Unpacking the Generational Trauma in Latinx Communities
Edna Chavez (she/her/ella) 10.10.2022
In the ’80s, my parents moved from Guatemala to the sunny streets of South Central Los Angeles to afford themselves new opportunities in a safe environment.
Living underneath the thumb of daily gun violence around LA and becoming curious about the connection between Latinx communities and trauma caused me to become involved in gun violence prevention work. Yes, guns took the lives of my loved ones, but I’m convinced that generational trauma in the Latinx community also played a factor. And we can’t unpack those complexities without having conversations about how our Latinx community deals with trauma and mental health.
It’s not something that’s spoken about often, but slowly, these discussions are beginning to occur at the dinner table, which is progress. Amplifying messages on mental health when talking about gun violence and gun violence prevention, especially among our men, is critical right now.
During this year’s Latinx Heritage Month and beyond, I hope we can recommit ourselves to speaking up about gun violence and mental health in our communities. We have stories that only we can relate to and understand that anyone outside of our culture wouldn’t. Latin voices matter in this movement.
Our heritage month is a time of pride, joy, identity, and culture. And we must always take up space in representing and carrying our Latinidad, and fighting for our people because if we don’t, who will?
Latinx Gun Violence Resources
Latinx communities experience gun violence at rates disproportionate to their white peers. Find our resources, including our social graphics and research on the impact of gun violence on Latinx communities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. WONDER Online Database, Underlying Cause of Death. A yearly average was developed using four years of the most recent available data: 2018 to 2021.