On Monday, HRC Arkansas joined forces with other progressive organizations in the central Arkansas area to honor the 49 people killed one year ago at Pulse nightclub. Lucie’s Place, the Center for Artistic Revolution (CAR), Revolución, Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, ACLU Arkansas, the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action and the Stonewall Democratic Caucus co-hosted the candle-light vigil with HRC Arkansas, which organized the event with help from CAR. The event underscored unity in the face of hatred and violence against LGBTQ people and communities of color.
HRC Arkansas State Director Kendra Johnson provided opening remarks and emceed the ceremony. Jose Gutiérrez from Revolución and CAR gave a touching speech emphasizing the struggles that Latinx members of the LGBTQ community face. He read the names of the victims while attendees placed flowers and messages of love and inspiration on a ceremonial wreath. Juan Garcia closed the vigil with a performance and a brief reception followed for collective discussion and grieving.
HRC Arkansas is glad to have honored the memory of those taken at Pulse, and we look forward to working with other progressive organizations in the future to stand up for progress in Arkansas and beyond.