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"And No One Shall Make Them Afraid": NLEN's Statement on the Colorado Springs Shooting at Club Q

The leadership, Board, and staff of North Lawndale Employment Network and our social enterprises condemn the horrific slaying of 5 people at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado early Sunday morning.

We send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the 5 people killed, and offer healing to everyone in the Colorado Springs LGBTQ community impacted by this tragedy.

This horrific attack on a LGBTQ nightclub came on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international day to mourn the lives of murdered transgender people. TDOR was founded in 1999 to honor the life of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman murdered in Boston in 1998.

As a workforce development organization committed to eliminating systemic barriers to employment for job-seekers across Chicago, we must acknowledge that discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity is a significant barrier to employment, and that a rise in hateful rhetoric against LGBTQ people nationwide—including dangerous violent rhetoric directed at affirming and supportive businesses in the metro Chicago area—fuels these senseless acts of gun violence.

We call on everyone committed to justice to publicly and vocally support the LGBTQ community, and challenge and condemn homophobia and transphobia wherever it arises. Chicago’s economy would be a shadow of itself without the contributions of LGBTQ people in our workforce.

To learn more about how to support the Colorado Springs LGBTQ community, visit Inside Out Youth Services.

For additional national and local resources, including mental health support, visit Trans Lifeline, The Trevor Project, the Center on Halsted, MASGD, and Keshet.

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