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Tuesday, Oct 1, 2019, Two years after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Festival has changed our city forever, the impact of this horrific event continues to ripple through our community. The evening was filled with emotions as the Make the Road NV offices began to get filled with survivors, their families and community members gathered for a vigil in honor of the victims of the tragedy. Survivors spoke about their experience and their recovery, reverends came and shared thoughtful words, and mental health professionals from Silver State Health Services spoke on the work that has been done to aid in the recovery of the survivors. In addition to the vigil, survivors were treated to a day of healing with relaxing and restorative activities. 

During the day, a group of survivors filled our office which was converted into a healing space, with low lighting, calming music, and soothing scents. There were opportunities for the survivors to speak with counselors and professionals from Silver State Health Services. Along with counseling, messages, energy crystal healing treatment, guided breathing and restorative yoga were offered as more opportunities to heal. It was important for us to offer a safe space for the group of undocumented survivors that don’t get the chance or lack the resources to perform healing activities in their daily lives. Especially, because for some of the survivors the date resurfaces a lot of the trauma that was endured and has been repressed. Bryan, one of the younger survivors that was working the event the night of the massacre, mentioned that he continues to struggle with large crowds. 

Make the Road Nevada and Silver State Health Services, formerly Bilingual Behavioral Services (BBS) were some of the only organizations to provide support for the undocumented workers at the festival. The undocumented workers were not being provided health services or included as an affected group. After two years and several actions outside of the Sheriff’s office, many of the undocumented survivors are well in the process of receiving their U-Visas. Although there is a silver lining to shooting, we can’t forget the victims and the trauma that was caused. 

We would like to thank Planet Protein, Viva Las Arepas, Silver State Health Services, Kenevision, Shalom Rasa, Natalie Jasper, Laura Arteaga, Monika Misklewicz, Rasa Jordan, Kate Lynn Davenport, Perla Sanchez, Jennifer Carillo, Margarita Romano, Adam Berger, Ruth Carillo, and Penny James for helping make such a painful day for the survivors into a day to heal. If you would like to get involved or get more information on services for survivors, contact us at info@maketheroadnv.org or join us at our weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 6 pm at 4250 E. Bonanza Rd, Las Vegas NV 89110. 

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Part of our job at Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) is to get other people to support the Las Vegas community on issues that they care about and for them to get to know the hard working families in Nevada.

A couple of weeks ago we had the honor of welcoming Spotify who brought Latin recording artist, Sebastian Yatra to our office. He sat with many of our members in a circle and got the chance to know them. Some of our members shared their experiences of being an undocumented worker of the Route 91 music festival, one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern America. Sebastian Yatra listened to their stories and showed great support. Watch the emotional video below:

Our organizer Bianca, retells her experience with Sebastian and our members:

“Sebastian Yatra came in and brightened up the room with his smile, giving everyone hugs and kisses right away. Our members at Make the Road NV were so happy because a well known young man had entered their safe space, a place that they have started to call their second home. As Sebastian warmed up to everyone and things quickly got very serious and emotional as he asked our members to share their stories not knowing that more than half of the people in the room where survivors from the October 1st Route 91 Music Festival.

He sat with us and listened attentively as they talked about the tragedy. Moving lifeless bodies, being affected by PTSD, and how some are still not able to cry. A member spoke with a knot in her throat trying not let the emotions out, she felt weaker than everyone else because she hasn’t been able to move on and is still having to go to therapy. Sebastian came in with the perfect answer, validating their feelings but also letting them know that one terrible experience should not define them and that there are a hundred other things to smile about. As a special “Thank You” we presented him with our official Make the Road NV tote bag, shirt and hat. Welcoming him as an honorary member of our organization. Sebastian quickly put the shirt on and wore it with pride looking like he was part of the Make the Road familia all along! He then serenaded us with his new song, putting smiles on all our members faces. We invited him to end our meeting like we always do as a strong latinx organization with the unity clap. Right away he was all for it! Almost as if he was the energy of the group!”

After the shooting, victims involved were able to receive medical and mental health services from the state. Because these survivors were undocumented, many of them were being turned away from these important services and some were too scared to ask for assistance for fear of deportation. MRNV was instrumental in helping the undocumented survivors of the Route 91 shooting receive help and were the leading organization in assisting them receive U-visas which are granted to Victims of Criminal Activity.

Make the Road Nevada recently celebrated their one year anniversary and we continue our commitment of fighting for Dignity and Respect of our community in Nevada. Being able to get these survivors a U-Visa’s was one of the many victories we accomplished in this short time. Read more about the “The Forgotten Route 91 are Finally Being Heard” here

Spotify is a music platform that was able to captured these great moments with Yatra and our members of Make the Road NV.
Watch the full video on the Spotify’s Viva Latino playlist here!

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Many survivors, undocumented workers from the October 1 Massacre in Las Vegas and Make the Road Nevada members gathered outside the police headquarters on June 12 to meet with the sheriff of Clark County, Joe Lombardo.

 

For the past eight months, shortly after the Route 91 country music festival shooting occur, Make the Road Nevada together with other partners in the city have helped over 70 undocumented immigrants that were working in the event that night. The help has varied from emotional support to legal assistance. Many of the Make the Road Nevada’s members but also survivors of the shooting have started the U-Visa immigration process with the hopes that something good can result from a tragedy that has marked their lives forever.  

 

The day of the meeting, four of the members shared their stories exactly as they lived them last October. In the meeting was also North Las Vegas City Councilman, Isaac Barron, who has also advocated for the victims of the shooting. The survivors were in different places of the venue, some were working cleaning the restrooms, others at the food stands and many behind the stage, helping the music bands move their equipment. Sheriff Lombardo actively listened to the horrifying stories and announced to the group his department’s move to add more people to review the U-Visa applications from the victims of the shooting, in order to clear up the backlog.

 

The certification from the police department indicating they were victims is necessary, so this group could continue with their U-Visa applications. The massacre of October 1 has been one of the deadliest mass shooting committed in the United States. The shooting left 58 people dead and more than 800 injured. Make the Road Nevada has made sure to provide Spanish resources to the those who need them alongside others like; Bilingual Behavioral Services (BBS) Counseling Center, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, the UNLV Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic, La Alianza Comunitaria Transnacional, and the Arriba Las Vegas Workers Center.

 

This comes as a victory for MRNV and many others working to help this group obtain justice after the deadliest mass shooting in the country. Even though it’s a huge step forward for victims and the organization, they will both continue to keep authorities accountable on their promise to review the victim’s applications.

 

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