Statement on Orlando Massacre Targeting Queer People of Color

We are hurting here at Race Forward, as we grieve for the victims of the massacre at Orlando LGBT Pulse nightclub on Latinx-themed night. As we learn more about those victims—their names and stories—we send so much love to their families and communities.

We are enraged and saddened by this deadly attack on queer people of color. Targeting people for punishment based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity cannot be tolerated. We must also resist attempts to incite Islamophobia and other moves toward hate and fear, which can lead to further violence targeting communities of color. As we seek a way forward, it has never felt more important to be an organization that recognizes the ways in which race works with other systems of oppression, what we refer to as "race and." 

Thus, as the nation debates causes and solutions, we will be working to understand all of the dynamics at play. Naming these will undoubtedly lead us to race, but also to gender, sexuality, religion, militarism, and class. No single or simple solution will suffice to prevent such tragedies in the future. Only a complex, systematic, thorough approach to violence holds a chance at ensuring that this kind of massacre becomes something that used to happen, rather than a daily part of American life. 

We are an organization representing people of many races, nationalities, sexual, and gender identities and faith traditions. Together, we renew our pledge to fight hateful rhetoric and violence, whether they appear in the words and actions of individuals or those of our cultural, legal, educational, military, economic, or civic systems. 

As we work for fair, systemic solutions, it is critical that racial justice activists set a national example by refusing to pit communities against each other, refusing to continue criminalizing people of color, refusing to extend the reach of discrimination any further into our collective future. As the days unfold, you can find our thinking and other resources at and 

With love and solidarity,
Race Forward


Recent Colorlines coverage (ongoing at

Organizations serving LGBTQ people of color:

*****Rest in Power*****

  • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22
  • KJ Morris, 37
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
  • Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
  • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
  • Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
  • Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
  • Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
  • Luis Daniel Conde, 39
  • Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
  • Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
  • Cory James Connell, 21
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
  • Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
  • Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
  • Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
  • Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
  • Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
  • Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, 32
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
  • Frank Hernandez Escalante, 27
  • Paul Terrell Henry, 41
  • Akyra Monet Murray, 18
  • Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
  • Antonio Davon Brown, 29
  • Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25