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Elite Daily: On Gun Violence Awareness Day 2020, I’m Grieving All Over Again


“I don’t pretend to fathom the grief the families of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are feeling right now. But I can empathize with them, and I often do. When I was just 16 years old, I lost my friend, Hadiya Pendleton, to reckless gun violence. She was only 15 years old. Hadiya and a few other friends were trying to shelter from the rain in a playground near our Chicago high school when she was shot and killed on Jan. 29, 2013. The bullets weren’t meant for her, but as so many of us have bitterly learned, bullets do not discriminate. In an instant, our community lost an unstoppable force of positivity. Because even at 15, Hadiya had convinced us all that we were going places.”