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Vermonters Respond To The Shootings In Orlando

Chris O'Meara
AP Photo
People hold hands during a vigil held at the Joy Metropolitan Church in Orlando, Fla. on Sunday, June 12, in the wake of the shootings at the Pulse Orlando nightclub. Today's show we will focus on Vermonter's reactions to the tragedy.

The deadly shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. on Sunday morning have rattled the nation, including the Vermont community. We want to create a space for listeners to connect with each other and we will be joined by multiple guests to help facilitate that discussion.

Amanda Rohdenburg, director of advocacy at  Outright Vermont, will discuss with us the history of violence against the LGBTQ community, particularly in safe spaces like gay bars and clubs, as gains have been made in the social movement. "The shooter's actions have everything to do with climate of fear and hatred of 'queer people infiltrating' even though we've been everywhere all along," Rohdenburg says. "Our [queer] youth are shocked - they don't have words to communicate their shock and fear."

Two individuals from local faith communities will also be joining us: Beau Scurich, the Muslim chaplain at Middlebury College, and the Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, pastor at Church of the Good Shepherd in Barre and president of the Vermont Interfaith Action Board of Directors.  They'll talk about how faith communities are reacting to the tragedy and how they plan to work to bring people together in solidarity.

Also on the show will be mental health counselor Beth Holden, associate director at the Howard Center, to talk about grief and how individuals react to traumatic events. In particular, how should we talk with children about tragedies like this?

  • Howard Center children's services: (802) 488-7777
  • Howard Center adult services: (802) 488-6103

We invite you to share your comments and thoughts during the broadcast by reaching out via phone, email or social media.

This program is broadcast live on Monday, June 13, 2016, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Patti is an integral part of VPR's news effort and part of the team that created Vermont Edition. As executive producer, Patti supervises the team that puts Vermont Edition on the air every day, working with producers to select and research show ideas, select guests and develop the sound and tone of the program.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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