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Statement from Cheryl Carter, Co-Executive Director, on gun violence and the March on Washington

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (8/29/23) – Over the last four days, gun violence has continued to plague our nation. Two incidents stand out, but sadly there were others.

The first one was committed by a white supremacist and domestic terrorist in Jacksonville, Fla. He targeted and took the lives of three Black people after being unable to access the local HBCU.

On Monday, Kindergartners in Chapel Hill were thrilled for their first day at big school. Freshmen were nervously excited about starting high school. And UNC students were enjoying a Monday during their first month back that suddenly and horrifically devolved into alerts, lockdowns, and pandemonium across the campus and town. I can’t unsee the video of students jumping out of windows to get to safety.

Is this who we are? Are we resigned to having children jump out of windows, stack desks and chairs, hide in closets or call their parents to say farewell? I’m numb, sad, furious, and disappointed all at once. What will it take to protect our children and communities?

I believe we can do this, end this senselessness. Today I can only hold Jacksonville and Chapel Hill in my heart, thinking of Angela Carr, Anolt Laguerre, Jr., and Jerrald Gallion, as well as our Tar Heel friends, colleagues, and Democracy Summer alumni. We rise in solidarity with you.

I am reminded of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington this week. Holding tight to Dr. King’s dream for America, thinking of the hundreds of thousands who were inspired by his and others’ words and songs, and believing in the vision and world Bayard Rustin was organizing to build. We firmly believe that we’re going to get to that mountaintop together.