Posted: 6/13/16

TAMIU, PILLAR to Host Candlelight Vigil Tonight for Orlando Victims


Vigil at TAMIU Thursday
The community will join @ TAMIU to remember Orlando's victims.  


Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) and PILLAR will host a community-wide candlelight vigil to honor and remember the victims of Sunday’s tragic events in Orlando, Florida.

The observance will take place Thursday, June 16 at 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center Plaza facing the University’s Lamar Bruni Vergara Memorial Garden.

The event is being organized by the University’s Office of Student Orientation, Leadership and Engagement (SOLE) and is open to the public.  Partnering with TAMIU in hosting the event is PILLAR, a Laredo advocacy group for diverse communities with a special focus on bullying and suicide.

The University has extended invitations to other community groups and organizations to join in the observance.

Event organizer, Teresa Renn, associate director, SOLE, said the event was suggested by members of the University’s Safe Zone TAMIU.

“After Sunday’s tragedy, the group felt strongly that it was important that we provide an opportunity for our students and our community to join in solidarity with the City of Orlando and our nation,” Renn explained.

Safe Zone is a national program common among institutions of higher education that aims to create communities on campuses where students can feel safe expressing their true selves.  It encourages faculty, staff, students and community members to become more aware, active and allied to the concerns of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) population.

PILLAR promotes the health and well-being of people from diverse communities by furthering effective suicide and bullying prevention through collaborative activities and information sharing to ensure individual growth, personal success, saving lives and advancing respect for human life. PILLAR aims to provide a safe, nurturing and non-discriminatory environment where people experiencing emotional trauma due to bullying/victimization from others or suicidal ideations can seek supportive services to reduce the negative impact of these circumstances.

For more information on Thursday’s event, please contact Renn at 956.326.2280, email teresam.renn@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Student Center, Suite 224.

To learn more about PILLAR, visit http://www.pillarstrong.org or call 956.723.7457.