Who We Are
On July 29, 2019, a small group of survivors and victim's family members joined forces with local queer activists to contest the OnePULSE Foundation's museum project, in favor of public memorials on public land and fundraising efforts that directly support survivors. We felt obligated to organize against the proposed museum following the release of new information and documentation largely through reporting done by the Orlando Sentinel in 2019, which for the first time made public Barbara Poma's salary, museum plans, and how the project has been pitched as a future tourist attraction.
Since July 29, 2019, the Community Coalition Against a Pulse Museum (CCAPM) has been steadily growing, researching, organizing, and continues to publish our perspectives. In the process, we have found numerous issues that we wanted to bring together in a central place.
In just days after we launched our website, our local coalition quickly drew support from people across the country. People continue to pledge their support on our website and by signing Christine Leinonen's petition on Change.org.
We offer a different vision for a collective future that honors victims, survivors, family members (both chosen and by birth), and community members with dignity, integrity, and respect. We are critical of what's been done in the name of love and the trauma that continues to be inflicted upon our communities as a direct result of the museum project.
We will not allow media companies, non-profits, or politicians to control the narrative. We understand that the mass shooting that happened at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, touched not only those immediately devastated by loss, but all of us. We thus acknowledge that it will take all of us, TOGETHER, to heal, grow, and repair in the wake of the Pulse shooting.
Furthermore, we understand that part of the process of grieving must also entail caring about the legacy of the Pulse shooting. This means we must ask: How will Pulse be remembered? How will this public memory be used? Whom will it benefit? And, most importantly, who will it leave out?
We deserve better for ourselves, those we have lost, and those who will inherit the consequences of the decisions that we make today.
Together, we speak for the need for a new vision and ROBUST public dialogue about the most ethical course of action for a Pulse memorial that will be true to the wishes of ALL survivors and representatives of victims. Leaving no one out.
Together, we must prevail in seeing that our communities are duly respected and uplifted through the monumental task of memorializing this public tragedy.
“We [are] not a media propaganda scheme. My life has changed and has been changed since that night and you as the owner only see money. When will we get the help we all deserve?”
“Barbara Poma shouldn’t earn a cent more for running the OnePulse Foundation than the lowest-wage worker who was actually at Pulse on the night of the shooting."
“I wish the city would obtain ownership of Pulse location.”
“[I would like to see] A public park, tear down Pulse, and let Barb Poma do what she wants with the property----but with her own money.”
“I would like to see the land turned over to Orlando Parks Dept and a small memorial park witn ongoing maintenance assured by the City.”
“The family members of the victims should have the most weight when it comes to designing a proper memorial. A museum, while sounds like a good idea on the surface, may negatively impact victims’ families. More needs to be done to engage the families directly and not rely solely on the larger community.”
“I think if just one parent doesn’t want a museum then it shouldn’t be built.”
“[I would like to see] An appropriate and tasteful memorial park. Please, no gift shop. No merchandising of mass murder.”
“[I am concerned] That it [the proposed museum] will become a tourist attraction not a memorial”
“We don’t need Disney’s hands all over our grief. Thank you, but no thank you. Let us figure this out for ourselves.”
"If this is to be a public memorial she needs to sell the property to the city & step down from the board. She only has her own interest at heart. I personally know survivors that are struggling financially while her pockets are filled with blood money."
"It is not in the best interest of victims or survivors to keep Pulse intact as is."
“Only in this system of late capitalism, which privileges the non-profit industrial complex, could a white, cisgender, heterosexual, woman secure a living on the dead bodies of queer people of color and have this be not only widely accepted, but lauded. Banal cliches about ‘love against hate’ cannot mask the concrete materiality of a paycheck signed in blood.”
"Spread the word she [Barbara Poma] needs to be stopped."
"Pulse is torn down. Park is built to honor victims and survivors."
"Everything should be available for the public eye. Especially her still owning the property to benefit off the victims."
"Barbara poma and all board members should resign from one pulse foundation."
"I believe that building should be leveled and gone by now and a public park in place of it or something else but not a museum that’s so messed up I would never enter it if they did a museum I think that’s so disrespectful of anyone to even think of doing a museum it’s not an attraction site this is where my friends that were like family lost their lives. So I support this group and Christine entirely."
***Our Voices will be updated with new voices as often as we are able.