CHICAGO In response to the epidemic of shootings in Chicago, and the massacre of mostly LGBTQ, mostly Latino individuals at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Chicago-area LGBTQ, Latinx, community and gun violence prevention organizations are coming together for "Disarm Gun Violence: An LGBTQ Town Hall For Action" Thursday, Oct. 20. The event will focus on education, coalition building and action.
The free program will feature various speakers who are doing the work on anti-gun violence, including through activism, advocacy and electoral politics. LGBTQ activists will address the need to amplify the existing organizational work, and bring new resources to the table for more effective coalitions.
Joy McCormack, founder of Chicago Survivors, an organization that provides crime victims services to families who experience violent loss, is working with Pride Action Tank, Windy City Times, and the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition to develop the event.
McCormack will discuss the story of her own family's loss as a result of gun violence in Chicago, and she will be joined by others who have felt personal loss, including John Ziegler, whose friend Mbiganyi Lashani was gunned down this summer.
Other speakers include: Cleopatra Pendleton, whose daughter Hadiya's murder in 2013 garnered national media attention; Channyn Lynn Parker, a trans advocate from Chicago House, discussing the dramatic rise in murders of trans women of color; Maria Pike, Gun Sense & Peace activist whose son Ricky Pike was gunned down in 2012; Mark Walsh of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence; Kim L. Hunt, executive director of Pride Action Tank; LGBTQ and Latinx advocate Emmanuel Garcia; Muslim LGBTQ advocate and attorney Nabeela Rasheed; anti-violence advocate Lisa Gilmore; Dawn Valenti from Chicago Survivors; John Gruber from The Brady Campaign; Kathleen Sances from G-PAC; and Commissioner Mona Noriega of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.
The event is 6-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 20 at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, just west of Ashland Avenue. The program will start at 6:30 p.m.
Main Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition partners for the event are Chicago Survivors, The Brady Campaign, G-PAC, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Organizing for Action, and People for Safer Society.
LGBTQ and allied community partners include: Affinity Community Services, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, ALMA: Association of Latino/as Motivating Action, Broadway Youth Center of HBH, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development), Center on Halsted, Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus, Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches, Chicago House, Commission on Human Relations, Dignity Chicago, Equality Illinois, Erie Neighborhood House, Gays Against Guns Chicago, Heartland Alliance, Howard Brown Health, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, La Casa Norte, Lambda Legal, Lighthouse Church of Chicago, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National LGBTQ Task Force, Northbrook United Methodist Church, Northalsted Business Alliance, Or Chadash, Pillars Fund, Pride Action Tank, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Temple Sholom's Social Justice, Thresholds, TransTech, United Latino Pride, and Windy City Times.
Additional information: JThaney@aidschicago.org or prideactiontank.org/projects/gun-violence-town-hall/ .