Dear Brookline Community,
We should live in a world where every person in every community can go to the grocery store, or their place of worship, or school without fear of violence.
But in less than two weeks we have seen three horrific mass shootings occur in the United States: in Buffalo, NY, where an avowed racist shooter specifically targeted a grocery store in a predominantly Black community; in Laguna Woods, CA two days later, where a shooter specifically targeted the community of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church because he wanted to destroy Taiwanese independence; in Uvalde, TX where a shooter specifically targeted an elementary school and the children and educators therein.
We, the staff of the Brookline Community Foundation, are sad and grieving. It has felt like there isn’t even enough time to begin comprehending the horror and pain of one mass shooting before the next one happens. Our hearts break for the victims, for the family and friends in unimaginable grief, and for the communities reeling from these attacks.
We are also angry. We know that while the geographies differ, the origins of such violence remain the same: racism, xenophobia, and prejudice. We join with voices across the country in condemning these attacks and the racism, xenophobia, prejudice and violence that are at their core.
That these devastating attacks have happened outside our community’s physical borders does not mean we do not experience pain, grief, and fear. Equally important is that it does not mean we are helpless, but condemning this violence requires more than words. As an organization, we are committed to continuing to provide resources to combat violence, racism, xenophobia, and prejudice in Brookline, and to invest in community-focused efforts that are building diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.
We also recognize that a powerful thing we can do is to direct attention and encourage sharing resources with organizations and groups in close proximity to those most deeply impacted. Deep community presence, knowledge, and trust is invaluable right now, and we want to highlight the following relief funds, organizations, and efforts doing this work locally in New York, California, Texas, and right here in Brookline:
Bring support to Buffalo:
- You can donate directly to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s Community Response Fund
- You can give a gift to Feed Buffalo, a Black-led organization providing healthy food access in the Buffalo area
- You can explore and support organizations and community groups the NY government has identified as supports to the Buffalo community
- You can review and donate to any of the 40 community organizations already doing the work of supporting the Black community in Buffalo NY as highlighted by Step Out Buffalo
Bring support to Laguna Woods:
- You can contribute to a Victims’ Fund to help bring support to members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbytarian Church community
- You can support the Laguna Woods community through a gift to the Orange County Community Foundation
- You can learn more about the vibrant community of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbytarian Church on their website, and check back for ways to support the community
Bring support to Uvalde:
- You can give directly to the Texas School Shooting Victims’ Fund
- You can donate to the San Antonio Area Foundation’s Uvalde Strong fund
- You can support the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country’s Uvalde Strong fund
- You can review this NPR Article to find additional ways to support the Uvalde community, as well as updates about needed supplies and where to direct donations
There are also incredible organizations, collectives, and community efforts dedicated to anti-racism work, anti-violence work, and community building right here in Brookline. Learn more about some of the organizations BCF supports who are doing this work and continue supporting everyone working tirelessly to create a more equitable Brookline.
We are committed to supporting the Brookline community and all communities impacted by this violence, as well as all communities standing against it. We are in this together, and we are here for the Brookline community today and always.