If Everyone’s Talking About The Orlando Attack. How do we join in?
When the news is almost too much to bear, despair is not an option. We need information, accurate reporting, healing conversations, and a plan for moving ahead constructively. But how do we get started? Where do we turn? Is there a place where people can come together to talk about their concerns, share their own experiences, and connect to others with the same interests from different perspectives? Where can you turn whenever you want to understand a complex issue? Start at your community library—your source for reliable, unbiased information.
As details of the Orlando attack massacre unfolded, so did varying layers of complexity: What happened? What was the motive? Who was harmed? Why did it happen? What can we do to keep our owned loved ones safe? What is going on in America and the world today, and how can we help change it for the better? The issues are complex, and involve a myriad of elements, some familiar, some completely unfamiliar, and many jumbled up by conflicting political claims, confusing and contradictory media reports in the ceaseless news cycle. Here’s one recent example:
The Orlando attack shooting took place at a popular Gay nightclub, putting the LGBTQ community on alert because their place of refuge was attacked. The attack happened on widely-promoted “Latino Night,” putting the Latino/Hispanic community on notice as possible targets. The attacker himself added several categories: ex-military lone wolf, homophobic, Muslim who claimed ties to ISIS terrorists, though the substance behind that claim is unclear.
In addition to mourning and coping with yet another crazy act of violence, three entire communities are grappling with issues of safety based on identity: Gays, Hispanics, Muslims, and any business, public and private locations, or people who welcome their diverse neighbors.
The issues don’t stop there. Today we hear constant reports of random and targeted violence, raising hot debates and political gridlock over gun safety, accessible care for veterans with PTSD, racial and religious hate crimes, police shootings of unarmed civilians and senseless assassinations of police officers, economic disparity, social injustice…it seems there’s no end of cause for anxiety. It is essential to face the situation, find common ground, and work through our differences toward better solutions.
KCLS’ year-long series, Everyone’s Talking About It, is based on the belief that civic engagement and community action can replace fear with empowerment, help strangers become friends, and turn anxiety into constructive action. We get there by simply talking with one another, and often with local experts, agencies, and organizations designed to define and resolve problems. Because libraries are politically neutral, fact-focused public resource, they provide a safe space for civil civic conversations. You’ll find the full schedule of events at http://kcls.org/browse_program/guide/.
The King County Library System is hosting a special community forum at the Redmond Library Thursday, July 28, to help work our way through issues raised in the wake of the recent massacre in Orlando attack.
Orlando Attack: At the Intersections of Tragedy
Thursday, July 28, 7-8:30pm
KCLS Redmond Library
15990 NE 85th Street
Redmond WA 98052
The forum will be facilitated by Luzviminda “Lulu” Carpenter, Community Advocate and Radio Host of #LuluNation + Crew, which can be heard every Tuesday 7-9pm on hollowearthradio.org.
If you’re interested in future civic conversations on additional topics, please ask at your KCLS library, or write your idea on a KCLS comment form and turn it in. Please join in, and be part of the solution.