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The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (KCAVP) and The Justice Project Respond to Recent Murder; Call for Solidarity in Response to Violence in Our Communities

 

DECEMBER 27, 2011

 

Kansas City, MO In the late hours of December 24th, 2011, Dee Dee Pearson, a 31 year old transgender woman, was murdered in Kansas City, MO. The murder took place in the 1000 block of East 43rd Street. The Kansas City, MO Police Department arrested 26 year old Kenyan L. Jones shortly after law enforcement arrived at the scene.

 

Dee Dee was a friend to many people in the community KCAVP and The Justice Project offers our sincerest condolences to those grieving this loss. We must stress the absolute necessity for the police and media to respect Dee Dees gender identity. The least we can do to honor her memory is to respect her chosen, lived identity.

 

KCAVP and The Justice Project are also concerned by the use of transphobic language in media coverage of this murder. Transphobic language contributes to a culture which sanctions anti-transgender violence. Together, we must challenge institutional racism, poverty, transphobic attitudes, lack of social services, criminalization of sex work, and other policies that jeopardize our security.

 

In July, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released its report Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2010. In 2010, NCAVP documented 27 anti-LGBTQ murders nationwide, the second highest yearly total ever recorded by the Coalition. Transgender women made up 44% of the reported hate murders in 2010, while representing only 11% of total survivors and victims.

 

We are currently working with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and reaching out to the media outlets to follow up on this incident. We encourage you to report any anti-LGBT bias, including hate speech, bullying, harassment, and physical violence to KCAVP at 816-561-0550. Dee Dee Pearson’s loved ones, along with KCAVP and The Justice Project will be hosting a memorial gathering for Dee Dee Pearson at 4 p.m., tomorrow, Wednesday, December 28th, at St. James Catholic Church at 39th and Harrison . 


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The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (KCAVP) exists to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims and survivors of violence, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and hate crimes.  To learn more, please visit our website at www.kcavp.org.

 

The Justice Project is a peer-based nonprofit human rights organization, whose mission is to provide criminal justice/social service advocacy and navigational learning for women and transgenders identifying as female in poverty.  To learn more, please visit our website at www.thejusticeprojectkc.org

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KCAVP
P. O. Box 411211
Kansas City, Missouri 64141-1211
US