WASHINGTON On Thursday, June 13, Zoe Spears ( 23 ) was killed in Fairmount Heights, Maryland, a Washington D.C. suburb. Spears is the tenth Black transgender woman murdered in 2019. She was killed just a few blocks away from where Ashanti Carmon, another Black transgender woman, was found dead in March of this year. Both Spears and Carmon were members of a tight-knit community; however, authorities deny any connection between their deaths. In response to the tragic news, National Black Justice Coalition Executive ( NBJC ) Director David J. Johns released the following statement:
"This senseless killing of Black trans women must end. Spears is yet another Black trans woman who has been murdered during Pride Monthand the month is not over. The continued deaths of Black trans women begs the question: how can anyone celebrate Pride Month when so many members of the community are dying? Black trans women are disproportionately affected by violent crime and deserve to live without fear. Twenty-six transgender people were killed in 2018. Since the start of 2019, ten Black trans women alone have been killed. There must be justice for Black trans women like Spears and Carmon.
—From a press release
"Gender justice means ending the violence that Black women and girlscisgender, transgender, as well as gender non-conformingexperience simply as a result of who they are and how they exist in the world."
Toolkit at nbjc.org/words-matter-gender-justice-toolkit .
The National Black Justice Coalition ( NBJC ) is America's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving ( LGBTQ/SGL ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.