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Orange County Human Relations Commission

1300 S. Grand, Bldg B, Santa Ana, CA 92705



Contact: Alison Edwards 714-480-6573, alison@ochumanrelations.org

June 13, 2016

(Orange County, CA) – Today, when we look across the world, the nation and even across the room, we see pain and anguish in the eyes of our friends and neighbors. The feeling is unrelenting today as we mourn the loss of so many. We search for answers, our minds desperate for a rationale that can possibly explain the unexplainable. We are desperate to believe that our world is a safe world, that this must be the exception not the rule.

Yet, here we are again.

Here we are again, fearing for the safety of another community targeted by hate.
Here we are again, hoping and praying that this will be the last time.
Here we are again, scrambling to show our love and support.

But, we are also here again gathering together.
We are also here again standing side-by-side in solidarity
We are also here again embracing the stranger standing next to us.
We are also here again, to say that we cannot, we will not, accept that hate is stronger than love.

And we, a nation, a global community, a movement of justice and love, will be here tomorrow.
We will be here to fight homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, stereotyping and all forms of oppression that keep ANY among us from the promise of a life lived free of violence, hate and discrimination.
We will be here to love in the face of the fear that would otherwise divide us.

We will be here because we are here, we will not cease to exist, we will not cease to be part of this human family, we will not go quietly, we will struggle each day to carve out the safe spaces where we each can thrive with the knowledge and strength that come from knowing we are not alone – we are powerful, we are beautiful, we are fierce in our determination and we are one, united in the belief that we are equal.

For the Commission, we are,

Ken Inouye, Commission Chair
Alison Edwards, Commission Staff

Kenneth Inouye, Chair
Becky Esparza, Vice-Chair
Bekele Demissie
Chief Mike Hamel
Timothy M. Kowal
Bang Van Pham
Chiarina Piazza
Elliott Singer
Sean Thomas
Rabbi Rick Steinberg
C. William Wood

About OC Human Relations
OC Human Relations is a local nonprofit with the mission to foster mutual understanding among residents and eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination in order to make Orange County a better place for ALL people to live, work, go to school and do business. Since 1971, OC Human Relations has operated with the belief that ALL people should live free of violence and discrimination. The organization brings people together to create safe and inclusive schools and communities, address bias and prejudice, monitor hate crimes, resolve conflict, give voice to those who don’t have a voice, and develop diverse leaders. With programs and services that reach more than 50,000 Orange County residents annually, OC Human Relations builds bridges of respect between diverse people, especially in times of conflict. www.ochumanrelations.org

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