Gathering for Peace

In the wake of recent LGBTQIA+ attacks, members of the Haverford community gathered for a Peace Circle on Founders Green to remember Americans victimized by violence against queer and trans folks. 

On Dec. 5, Haverford students, faculty, and staff gathered on Founders Green for a Peace Circle in remembrance of Americans victimized by violence against queer and trans folks. The event was prompted by the recent shootings at Club Q, a Colorado Springs nightclub that displays and celebrates gay culture, and the death of Shahere “Diamond” Jackson-McDonald, a 27-year-old Black Trans woman in Philadelphia who was murdered last month.

The Peace Circle was organized by students and staff at the Center for Gender Resources and Sexual Education (GRASE). During the event, attendees gathered around a tree branch bearing the names of those whose deaths have been attributed to anti-LGBTQ violence. 

President Wendy Raymond began the event with remarks about the recent events. Community members were then invited to come to the center of the circle, hold the tree branch, and talk about their emotions and experiences. Many spoke eloquently and passionately about loss, hope, and working toward a future free of such violence, as well as the need for memorial services like the Peace Circle. Some attendees continued their acts of remembrance afterward by gathering for a vigil in the VCAM lounge. 

“When acts of violence continue to threaten our existence and humanity,” noted Director of GRASE Sayeeda Rashid in an invitation to campus, “we are reminded of the necessary work toward full equality and respect for marginalized students, staff, and faculty… And so, we will come together at this moment to affirm as a community to one another and especially to our LGBTQIA+ folks and say: We are here with you, we see you, and we honor you.”