#WeAreOrlando: A Letter and Request from Reaching Out’s Executive Director
Where were you Saturday night?
I was at my wedding. My husband Shawn and I have been together over 13 years and following last year’s marriage equality ruling, we decided to finally tie the knot. It was a joyous celebration with friends and family. Following the event about 30 of us ended up at a nightclub with our friends and stayed until close.
Luckily I happened to be in California, but I could have been in Orlando and the night might have ended much differently. I still haven’t processed what it means that my wedding will forever be tied to such a callous act towards the LGBT community. Worse yet is the thought that any of us celebrating a night out in such a perceived safe space could have been in a situation like the shooting victims at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
While our thoughts can go to the victims, that’s not enough. Yet it also isn’t productive just to get angry or sad, and many of us are wondering what we can do to help and to heal.
Reaching Out was founded with the simple principle that if we come together as LGBT MBAs (both students and professionals) we hold great power and influence that can impact change. It’s time to give back and use that collective voice to help those from the LGBT community who need support.
With that in mind, we are asking all students and professionals in the Reaching Out network to join us for a donation & Thunderclap campaign to raise money for the victims and their families of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. For those unfamiliar with Thunderclap, it is the first-ever crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks.
Here’s what you need to do:
This fund was established by Equality Florida and supported by the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both the Chattanooga and Aurora shootings. All funds will go directly to the victims and families of the shooting.
It may feel like your voice is lost by itself, but together we can be heard and influence others to add their support. Let’s show that LGBT MBAs can and will give back to our greater community. On Sunday at 12noon, any social networks you register with will show the following:
“I’m joining LGBT & Ally MBAs around the world in donating to the Pulse Victims Fund #LGBTMBAsGive #WeAreOrlando http://thndr.me/SzcuWg”
Please join us and show that together we can have an impact.