Nearly one year after the tragic shooting which left six dead and thirteen injured, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, community members have continued taking progressive steps to unify Tucson and the nation.

At the YWCA on Nov. 30, Tucson Mayor-elect Jonathon Rothschild and Ray Carroll, of the Pima County Board of Supervisors recognized two new initiatives: a commemorative book called “Together We Thrive”, and the newly-organized Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding.

Written and photographed by Young Women's Christian Association Executive Director Janet Marcotte, “Together We Thrive” consists of honorary photographs taken at the victim’s memorial sites including Safeway, the Arizona Medical Center, and Giffords’ office.

Accompanying the photographs is text from President Barrack Obama’s speech given in Tucson a few days after the shooting.

Marcotte was inspired to make the book when she noticed the numerous memorials being set up throughout Tucson.

In total, Marcotte has acquired 30 retail partners that will sell the book without keeping any percentage of the sale price.

For each book sold, $17 will be applied toward anti-bullying, mental health awareness, and civic engagement programs, coinciding with the goals of the Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding.

Ron Barber, district director for Giffords’ office, and one of those wounded in the shooting, came up with the idea for the fund while in his hospital room. Moved by Tucson’s widespread, spontaneous support after the tragedy, Barber saw the fund as an opportunity to thank the community for its response, and to maintain that positive energy through community outreach programs.

The programs will focus on issues like mental health and bullying, and will aim to positively influence children at a young age.

(1) comment


it's too bad the Giffords tragedy keeps getting politicized. Loughner's actions and choice of victims were not politically motivated. Although it would seem that with what we have experienced from the Occupy movement, civil discourse is a worthy goal to pursue, a more appropriate community objective sparked by the tragic shooting should be greater awareness and intervention for those who are mentally ill since that was at the root of the shooting.

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