Following the reported murders of at least nine transgender women of color in the United States since the start of the year, a community rally will be held this Sunday in Charleston to address this rise in violence.
Scheduled April 30 at noon at Wragg Mall Park, the event will be hosted by a multi-racial group of activists from across the Lowcountry and sponsored by the Carolina Youth Action Project (formerly Girls Rock Charleston), We Are Family, Southerners on New Ground, Campaign for Southern Equality, Charleston Area Transgender Support, the Alliance for Full Acceptance, and Charleston Pride. The rally will feature speakers, calls to action, and an open mic for members of the public to share poetry, spoken-word, song, and personal testimony.
According to a statement released by organizers, “The purpose of the rally is to engage the public in a conversation about ways to protect trans women of color, build movements that include the leadership of trans women of color, and expand our political platforms so that they reflect the compound and overlapping issues that trans women of color face here in the South.”
The rally will serve as a first step in an ongoing process to ensure that trans women of color enjoy the same safety and opportunity as others in Charleston and those attending the rally will be asked to take part in continued efforts throughout the year to protect and uplift this portion of the population that has been subject to violence and discrimination.
“We must have these conversations in our community. We must break the silence,” said Skyelynn Landry, member leader of Southerners on New Ground. “Let’s come together to begin the necessary work of building sanctuary and safety for trans women of color right here in Charleston.”