Words matter.  We see it and experience it every day. From welcome to our home, to welcome to our neighborhood, to welcome to our city. Tomorrow, for many of our Nashville kids, welcome back to school.

Words matter and the power of our words can speak life or death.

Today, we process yesterday’s senseless massacre in El Paso as we continue to learn of the suspect’s links to racist, anti-immigrant ideology. When fear threatens our communities, we all pay the price. 

“At Conexión Américas we take these issues seriously as we continue to build a welcoming community where everyone can belong, contribute, and succeed,” said Conexión Américas Executive Director, Juliana Ospina Cano. “We are ready to take a stand against such divisive rhetoric, a narrative that perpetuates hate, condones violence, and ultimately, impacts all of us. Our promise is to continue walking together, speaking up together against hate, and against fear.”

“Our hearts are broken today for our hermanos y hermanas in El Paso,” said Terry Maroney, President of the Conexión Américas Board of Directors and Vanderbilt Law professor. “But we are also angry. Angry that white supremacy and anti-immigrant hatred is once again being actively encouraged in our country, with predictable consequences. My ancestors and the immigrants of today are the same,” she said, “spurred by the same dreams, with the same needs and the same potential to contribute. We cannot tolerate the false rhetoric of division that casts this generation of seekers and dreamers as dangerous and less-than. Immigrants have not changed: the legal and rhetorical landscape has changed around them.”

Words matter. Let’s use them wisely. 



Conexión Américas is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization established in 2002. Its mission is to build a welcoming community and create opportunities where Latino families can belong, contribute and succeed. Every year, Conexión Américas assists more than 9,000 individuals and their families in their desire to start businesses, buy homes, improve their English, help their children succeed in school and go to college, and become an integral part of Tennessee’s social, cultural and economic vitality. Conexión Américas is the lead partner of Casa Azafrán, a nonprofit collaborative at the gateway to Nashville’s International District that is home to Conexión Américas and nine partners. To learn more, visit www.conexionamericas.org.