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Tacoma activists raise awareness about violence against black women

A social justice group based in Tacoma hopes to raise awareness about violence against black women.

In 2015, Jamika Scott formed the Tacoma Action Collective to highlight issues of injustice in the community.

"I put a Facebook post up and said, ‘This is what I want to do. This is what’s going on. If you can help in any way let me know,’" said Scott.

Scott said she was impacted by the videos and incidents of people of color shot and killed at the hands of police across the nation.

"Something that happened in Ferguson felt like it happened all the way over here,” she said. “Police brutality has been going on for a long time; racism has been going on for a long time. The only difference now is that not only can we film it, but we can get it out to a large number of people."

Scott formed an informal group with the support of Jaleesa Trapp and Alexandra Waller.

"We want to see this place grow and grow and equitable and just ways," said Scott.

They've focused some of their efforts on raising awareness on violence against black women. They led a “Black Girls Matter” march in Tacoma in 2016.

"So often black women in America are killed, and people don't bat an eye,” said Trapp. “Whether it's through police violence or anti-black violence, no one knows."

When Scott, Trapp, and Waller heard about the death of Charleena Lyles, who was killed at the hands of police close to home, they wanted her to be remembered beyond the bullets of her last breath.

“That one made me more angry, because I am a mother of four,” said Waller. “I honestly have watched it throughout the country, but seeing it here close to home like that was a big shocker for me.”

After reaching out to family members, the Tacoma Action Collective tweeted the name and a picture of Lyles and her children.

“It was important to get out information to combat what usually happens,” said Trap. “She is a victim. People don't say the names of black women who were killed. We want to make sure it stays centered around her [Lyles] and justice for her family."

"Everybody does have a story, and not everybody gets a chance to have their stories told," said Scott.