I’ll never forget that Sunday afternoon over two years ago. I had stopped at the store to get some coffee on my way to work, and I happened to look at my phone. On it was a GroupMe message from one of my college classmates to the rest of the class, saying that one of our classmates was no longer with us: she was a victim of the Waffle House shooting the night before.
I sat in my car, in shock, for a while. How could this have happened? It did not compute. Just three days earlier, I was standing with DeEbony and two other classmates, giving a presentation to the rest of the class. DeEbony was full of life and energy, and her passion for social justice issues animated my social work cohort. We finished that semester and the following school year subdued by the loss of an integral part of our group, but we were determined to pull together to support each other and honor her memory. For this reason, I fight for a future in which no one loses someone to needless gun violence.