Saturday, July 1, 2017

What Philanthropy and Community Learned in the Wake of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting | Schott Foundation for Public Education

What Philanthropy and Community Learned in the Wake of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting | Schott Foundation for Public Education:

What Philanthropy and Community Learned in the Wake of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Memorial site at Pulse Nightclub Photo by Rafael Torres
This June marked the anniversary of a day that holds many titles:
    • the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in the United States
    • the deadliest incidence of violence against the LGBTQ community in the United States
    • the deadliest terror attack within our country since September 11th
On June 12, 2016, Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was hosting “Latin Night” when a shooter entered and ultimately killed 49 people. At Orlando Strong Funders Symposium: One Year Later, national and local philanthropic leaders gathered in the city to share lessons learned from the response to the Pulse shooting tragedy. I attended the two-day symposium, held June 14-15, and came away with many lessons about the power of a community coming together to stand in the face of hate, as well as what happens when different philanthropies are challenged to move swiftly during a crisis.
The symposium’s first day focused on how various service sectors united to respond to unspeakable tragedy within the first days, weeks, and months following the massacre. The breadth and depth of the panels displayed just how many people came together quickly to make change. Doctors and hospital staff, for example, discussed the importance of having emergency plans and enacting drills. From hospitals to fire departments, lines of communication, which didn’t exist before the shooting, emerged and became crucial to recovery efforts.
Immediately after the shooting, philanthropies united to take action. The Ford FoundationOpen Society FoundationsThe W.K. Kellogg FoundationArcus FoundationRobert Wood Johnson FoundationThe Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, and Our Fund Foundation joined together as contributing partners to the Contigo Fund. The Contigo Fund is “an effort to strengthen and network existing agencies and to identify and support grassroots efforts that advance Latinx and LGBTQ causes and the intersection of these two communities.”
Normally, things don’t happen that fast in philanthropy, but in this case, the response was rapid.
Orlando’s economy thrives off tourism, and I was proud to see the tourism industry and theme parks step up right away. NBC Universal donated $1 million to the OneOrlando Fund, which was set up to aid the victims of the attack. That contribution then sparked a $1 million donation from The Walt Disney Co., as well as a dollar-for-dollar donation match from the company for its employees’ donations. 
The City of Orlando also deserves recognition for how it handled the tragedy. It responded by embracing its native children. The outpouring of love and support was essential to begin the healing process. Today, Orlando is clad with rainbow flags and lights, made by the city and local businesses, to honor the victims and survivors. The city has taken steps also to identify the What Philanthropy and Community Learned in the Wake of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting | Schott Foundation for Public Education:

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