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The National Black Justice Coalition Remembers PULSE Nightclub Massacre, Honors Victims & Survivors on Five Year Anniversary

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro |

ORLANDO, FL — Five years ago today, an armed gunman entered PULSE, a well known LGBTQ+ nightclub in Central Florida, killing 49 people, injuring dozens more, and causing enduring mental health trauma for thousands in the largest mass murder of LGBTQ+/SGL (same gender loving) Americans in U.S. history. 

In response, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), issued the following statement: 

“Today, we remember each of the 49 victims and survivors of the PULSE massacre in love and in solidarity with our LGBTQ+/SGL community. As we commemorate Pride month, it is imperative that we honor the individuals whose lives were stolen on June 12, 2016 due to senseless violence, hate, and bigotry.

“PULSE feels like yesterday to me. The night before the shooting I produced an African American LGBTQ+ Youth Summit reception and celebration. Like so many queer people in queer spaces, those who partied at PULSE may have felt the same sense of sanctuary I did that night, except they never made it home, or arrived home forever changed. 

“While this instance is a distant memory for some, it’s a reminder of the work ahead for Black LGBTQ+/SGL people, who feel unsafe in public space on a regular basis. The majority of PULSE victims in 2016 were people of color — and we will never forget.

“PULSE survivors deserve complete financial and emotional support, including state and federal subsidies for mental health counseling and treatments.

“Our hearts are with everyone affected by this profoundly dark moment.”

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.