On January 7, 2023, Tyre Nichols was stopped by law enforcement for reckless driving, and was subsequently murdered at the hands of five Memphis police officers. On January 21, a gunman shot and killed 11 people and injured nine others in Monterey Park, California, and on January 23, a second massacre was carried out over two farms in Half Moon Bay, California, leaving seven dead and one critically injured.
In response to these recent tragedies, Margaret Mitchell, CEO, YWCA USA has issued the following statement:
Once again, we are a nation in mourning. From the police killing of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in Memphis, TN, to the mass shootings in California during Lunar New Year celebrations — meant to mark hope for a new season and fresh beginnings for many in Asian communities — we are devastated by the violence and loss of life that has played out in news headlines across the country in recent weeks. Our hearts are with the families and communities affected by these senseless tragedies.
The over policing of Black Americans and the deaths of Tyre Nichols and so many others before him at the hands of police are deeply intertwined with our nation’s long history of racial injustice — and it’s past time to end the violence. These are not isolated incidents, and YWCA joins our voices with those rallying across the country to call for an end to police violence against Black and brown communities.
Only 30 days into the start of 2023, America has already experienced 39 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Tragic incidents of gun violence have plagued our country for far too long, and data shows that women — especially women of color — are particularly vulnerable. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act took important steps to address the epidemic of gun violence, but more is needed to keep our communities safe.
As one of the nation’s oldest women’s organizations with a longstanding intersectional mission to eliminate racism and empower women, we are unwavering in our demand for justice and in our commitment to creating a world in which all women, girls, and people of color can thrive, and we will continue doing our part to put an end to violence in the communities we serve and across the country.
Join us in our commitment to creating a world without violence by advocating for change in your own communities. Stay tuned to the YWCA action center for ways to get involved in advocating for needed reform at the federal level to address all forms of violence.
As we grieve and as we continue to demand justice, these resources from our partners can help: