Memorial Engagement Process

One of the city’s priorities is to take a collaborative approach to the development of the Orlando United Pulse Memorial to ensure it honors the victims, survivors and all those impacted by the tragedy. Critical to this effort is engagement and outreach with the victims’ families and survivors.

This process, outlined below, moves the city closer toward the goal of selecting a conceptual design by the end of the year.

Stakeholder and community engagement 

In April 2024, the city engaged Dr. Larry Schooler to implement a thoughtful, inclusive and efficient process for engaging and communicating with the victims’ families, the survivors and the community in the creation of a permanent Pulse memorial.  

Dr. Schooler brings conflict resolution expertise and has served as the lead facilitator on projects similar in nature to the Pulse memorial effort, including the Virginia Beach 5-31 Memorial Committee and the San Leandro Steven Taylor Sanctity of Life Pavilion project.  

To ensure the process is thoughtful, inclusive, and serves the needs of stakeholders and the community, Dr. Schooler has provided a team with a mix of backgrounds and perspectives to support this work, including fluent Spanish speakers. The team also provides liaison services between survivors and victims’ families to further ensure transparency, the building and maintenance of trust and that the process incorporates their wishes to honor loved ones and memorialize the tragedy’s impact.  

Phase 1: Initial process

The first phase of this process began in May 2024. First steps involved interviews and outreach with key stakeholders and small focus group discussions. 

Through various in-person and virtual sessions held in both English and Spanish, Dr. Schooler and his team facilitated discussions among victims’ families and survivors to help inform and shape recommendations for the development of a memorial that incorporates their wishes to honor loved ones and memorialize the impact the tragedy has had. 

The information gathered from this outreach and engagement led Dr. Schooler to recommend the formation of a Pulse Memorial Advisory Committee.  

Phase 2: Creating a committee

The next step in the process is to create a working Pulse Memorial Advisory Committee. This committee will consist of members representing victims’ families, survivors and other stakeholders, as well as first responders, healthcare professionals, community leaders and those with technical experience in design and engineering, such as landscape architects.  

This committee will further guide the effort to create a permanent memorial at the Pulse site, develop opportunities for input and engagement, in English and Spanish, and ultimately recommend a conceptual design to Mayor Dyer and the Orlando City Council.  

Committee application 

The committee is expected to consist of 10-15 members, who will be primarily selected through an application process. Three members will be appointed by Mayor Dyer.  

Those interested in being a part of the committee can submit an application online or print. The deadline to apply is Sunday, June 23, 2024. *Mail-in applications must be postmarked by June 21, 2024

Applications will be reviewed without name or personal identifying information by a group of community leaders who will make a recommendation to Mayor Dyer of individuals to serve on the committee. Those community leaders include:

  • JahKiya Bell, Ed.D, Senior Advisor to the President and CEO, Heart of Florida United Way
  • Rev. Dr. Jose Rodriguez of the Episcopal Churches of Christ the King and Jésus de Nazaret
  • Joél Junior Morales, Foundation Manager, Contigo Fund
  • Jesse Arias, Director of the Orlando United Resiliency Services (OURS), LGBT+ Center Orlando

The announcement of the committee members is slated for early July, with first meetings taking place in mid-July.  

     Mail completed print applications to:
     Office of the Mayor
     City of Orlando
     400 Orange Avenue
     Orlando, FL 32801

Monthly meetings of the committee will occur through the end of the year. The committee meetings will be available for the public to attend virtually or in-person, in English and in Spanish. 

Phase 3: Conducting public committee meetings

Gathering feedback from families and survivors on a permanent memorial remains at the forefront of all our efforts. In addition to families and survivors being represented on the committee, there will be multiple opportunities to provide feedback, in English and Spanish.  

In addition to the committee’s work, families, survivors, and the broader community will have multiple opportunities over the next six months to provide input, beginning this summer and continuing through the end of this year.  

We anticipate holding additional public input sessions concurrently with Committee meetings, along with a virtual space online for feedback and a dedicated telephone number for those wishing to communicate by phone or text message. More information on future opportunities for the public to participate will be found here.