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If any part of our community is not safe, no one is safe.

On Saturday, May 14, 2022, an individual from Conklin, NY, drove 200 miles to Buffalo, NY, and opened fire in a supermarket, killing ten people and injuring three others. The attack was live-streamed on media platforms, and the person who perpetrated this act wrote a 180-page document explaining his actions and intent. In this document, he states that the purpose of this attack was precisely to bring about the deaths of Black people. This attack is another event in a series of mass shootings in recent years motivated by racial hate, including shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, and El Paso, Texas. 11 of the 13 people shot were Black and ranged in age from 32-86.

As our website states, Fresno EOC stands with communities of color against both structural and individual racism. We believe that the cure for racism is action. To uphold the words of CEO Emilia Reyes, “Racism is the catalyst for accelerated loss of life for people of color…we must engage in constructive and consistent anti-racist action to the cancer seeking to separate us, weaken us, and threaten our well-being.”

We believe in equity. If any part of our community is not safe, no one is safe. We believe that racism produces violence in many forms – physical, emotional, verbal, and social. To end racism and see our vision of an equitable and poverty-free Fresno County, we must call out, condemn, address, and upend violence from racism in all forms.

At this moment, we acknowledge the continued violence directed at Black communities and its impact on our staff and the people we serve. We are heartbroken, for all who are affected. We mourn the tragic and senseless loss of life. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, calling out racism in all its forms and advocating for their right to safety and security. We recommit ourselves to using our position as a Community Action Agency and the largest non-profit in the Central Valley to increase awareness and understanding of racism. We will amplify the voices of Black and Brown communities and work daily to uproot institutional racism through direct action, advocacy and investment.

Fresno EOC is a Community Action Agency (CAA) and was born from the Civil Rights Movement.

Our nation’s 1,000+ local Community Action Agencies provide life-changing services to individuals and families in 99% of America’s counties. Learn more about the history of Community Action.

For media inquiries, please contact Claudia.solis@fresnoeoc.org.

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