5/31 Memorial Update

City leaders are making plans to honor victims, survivors and first responders.

Building 2 at one year rememberanceAt the Sept. 15 City Council meeting, Emily Spruill Labows, director of Cultural Affairs and 5/31 Recovery Program Manager Lauren Heath, presented a plan outlining the development of a permanent memorial to honor and remember the victims, survivors and first responders of the 5/31 tragedy. 

They requested permission to create a memorial committee to make decisions about funding the memorial, where it might be placed, the look and feel of the design and guide the extent of community engagement in the design process.  

Cultural Affairs sought guidance from communities that have endured similar tragedies – and the advice they received included not rushing into decisions, carefully planning and developing a memorial with the guidance of the community and those directly affected by the shooting. These Cities who have also faced mass gun violence also recommended waiting until after the one-year anniversary to begin the planning process. 

The proposed committee would include victims and families, the family and survivor liaison, two City Council members, staff support from multiple departments including the City Manager’s Office, Public Works, Planning, Cultural Affairs, the Communications Office and a third-party public input consultant.

Heath and Labows also stressed the importance of ensuring the process is transparent and providing multiple opportunities for families, survivors and the community provide input. 
This is a major project, and the City’s priority is to ensure that it’s done right so that the final product is unique and meaningful.  

Should City Council give the green light, the committee will be assembled. But the process won’t be quick as the project is expected to take years to plan and construct. 

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