Updated: Friday, June 17, 2016
As it prepares to head to Orlando, Florida, next week for the ABC Children’s Institute, the American Booksellers Association released a statement on this week’s tragic events at the Pulse nightclub, as well as information on resources aimed at both helping the Orlando community and addressing the needs of customers everywhere looking for a greater understanding of LGBTQ issues, grief, and tolerance.
The following statement was released by ABA today, June 15:
“The American Booksellers Association sends its deepest sympathy to the families of the Orlando nightclub victims and wishes those injured in Sunday’s tragic events a full recovery.
“It is our belief that intolerance and violence have no place in America. During these trying days for the entire country, as always, bookstores stand ready to serve as community resources for information as well as gathering places where people can gain strength from being together and sharing their thoughts and emotions.
“For our ABC Children’s Institute, opening in Orlando on June 21, ABA is working on ways for attendees to offer assistance to the community and to victims’ families. We will also make time during the program to pay our respects to the victims.”
To help bookstores address the needs of customers looking for books on LGBTQ issues, grief, and acceptance, ABA has compiled a list of titles suggested by booksellers. The list was sent to stores via e-mail on Friday, June 17, and all ABA members were invited to suggest additional titles. In addition, a flier of children’s backlist titles on LGBTQ themes, which will be available at the Ci4 Welcome Reception and Backlist Book Swap Party, can be downloaded in PDF format.
ABA has also reached out to officials in Orlando about the possibility of hosting a blood drive at the institute; more information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
For those who wish to offer financial support to the victims and their families, national media outlets, including MarketWatch, are warning prospective donors to beware of scams and to research charities before sending funds.
Two established groups that are working to collect donations for the victims are:
Equality Florida, a nonprofit advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the state, which has set up the Pulse Victims Fund for donations on GoFundMe. Equality Florida said that it will work with the National Center for Victims of Crime’s National Compassion Fund to ensure all donations will go towards supporting the Pulse victims and their families.
- The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (The Center), which is offering crisis support and facilitating donations to help victims and their families, via the Pulse Tragedy Community Fund on GoFundMe. The Center said that the organization’s board of directors will work closely with the City of Orlando, attorneys, and experts to ensure all donations will be distributed correctly.
More information on organizations serving Orlando’s LGBTQ community can be found on the Downtown Orlando website. For those seeking to reach out to LGBTQ communities in their own area, The Task Force is a national advocacy organization with affiliates in many states.