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Community Statement on May 26th, 2017 MAX Killings

We are grieving the brutal stabbing and murder of two courageous bystanders who sought to disrupt a potential assault on a Muslim woman on the TriMet Hollywood MAX station. We extend our heartfelt care and support to the people and their families impacted by this trauma. This senseless tragedy happened on the eve of the Holy Month of Ramadan, a period that draws Muslim communities together with intentions for peace and harmony by transforming bad habits to center our purpose and relationship with God.

We wish to extend our gratitude to fellow commuters who spoke out against racist and xenophobic taunts. We expect that those responsible for their deaths are held accountable, and that we will seek community-driven ways to restore safety. News that the perpetrator was also intimidating People of Color, Immigrants and Refugees on April 29th on 82nd Ave calls us to be vigilant in our resistance. This horrific violence requires us to reflect deeply on root causes, and is not an excuse to further militarize our communities. We believe in a world where everyone lives without fear of discrimination, exclusion or harm. May more Oregonians take action to interrupt hate and stand for love. In these terrible moments, we are reminded of our fragile humanity and the need to build institutions around the inherent worth and dignity of all people, institutions that function as systems of care.

Here are several concrete ways community members can show support:

Show up for the Vigil Saturday May 27th 8:30pm and at upcoming public demonstrations planned to resist oppression (more info TBD)
Attend the Portland Ramadan Tent Project, an interfaith sharing of Iftar - the breaking of the Ramadan fast - this weekend.
Join, lead or start an organizing group and educate yourself about the legacy of White supremacy and White nationalism in Oregon (A few resources: Interview with Scot Nakagawa, Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This Podcast)
Place a Solidarity Sign in your home or place of business or school

We all have a role in creating the society we live in. As organizations committed to human rights, we are dedicated to confronting the forces of hate and building movements for social justice. May we find courage and purpose, challenge anti-Muslim Islamaphobia, and foster community that ensures each of us have the rights, resources and recognition to thrive.

Sincerely,

Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director
APANO and APANO Communities United Fund

Kayse Jama, Executive Director
Unite Oregon

Diego Hernandez
Oregon State Representative

Khanh Le, State Director
Main Street Alliance of Oregon

Mary Nolan, Executive Director
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon

Rev. Michael Ellick
Senior Minister, First Congregational United Church of Christ

Jan Elfers, Executive Director
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Andrea Paluso, Executive Director
Family Forward Oregon and Family Forward Action

Nancy Haque, Co-Executive Director
Basic Rights Oregon

Grayson Dempsey, Executive Director
NARAL Pro Choice Oregon

Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez
Pastor, Ainsworth United Church Of Christ

Jackie Yerby, Executive Director
Bradley Angle

Toya Fick, Executive Director
Stand for Children Oregon Chapter

Nikki Fisher, Executive Director
Bus Project

Charles McGee, Executive Director
Black Parent Initiative

Jackie Yerby, Chair
Micronesian Islander Community of Oregon

Andrea Williams, Executive Director
Causa Oregon

Rev. Barbara Stevens
Minister, Universalist Recovery Church

Cindy Casama Gerber, Community Member
Bea Downing, Community Member
Zeenia Junkeer, Community Member
Marlie Cardiff, Community Member
Heather Fercho, Community Member
—  Community Statement on May 26th, 2017 MAX Killings