Month of events seek to help El Paso heal from 2019 mass shooting

Helping El Pasoans to proceed to heal from the Aug. three, 2019, Walmart mass shooting is the purpose of a month of events and reflection coordinated by El Paso County and the United Way of El Paso County.

The Month of Unity and Healing starting Saturday, July three, is “to help light a path toward goodwill as we approach the second anniversary of the tragedy that befell our community,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego stated at a Friday information convention asserting the initiative.

“Only in unity can we bring out the best in humanity and overcome the hatred in our society that led to this horrible act,” he stated.

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The sequence of events, conversations, and actions will culminate with the Aug. three unveiling of the county’s Healing Garden in Ascarate Park within the Lower Valley.

“Events will include activities such as healing and unity through education, physical activity, art, music, public service, acts of kindness, and other creative programs,” Samaniego stated.

A listing of the month’s events may be discovered at, officers stated.

An necessary half of the month can be reflection and meditation, and the Healing Garden will play an necessary function in that, Samaniego stated. Acts of kindness additionally can be a key half of the month, he stated.

Taking half within the events in late July and early August can be Virginia artist and muralist Ellen Elmes, who painted portraits of the 23 slain shooting victims. She was impressed to do the work after studying an essay concerning the shooting victims, “Saying the Mexican Names,” by Harvard professor David Carrasco, whose household lives in El Paso.

More: Inside the El Paso shooting: A retailer supervisor, a frantic father, grateful survivors

The portraits of the shooting victims got to their relations as Christmas presents final 12 months, Carrasco famous. He took half within the information convention by way of video livestream.

Carrasco, professor of Latin American research on the Harvard Divinity School, additionally will come to El Paso in July with different Harvard workers and college students to help inform the El Paso story, he stated.

“On the primary anniversary (of the shooting), I used to be involved El Paso’s significance and struggling symbolized in that assault was downplayed within the nationwide discourse about gun violence, racism, and likewise the cultural creativity of individuals within the Mexican American borderlands,” he stated.

Since then, Carrasco stated he helped kind “a rising nationwide group of educators and a number of other filmmakers to unfold the excellent news of this therapeutic backyard, of this therapeutic initiative.”

“The healing garden is about curing, not just remembering. It’s about restoration, it’s about hope of transformation, coming out of this,” Carrasco stated. “It’s additionally saying to the individuals who have tried to put a boot within the face of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in recent times — that we’ll not imitate your cruelty with ours.”

El Paso County District Attorney Yvonne Rosales stated on the information convention that it’s going to take years for residents to heal from the shooting’s results. 

“So, as we all the time method Aug. three, we’ll all the time want to be there for one another and help one another and provide these random acts of kindness. If it is a variety phrase, or asking somebody to go have a cup of espresso, simply to ask how you’re doing. Those easy phrases can have a big impact.”

Vic Kolenc could also be reached at 546-6421;; @vickolenc on Twitter.

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