Statement on the Fatal Shooting of Atatiana Jefferson
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Director of African-American & Community Outreach Kayla Hicks and Executive Director of the Community Justice Action Fund Amber Goodwin issued the following joint statement:
“As Black women who have worked on the issue of gun violence for years, we join with the rest of the country in mourning the death of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson. Atatiana was killed in her home during a wellness check, and her death is a stark reminder that Black people are consistently navigating trauma as it relates to gun violence in all forms. Atatiana’s death illustrates the need to build authentic relationships between multiple sectors in our communities to support Black women. According to Dr. Shani Buggs, an expert researcher on community-level violence prevention strategies, ‘the Center for Disease Control and Prevention data show that in 2017, Black women were killed by firearms at over three times the rate of other women, and this disparity has existed for nearly twenty years.’1 These are women who look like us. Black women in this country are silenced, ignored, and disempowered like no other group. We know that we need more resources, research, and strategic community-led interventions to help save our lives.
“In this moment, we demand policy makers, community leaders, and philanthropic leaders to listen and support Black women to end gun violence. We see time and time again incidents of mass shootings in mostly suburban areas capture the hearts and minds of America. Rarely do we see an outpouring of support to eradicate violence against Black women. In the coming days and weeks we will announce future partnerships with the singluar goal to reduce gun violence against women who look like us. We should not just have a hashtag and be told to ‘say her name’- we need solutions, and we need them now.
“Leaders in America need to choose if they are on the side of bringing peace and safety to Black women, or if they are going to continue to turn a blind eye to the pain of our sisters.”
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2019) [cited 2019 Oct 15]. Available from URL: www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars