This piece has mentions of violence and racism that may be triggering for some. For the mentioned list of mental health resources and how to get involved click here.
On May 24th, a domestic terrorist entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and took the lives of Eva Mireles, Irma Garcia, Uziyah Garcia, Xavier Javier Lopez, Eliahana Cruz Torres, Jose Flores, Jailah Silguero, Layla Salazar, Jayce Leuvanos, Amerie Jo Garza, Alithia Ramirez, Tess Marie Mata, Alexadira “Lexi” Rubio, Makenna Lee Elrod, Naveah Bravo, Eliahna “Ellie” Garcia, Rojello Torres, Maite Rodriguez, and Jackyln “Jackie” Cazares.
We see ourselves in the victims of Uvalde. They are beautiful Latinx children who were in the very early stages of their lives like many of us at Duke. They are beautiful Latinx teachers who inspired and protected their students like many of our educators do. They are beautiful Latinx souls who look like us and were lost due to senseless gun violence. Our community is in a state of constant grief; we are tired, hurt, exhausted, sorrowful, and desensitized.
We have to embrace each other in difficult moments like this. We stand with Black and Asian communities that have also experienced attacks on their identities within the last few weeks. Between Buffalo, N.Y. and Laguna, C.A., all across the country we are losing our peace of mind. The racist and systemic issues promoted by American institutions have hurt us. Even now, churches, schools, and grocery stores have become places of discomfort for many.
We have to consider our role in these situations. What can we do as a community to ensure this doesn’t happen again? We have a responsibility to reflect, be intentional listeners, and demand accountability. We reject the notion that these attacks on our culture are unavoidable products of America, instead they are consequences of injustice and inaction. Mi Gente will never tolerate racism or xenophobia, we will always stand against those who intend to harm members of our community.
We remain united despite the hardships and tragedies faced by our communities. These people will never take away our Latinx beauty, our resilience, or our bravery. Be unapologetically yourselves and take action. Right now is the time for it. Now is the moment to support Uvalde, put an end to gun violence, and confront the racist rhetoric that many people have promoted.
We are always here and willing to listen. Please know that you are not alone in the way you feel. Attached to the letter, we have provided ways to help out as well as mental health resources. In times like these, take care of yourselves and know that we are with you in this.
Mi Gente Executive Board
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