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News & Press: NASW-Michigan News

NASW-Michigan Statement on the Orlando Mass Shooting

Friday, June 17, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Duane Breijak
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This past weekend's tragic events in Orlando, Florida have absolutely shaken us to our core. This senseless act of violence, targeted at the LGBTQ+ community (and specifically at the LGBTQ+ Latinx community), is, quite simply, incomprehensible. However, it is a wake-up call to not become complacent and a painful reminder that the fight for social justice is not over. As social workers, we have an ethical responsibility to act – on behalf of our practice, our profession, our communities, and on behalf of our ailing society at large. We must speak up, pay attention, and act in any way we can to promote healing and peace within our communities.



This tragedy calls for serious dialogue on how to build stronger, more inclusive communities, while at the same time addressing gun violence, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, racism, and extremism. We must demand action in both policy and practice.


We cannot allow the hateful and fear-based rhetoric of homophobia and islamophobia to divide us. Additionally, we must hold our elected officials accountable for their words, actions, and votes. The multiple identities of those affected must not be erased and the complicity of our cultural norms in this violence must be acknowledged.


We have seen people from around the world not only stand together to mourn the victims, but have supported one another and fought back against homophobia xenophobia, and racism with bold displays of love. As a social work community, we mourn with our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, and renew our vow to commit ourselves to promote social justice and social change.


Please join with us for a moment of silence to remember all of those lost, and those families who were forever changed by this tragedy.


Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old


“Without community, there is no liberation.” - Audre Lorde

Get Involved: Ways to Help Victims of Orlando Shooting

From the NASW-Florida Chapter


Blood and plasma donations:

If you are able to donate blood or plasma, whether in the Orlando area or not, please do so. In Orlando there are multiple OneBlood centers. For centers in your area call 1-888-936-6283. Please note that many groups are still barred from donating, including sexually active trans women, and gay and bisexual men. Please join with NASW-Michigan in getting involved in policy advocacy, as it impacts daily lives.



NASW- Florida has reached out to Orlando Gay & Lesbian Center. As their need for therapists over the coming week(s) evolve they will let us know via social media. If you are interested and able to volunteer time please stay tuned to their Facebook and Twitter feed for this direct request.

  • The Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990, 800-846-8517(TTY)
  • Trevor Project Hotline: 866-488-7386

Financial help for families of those who were murdered:

Equality Florida a statewide support and advocacy organization for the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender Community has established a GoFundMe account. Florida Equality is a well-respected and financially secure organization. All funds raised will go directly to the victims and families affected by this tragedy. Donate at Another option would be making a donation to the Muslims United for Victims of Pulse Shooting.


Support families and those in the hospital:

There are personal letters being delivered to people in the hospital through   


Speak up:

Whether in person or via social media, if you hear statements that are rooted in hatred speak up. Bigotry and oppression exists in part through silence alone. There is a long history of hatred for the LGBTQ community and every time a "joke" is made or a hateful statement is said without opposition, it is a signal of acceptance for that hatred. 


Ask questions/Become educated:

If you are not familiar with the LGBTQ+, Latinx, or Muslim communities and the oppression these communities experience ask questions, learn more, and become educated. Violence is rooted in ignorance. The more we know the more we can do. NASW-Michigan has several LGBTQ+ workshops that will be held this summer at no charge for members. Please join us at


Create communities:

Differences are easy to see, but in doing so we often overlook the many similarities. They are opportunities to join together and create communities all around. 


Get involved:

Creating a peaceful world requires active engagement towards peaceful behaviors. There are a variety of ways one can get involved; including stepping up in leadership roles in your communities or within our association, working on policies locally and nationally, volunteering, and encouraging everyone you know to vote in November.

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