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The onePULSE Foundation, with Martin’s help, hopes to create a museum and memorial honoring the 2016 Pulse victims.
King of Latin Pop and proud Joe Biden voter Ricky Martin has just signed on to become the official spokesperson for the onePULSE Foundation, as the organization announced Thursday. The team hopes to fund a joint memorial and museum project honoring those who lost their lives to anti-LGBTQ+ violence over four years ago.
Beginning on Valentine's Day, Martin and onePULSE will launch the OUTLOVE HATE campaign, the goal of which is to raise $49 million to go toward a permanent memorial for victims of the 2016 shooting. On June 12, 49 people lost their lives after an armed gunman opened fire on the Orlando, Florida gay bar on its monthly Latin night, wounding 53 more. At the time, the tragedy was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The National Pulse Memorial and Museum will take the place of the current interim memorial at 1912 South Orange Ave. and will offer educational programs, outreach, and 49 legacy scholarships for Orlando’s LGBTQ+ community members.
Martin recently visited the interim memorial and said in a Thursday statement that he is “excited to assist onePULSE Foundation with engagement and awareness-building opportunities as they build the National Pulse Memorial & Museum.” “The OUTLOVE HATE campaign is the perfect way to start our partnership,” the 49-year-old artist said. “I ask everyone to join our movement, commit to change, and share the love, starting on Valentine’s Day.”
“We are thrilled to have one of the best-selling international music artists of all time join our Pulse family as a national spokesperson,” added Earl Crittenden, onePULSE Foundation board chair, in the press release. “His global platform allows us to share our mission with even more audiences, ensuring Pulse’s legacy of love lives on forever.”
The campaign’s hope is that one million people will donate $49 to the creation of a permanent memorial to victims and their communities. Meanwhile, donors can enter a contest to be part of a permanent fixture of the memorial by uploading a selfie to the www.outlovehate.com website.
This week’s announcement follows a competition in which entrants from all over the world submitted their proposals for the memorial’s final design.
The winning blueprint, which was designed by the team of Agence TER, Coldefy & Associés with RDAI, dUCKS scéno, HHCP Architects, Prof. Laila Farah, and Xavier Veilhan, features an expansive common area where guests can gather, along with a reflecting pool and a garden that will be home to 49 trees.
Martin’s status as an LGBTQ+ Latinx icon gives the partnership a deeper meaning: An estimated 90% of those killed in the tragedy were Latinx, while over half were under 30. Following the shooting, the Puerto Rico-born musician called on state and national lawmakers to pass common-sense gun reform measures in a letter published on Univision’s website.
“The LGBT community is the largest target of such violence that has included, among others, journalists, office workers, and travelers,” he wrote. “Yet, I ask that we stand strong, and not give in to fear... We cannot allow for hate to win, and we cannot stay quiet and hide."
This is not the singer’s first foray into charity.
Since 2004, he’s headed the Ricky Martin Foundation, which helps spread awareness about human trafficking.