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Geneva Events Memorialize Orlando Mass Shooting Victims

Kelly Walker

Geneva business owner Rafael Diaz-Diaz read the names of those killed in the Orlando mass shooting. More than 100 people gathered Tuesday in downtown Geneva’s Bicentennial Park to memorialize and to speak.

Shauna Marie O’Toole is an author and activist and the Associate Director of Transgender Education for the LGBTQ Center of the Finger Lakes.

“When you have a work mate, a family member, someone that you know being homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic, any sort of phobia sort of statement, have an uncomfortable conversation with that person and call them on it and ask them why do they think that. Because we are your neighbors, we are your brothers, we are your sisters, we are your siblings, we are your employees, we are your employer, we are your parents, we are your children.”

The Center organized yesterday’s event, which was the first of two scheduled for Geneva. Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in St. John’s Chapel on Main Street, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will host Honoring Lives, Uniting in Hope. The Reverend Maurice Charles is the Chaplain of the Colleges and one of the organizers of the interfaith service.

“The most important thing for me was for us to come together and mark this event in time and in space. To mark this as a moment where we and the Hobart and William Smith community are saying intentionally and deliberately that we are committing ourselves to making this more just, welcoming, and loving community.”

Honoring Lives, Uniting in Hope is open to entire community.