Dear Buffalo Family,
I have spent the last few days crying my makeup off, praying, fasting, strategizing, trying to get my mental health in order, and keep showing up for my Jefferson Ave family. I still haven’t cultivated the words to express the grief I bear in the moment. Healing is a journey, however, I’m not sure I ever want to completely heal. I want just a little of this pain, anger, and hopefulness to fuel my work for the rest of my life. My hope is that the lives of the beautiful souls we lost will NEVER be forgotten and will be the catalyst to fuel the change the Black community so desperately needs.
Open Buffalo stands steadfast to our commitment to achieve racial equity in Buffalo. That means that families can afford to feed ourselves, we aren’t living in a state of constant fear, and that we can actually have joy in our daily lives.
All victims of the Tops shooting and survivors, Jefferson Ave family, Black people, and the entire global family who has been devastated — we have been dealt a gut-wrenching blow. Our memories of the best fried chicken in the city, first jobs, or the last laugh we shared before saying goodbye almost seem too hard to handle. Grieve. But don’t stay stuck, together we MUST move forward. I don’t have all the answers. But I do know we need each other to create the changes in the streets we so desperately need.
Your grief is not in vain. The vibrant Jefferson Ave will return. The Buffalo we desire will be created. Fear, greed, and evil will not have the last say.
In love, peace, and solidarity,