To say we are heartbroken and angry today is an understatement. We are crushed. And we are furious.

Firearms are now the leading cause of death for American youth. That is simply unacceptable.

We are still reeling from the Buffalo murders on May 14th, where a shooter influenced by hateful right-wing propaganda specifically targeted and killed Black people. We’re devastated by the news from Uvalde, Texas, yesterday, where one man killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school. There have been 118 gun deaths each day in the U.S. this year. That’s an epidemic, and it must be stopped.

It’s ok to sit with your grief and anger today. It’s ok to feel despondent. And if you or young people in your life are looking for community at this difficult time, we’re here. Community is at the heart of what we do. And in community is where we all need to be in these impossible moments. To process our grief, to speak about our collective fear, to feel our shared anger. Together is where we need to be to protect our children, our communities of color.

Our team at Camp Harbor View always delivers a message to young people that we are here when they need us – to process and be in community. Our social work team is always ready to provide support, and the young activists in our Digital Leadership program are speaking out about gun safety reform and mental health awareness.

We will continue to dedicate ourselves to creating places for communities to learn and thrive without fear. This month’s tragedies are a reminder to hold each other close and commit to building a more peaceful, more equitable world.