Dear UT Health San Antonio Community,
The tragic massacre of innocents in El Paso this past weekend has hit very close to home to me, as it did for many members of our UT Health San Antonio community with connections to El Paso. To me, El Paso is not only my hometown and the home of both my immediate and extended family, it is the epicenter of the vibrant cross-cultural and bilingual community that has made me who I am. It is also the model community for peaceful cultural exchange and understanding. El Paso as a city has historically belonged to four nations (Spain, Mexico, Texas, and the U.S.) and inhabited by people from all cultures and ethnicities including dozens of native peoples. Indeed, its current community still reflects this cultural and linguistic diversity. Which is why it boils my blood to no end that a deluded terrorist with misguided and racist views about Mexican-Americans made the concerted effort drive nine hours from Fort Worth for the sole purpose of making a statement by hitting “soft targets.”
Nevertheless, as infuriating as this recent event has made all of us feel, especially here in San Antonio where the ethno-cultural demographics are similar to those of El Paso, I urge everyone right now to focus your energy, outrage, and frustration to help the victims and the families of those affected by the shooting in the El Paso community.
For this reason, my younger brother – who is currently on site in El Paso – and his friends have spearheaded a campaign with the hashtag #elpasounidos and the websites at the bottom of this article (www.elpasounidos.com) to help raise money for the victims and their families by selling t-shirts and other products along with receiving direct donations.
100% of the proceeds will go to the El Paso Community Foundation, a verified organization that will distribute the funds to help the victims with food, transportation, and medical expenses.
On behalf of El Paso Unidos, and the broader El Paso community, I would like to give you all a heartfelt thank you for your help and support during this heartbreaking tragedy.
Eithan Kotkowski, Ph.D.
UTHSA South Texas MSTP candidate MD class of 2021 and El Paso native.
Twitter Hashtag: #elpasounidos
Direct Donation Page: https://payments.epcf.org/victims