Ava Le’Ray Barrin. Nabra Hassanen. Kendra Marie Adams. Charleena Lyles. Philando Castile.

Say their names.

All lives stolen by anti-Blackness, Islamophobia, transphobia, misogynoir, and ableism. All lives stolen from futures, families, and friends.

We must not forget them when doing this work of getting free, whether these vicious attacks are carried out by civilians or by agents of the state who have the support and weight of violent institutions behind them. Ava and Kendra keep our complicity in the violence trans women of color face front and center. When Nabra’s memorial at Dupont Circle was desecrated, right after her vigil, we were reminded that bigotry respects neither the living nor the dead. The inability of so many police to recognize when and how to do their job of de-escalation reminds us that so many like Charleena never had a chance to survive an interaction like that. While Philando might not have been murdered as recently, the acquital of the cop who murdered him keeps reminding us that too often blackness warrants a death sentence no matter the situation, and with no consequence.

It’s exhausting, and it’s the reason why so many of us in DC are doing this work. Sometimes we don’t know what to say, and don’t know where to put our rage, fear, and trauma right away. That’s alright. Sometimes what we need is air, space, time alone, or time with loved ones. Please take care of yourselves, and don’t forget to keep Ava, Nabra, Kendra, Charleena, and Philando on your minds.

In Solidarity,

Washington Peace Center Staff