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May 27, 2022

Put Down Weapons of Hate, Pick up Instruments of Love

The MusicianShip Stands with Our Community: A Message of Unity and Healing

Dear MusicianShip Family and DMV Music Community,

The month of May represents the heart of springtime, culminating with Memorial Day Weekend, a time when our country honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the US Military. This season is traditionally filled with joyous occasions, great weather, music, food, travel, leisure, and family bonding. It's a time of renewal and celebration. However, this May also coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month, providing an opportunity for us to reflect, review, and ensure the well-being of our communities.

Unfortunately, this season has been marred by the escalating gun violence that has plagued our nation. Instead of joy, we have witnessed pain, anguish, suffering, and senseless loss of life. In these challenging times, we turn to the healing and unifying power of music, song, and lyrics to provide solace.

The MusicianShip stands in solidarity with our youth, their families, the emerging young musicians in the communities we serve here in The District, and the entire music industry in combatting this national crisis. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this senseless violence, from the racially-motivated killings in Buffalo, New York, to the tragic shooting of elementary school students in Uvalde, Texas, and every community affected in between.

However, warm sentiments alone cannot be our default response. Immediate action is required, as an alarming number of young people have become both the victims and perpetrators of these horrific acts of violence. The emotional toll on our youth is immeasurable, dampening their desire to pursue music, art, and education and robbing them of the feeling of safety and security in their schools.

From the corridors of power in The Capitol to the offices of mental health practitioners, from the production lines of gun manufacturers to the aisles of ammunition retailers, we plead for one unified voice of action. Our goal is to enable our youth to put down weapons of hate and pick up instruments of love and hope. The MusicianShip is committed to providing the healing power of music and ensuring the safety of the youth and families we serve in The District.

During this difficult time, we encourage everyone in our community to embrace and support one another. Reach out to us for additional support if needed. If you know a young person or family coping with the aftermath of recent events or who has experienced losses due to gun violence, please take advantage of the attached resources for support and encouragement.

For additional resources, please refer to our article "Supporting Our Youth Through Trauma" published in July 2021.

With love and music,

Eric Liley
Executive Director & CEO
The MusicianShip

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