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    San Francisco Will Soon Unveil a Memorial to the Victims in the Pulse Massacre

    By Eduardo Morales, PhD–

    In the coming weeks, San Francisco will unveil its memorial to the 49 victims murdered in a mass shooting on June 12, 2016, at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. An additional 53 people were wounded during the massacre. This was the largest mass shooting of its kind in the history of the U.S. and the deadliest in the history of violence against LGBTQ+ people in the U.S.

    Most of the dead and wounded were Latinx LGBTQ+ persons at the Pulse club.

    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors set aside $10,000 during the month of June, 2017, for a San Francisco memorial to be realized. Unfortunately, no organization was identified as being responsible to oversee the design and execution of the memorial. Meanwhile, the funds were allocated directly to the San Francisco Public Works Department.

    AGUILAS stepped up to the plate to inquire and led the effort in order for the memorial to be designed and realized. Otherwise, the funding would have been lost and the intent of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would not have been realized.

    Over the many years since the allocation of funds, inquiries were made to the Latinx LGBTQ+ community about what kind of memorial would seem appropriate, since most of the victims in this massacre were Latinx LGBTQ+ persons. Many attempts were made to find a home for the memorial. Finally, the SF LGBT Center team agreed to house the San Francisco Pulse Memorial on the second floor of the center’s building.

    In order to facilitate the process for design and execution of the San Francisco Pulse Memorial, the newly formed Castro LGBTQ Cultural District was designated by the San Francisco City and County to receive the $10,000 in 2020. A call for artistic proposals for this memorial was disseminated and only one proposal, submitted by Brazilian artist Wilson Ferreira, was submitted with three design options. Being that they were excellent, one option was selected for the San Francisco Pulse Memorial.

    The renderings present the memorial as a V-shaped shield that will have the names of the 49 persons who were murdered at Pulse. Currently, we are waiting for the San Francisco City and County to approve the artist’s renderings so that the memorial can go into production and then be housed on the second floor of the SF LGBT Center. It is expected that sometime in mid-September, in time for the start of Latinx Heritage Month (September 15–October 15), there will be a formal news announcement with a date established for the unveiling of this new memorial for the victims in the Pulse massacre.

    Eduardo Morales, PhD, is a founder of AGUILAS, where he serves as Executive Director. He is also a Distinguished Professor at Alliant International University and is the 2021 President of the National Latinx Psychological Association.

    Published on August 12, 2021