Two years ago, on June 12, 2016, our communities were rocked by the massacre that occurred at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL.
At The Florida Holocaust Museum, we are dedicated to teaching the members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life. We believe that education is key to ending hatred, discrimination, and violence in our culture.
The Pulse massacre was the result of one individual who was taught to hate, rather than to recognize the humanity in a group of people different than yourself. We must ensure the lasting memorial is the real change of uprooting anti-LGBTQ hatred, discrimination, and violence in our culture.
One of the victims, Christopher Leinonen, has a special connection to the Museum. Christopher was in our inaugural group of Anne Frank Humanitarian Award recipients in 2002. Christopher’s award nomination, written by his high school’s guidance counselor describes the way Christopher saw and was moved to action by the everyday struggles of gay and lesbian teenagers; struggles that left many feeling hopeless and silenced, exemplified at the time by a strikingly high suicide rate. Christopher had the presence of mind and personal leadership to start a chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance at Seminole High School, working with administrators and students to make the GSA a positive presence in the school.
All of the suffering and loss is meaningless if we do not challenge and educate those who promote hatred and intolerance. We teach Holocaust Education and Genocide and Human Rights Awareness to build public awareness about current and past genocides. Genocide is carried out by humans who choose to hate fellow humans and education is vital in ensuring that visitors learn to adapt the lessons of the Holocaust into their own lives by embracing different opinions and world views and the need for mutual respect among individual human beings as part of a multifarious, open-minded, democratic society.
The vision of The Florida Holocaust Museum is a future in which peace and harmony are a reality in our neighborhoods, in our nation and in our world.
Today we ask, what are you doing in your community to uproot anti-LGBTQ bias and bigotry?
For additional information, please visit: https://honorthemwithaction.org