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North Lawndale Employment Network's Statement on Gun Violence and the Uvalde Texas School Shooting

The staff of North Lawndale Employment Network and Sweet Beginnings, LLC are heartbroken and horrified at the senseless deaths of 19 elementary school students and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Texas Tuesday, May 24th. Teachers put themselves in the pathway of a violent shooter in order to save the lives of children, and we send our deepest thanks to all who rushed to the scene to aid and support the Robb Elementary School community and the children and families impacted from such a horrific act of violence. The deaths of these children and teachers at Robb Elementary comes in the aftermath of the deaths of 10 Black shoppers shot and killed while buying their Sunday Dinner in a Buffalo New York supermarket on May 14th. We join the many leaders and organizations in Chicago and across the United States mourning those killed and demanding justice, healing, and changes in policy to end these devastating cycles of violence. Gun violence impacts communities across the United States, from Uvalde Texas to Newtown Connecticut, to Buffalo New York, to Oxford Michigan, to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, to many neighborhoods throughout Chicago. NLEN is committed to ending gun violence in Chicago, in coalition with our local city officials and the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council. We know that ending gun violence is critical for the future of everyone in Chicago and the United States. Preventing gun violence is deeply personal to us: NLEN staff have mourned the deaths of 5 NLEN-READI participants and graduates within the last 5 years. We continue to partner and advocate tirelessly with local, state, and federal officials to advance essential solutions to end gun violence. We recognize that the time to act is now. We call on leaders across the country to work quickly to support the Robb Elementary School community in Uvalde and all the school staff, families, students, and first responders impacted by yesterday’s shooting. and to enact basic changes in policy at every level to ensure that no parent, child, and teacher must fear for their lives while attending school ever again. The New York Times has compiled a list of ways to support the Uvalde Texas community—including fundraisers for families, and upcoming events to donate blood. We encourage all to support the community, whether near or far, in any way possible.

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