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NCAVP Mourns the Homicide of Mesha Caldwell, a Transgender Woman of Color Killed in Canton, Mississippi; the 1st Reported Killing of a Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming Person NCAVP Has Responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of Mesha Caldwell, a Black transgender woman, killed in Canton, Mississippi on January 4th , 2017. According to Mic, she was initially misgendered by local press. In the wake of her death, friends, family and loved ones flooded social media with messages of love for Mesha.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Mesha Caldwell, and we send our thoughts and condolences to those who have been impacted by her death,” said Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “This is the first homicide of a transgender person that NCAVP has responded to in 2017, during a time of heightened fear and increased violence against LGBTQ communities. As we continue to hear more reports of violence, we must remind ourselves that this violence is not normal and fight harder than ever to keep transgender people safe.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact:

Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Dominique Hernandez

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