Vigil to honor victims of Orlando shooting held at UIS

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Photographs courtesy of Megan Gillmore

Marc Cox, Editor-in-Chief

On Tuesday, June 14, approximately 150 members of the UIS and Springfield community gathered in the Public Affairs Center to pay tribute to the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The shooting, which occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, resulted in 49 deaths and at least 53 injuries.

Kerry Poynter, interim executive director of the Diversity Center, Jason Pierceson, associate professor of political science, and interim Provost James Ermatinger spoke at the UIS vigil, which was organized by the UIS Diversity Center and the LGBTQA Resource Office.

“We hope today at this vigil we can come together as a community and begin to process what has happened,” Poynter said. “Maybe even motivate to look at home, at UIS, and ask what kind of community are we wanting to create. I hope you will join me in building coalitions among seemingly disparate groups, whether LGBT, Muslim, Latino/Hispanic, people with disabilities and others.”

Following the remarks, attendees of the vigil held lit candles while photos and names of the killed individuals were shown on a screen. Additionally, UIS Diversity Center staff read victims’ names and remembrances provided by family and friends.

If individuals would like to help support the victims of the Orlando shooting, they can donate through GoFundMe. As of June 15, over $4 million has been donated toward the $7 million goal.

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