Berkeley Lab’s Lambda Alliance attended a vigil at UC Berkeley on June 13, 2016 to honor the lives lost in the Orlando mass shooting, and to support the LGBTQ community. An estimated 300 people attended the vigil, with flags at the entrance flying at half mast. Several speakers shared personal reflections on the attack, their connection to the community as LGBTQ and/or Latino/a individuals, words of support from allies, and a strong endorsement of policy changes needed nationwide to effectively address gun violence. Speakers included students, staff, faculty, and members of the community, including City of Berkeley Councilmember Kriss Worthington. Click here to view the photos.
“I attended the vigil today to grieve for the people killed and hurt in Orlando, and for all of us,” said Environmental Programs Manager Sue Fields from DOE’s Berkeley Site Office (BSO). “I participated to show my support for those who were hurt by this event, including other events where fear motivates violent actions. I appreciated all those who shared their feelings and thoughts, and hope that we can make this world a better place.”
“I came to be visible, to stand for community in the face of such horrific loss,” said Amanda Krieger, Integrated Circuit Design Engineer from the Engineering Division. “Beyond the pain, the fear, the anger that the LGBT community feels towards this historic tragedy–to be specifically targeted as less human, our lives less valuable, particularly transgender people–beyond this cruel and brutal reality, this was an attack on community itself. At least 49 people of diverse faith, race, and gender assembled for the common purpose of celebration in music, and had their lives taken from them. Taken from their families. Children who will never feel their parents embrace again. Parents who will never hear their children speak, not see their radiant smile, nor feel their kiss–never, never again. I am a parent. How can we accept this, this reality that is so profoundly unacceptable?”
For employees who need support, we invite you to take advantage of our Employee Assistance Program. Be Well at Work – Employee Assistance (formerly known as CARE Services) is our staff employee assistance program providing free, confidential counseling and referral for Lab employees.
University Health Services, Tang Center, Suite 3100 (3rd floor)
2222 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-4300
Phone: (510) 643-7754
Lambda Alliance, Berkeley Lab’s LGBTQ employee association, has a list of events throughout the month of June to celebrate Pride Month. We will have a moment of silence at these events to honor the victims, including some remarks from the Lambda Alliance Executive Sponsor, Jay Keasling, at the Pride Networking Event on Thursday, June 23rd. All employees, including allies, are welcome to attend and support the LGBTQ community at the Lab. For more information, please contact Lady Idos at firstname.lastname@example.org or x 4232. To view Lab Director Michael Witherell’s statement on the Orlando shooting, click here.
Photos by Kelly Owen