The 49 Fund has awarded its first scholarships to LGBT people
The 49 Fund has awarded its first set of college scholarships on the year anniversary of the Orlando massacre.
Scholarships of $4,900 were awarded to eight college students who identify as LGBT.
The LGBT scholarship fund was set up in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting that left 49 people dead.
The fund was created by Barry L. Miller and the GLBT Community Centre of Central Florida to honour those who were killed by Omar Mateen.
It was launched in March and hopes to award scholarships to students in the LGBT community annually.
Miller, who is an attorney, explained that he wanted to begin the fund to help improve the Central Florida community.
He said: “Our community has once again come together to make these scholarships possible.
“We had so many great applicants and each recipient has committed to take a leadership role in the future,” Miller added.
59 charities in Orlando announced a call for unity ahead of the first anniversary of the mass shooting.
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The non-profits from the LGBT, Muslim and Latin charities noted the need for solidarity as there was a mass backlash against the Muslim community in Florida following the attack.
“Despite the repeated attempts to use fear to further divide us, time and time again, the people of this country come together to console and support those in need,” the joint statement read.
The group expressed alarm at a “rising tide of hate violence” and a “massive rollback of civil rights protections at the state and federal level”.
The massacre last year left 49 dead in a gay nightclub in Orlando, prompting mourning across the US, as well as a renewed debate over gun control.
Most of Mateen’s victims were Latino.
The killer, 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen, swore allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call made shortly before the attack.