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Statement from Dr. David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading Black LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, on the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs:

“When ignorance is weaponized to become hate, people suffer. When hate-filled people are without communities that love and support their ability to celebrate diversity, embrace democracy, and prioritize mental wellness, they can cause harm—to themselves and others.  People die when hateful people have access to guns and live in communities and a country that prioritizes people over weapons of mass destruction.  We’ve seen this before, and sadly, it will continue to happen until we collectively do better.

“My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  My heart breaks for the victims and those processing the information that the lives of their loved ones have been stolen.

“NBJC will continue advancing public policy that increases competence and compassion, provides access to high-quality and affordable mental health, and improves gun laws. While we work against the forces that seek to hoard power and preserve white supremacy, we exist as a resource to anyone seeking to learn more about ways to advance equity for LGBTQ+ people, families, and communities.”

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