Pride at Work Reacts to Murders at Emmanuel AME Church

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2015

Contact: Jerame Davis

Pride at Work Reacts to Murders at Emmanuel AME Church

WASHINGTON, DC – Wednesday night, a young white man walked into the historic Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina and murdered nine African-American parishioners. Witnesses heard the killer make racially motivated statements before he opened fire. Pride at Work Executive Director, Jerame Davis, responded with grief and disgust:

“The horrendous crime that took the lives of nine African-Americans at the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina yesterday is heart wrenching. In moments like these, words often fail, but we must speak out when senseless, racist violence takes innocent lives. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

“There is no justice that will bring back these nine people nor salve the grief of the surviving family members. The racist motivation of this murderer is another stark reminder that we must speak up and out to declare that #BlackLivesMatter. We will not rest until every corner of our country has heard that message and takes it to heart.

“It is disgusting and deplorable that some are painting this act of hatred as anything other than racially motivated. The Emmanuel AME church is a symbol of black liberation and the killer was explicit about his motivation – even going so far as to tell a survivor he spared her so she could tell others what happened. Those who try to paint this as anti-Christian violence are deplorably engaging in whitewashing the truth of the matter to perpetuate a false narrative.

“The violence, the racism, and the denial all must end. We are better than this.”


Pride at Work is the official constituency group of LGBT union members and allies fighting for workplace equality for LGBT workers. We organize mutual support between the organized labor movement and the LGBT community in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Workers interested in joining Pride at Work or in launching new chapter organizing efforts, can visit or email us at