In 3 minutes what would I say to 100,000 people? To be honest, I don’t know…. In my life, I have had the privilege to speak the way I feel and I have had an even greater privilege to sometimes be heard. Furthermore, I struggled with the delivery for this project because whether or not I have anything of interest to say, it is the way I say it which is equally if not more important. A pedantic speech on why I’m more enlightened compared to those I’m speaking to would be embarrassing and shameful use of a priceless 3 minutes.
After some consideration, I decided I would give the stage to the mother of Jojo Striker, Shanda Striker. Jojo Striker was a transgender woman who was the victim of a hate crime and was fatally shot in the torso in February of this year in Toledo, Ohio. For my 3 minutes, Shanda Striker would be allowed to say or do whatever she would like to do. I would request that she speak about Jojo, their relationship, and reflect on her experience after losing her daughter. I would also ask Shanda to take a moment of silence for Jojo and other victims of similar hate crimes. I’m still not sure of the setting of the memorial service. Would all 100,000 be present or remotely attentive? I need more time to think it through.
Shanda Striker is one of many mothers I could have chosen. If I could, I would invite more mothers who have experienced similar violence on their loved ones. My truth is that too many people are without voice. My 3 minutes is an attempt to give voice and bring to light those without either. For every hate crime a family is left broken. Some crimes are given attention while most are ignored. Even if covered by the news, the humanity of these individuals is lost and their families fail to be acknowledge. I would hope that the three minutes could be used for spiritual healing and to spark compassion in the captivated audience. It would be an optimistic gesture with deep respect.
Please look up Jojo Striker, I have left images of her and her family off of my post out of respect.