Stolen Lives Installation

Wilshire Baptist Church will host Vidas Robadas (Stolen Lives), a visual installation to bring awareness to gun violence, at its northeast Dallas campus from May 26 through June 9.

The display will use T-shirts to honor lives stolen by gun violence in Dallas County in the last five years. Wilshire congregants prepared the shirts by emblazoning them with the names, death dates and ages of individuals who died by gun homicide. Colored shirts represent homicide victims. White shirts represent suicide deaths and do not show names but instead bear a suicide hotline number. Wilshire’s 225 shirts represent less than 10 percent of the county’s 2,400-plus gun deaths since 2018.

Timothy Peoples, senior pastor at Wilshire, said, “Participating in Stolen Lives is a way for our community of faith to demonstrate our commitment to helping create a safer world for our children and our community. We hope this exhibit takes the data and humanizes it. Each shirt is not just a data point, not just a shirt, but a life. We lament the lives that have been lost and the families who now walk this life without their loved ones.”

Wilshire member Monica Mullins, who helped prepare the T-shirts, said, “I’m grateful for a church that promotes conversation and action related to the gun violence epidemic in our country. I love being in a safe space where we can discuss these issues and stand in solidarity with those who have been victims of such violence.”

The Vidas Robadas (Stolen Lives) initiative was created in partnership with Texas Impact, an Austin-based interfaith advocacy group who launched the effort in San Antonio last year. Several other Dallas churches are creating installations like Wilshire’s, and the shirts will be shown collectively at a May 18 rally for gun violence prevention at Dallas City Hall Plaza. Texas Impact is hosting the rally along with nonprofit organizations Moms Demand Action and Giffords. The date was chosen to coincide with the National Rife Association’s national conference, which will be held May 16–19 at nearby Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. 

Wilshire’s display will culminate on Sunday, June 9, the Sunday of Wear Orange weekend. Wear Orange is an annual observation encompassing National Gun Violence Awareness Day, the first Friday in June, and the accompanying weekend. 

Heather Mustain, associate pastor at Wilshire, said, “Common sense gun reform is possible, and we have a chance to call our legislators even now and ask for their commitment to passing legislation that will make our communities safer in 2025. Background checks should be comprehensive and the age to own an assault rifle increased. On June 9 Wilshire will have a letter writing campaign asking for just this from our legislators.”

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Date

May 26 2024 - Jun 09 2024

Time

All Day