGBTQ Issues stands in mourning and solidarity with all of those who lost loved ones and who are suffering from grief and shock in the wake of this attack.

That such terrible violence is becoming increasingly common place is reason for alarm and action. These mass shootings – as well as daily acts of violence against individuals – are too often motivated by racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, and misogonist sentiments. These acts of hate have been fueled and legitimized by dehumanizing rhetoric emanating from the highest offices in this country.

One of our sister philanthropic networks, Hispanics in Philanthropy, has worked closely with leaders in El Paso and has encouraged donations to the El Paso Shooting Victims’ Fund at the El Paso Community Foundation. In Dayton, the Dayton Foundation has established Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund, which is accepting donations to help the people impacted by the shooting there.

The shooting in El Paso is the largest massacre targeting Latinx communities since the Pulse shooting in 2016. In the wake of that tragedy, funders came together to form the Central Florida Foundation’s Better Together Fund and the Contigo Fund to support the long-term healing and empowerment for the communities hurt by the shooting, and to collectively foster understanding across diverse communities.

We hope that donors, foundations, and government again come together to respond to these terrible tragedies and to the ongoing violence and acts of hatred across the U.S. Philanthropy and government has a responsibility to address the urgent needs of direct support for the victims affected by these terrible tragedies. In addition, these challenging times call for philanthropic and government leaders to confront the long-term challenges at the roots of these hateful acts of violence: xenophobia, white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. Now is a crucial moment for philanthropic leaders to come together to advance gun control; build bridges of understanding across differences; and support the empowerment, agency, and leadership of those most impacted by acts of hatred and violence. We as a network will continue to work with our partners and members to respond quickly to the urgent needs of our communities and to surmount the deep challenges our nation faces as we work for a better future.

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