Voice of Change

In the days following the mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill, one of the victim’s families seeks to speak out about the tragedies created by gun violence.

This victim—18-year-old Alaina Housley—was a newcomer to Malibu, a freshman in her first semester at Pepperdine University. She majored in English, and was involved in the choral program and mock trial team, according to the university.

She, along with friends and countless others, attended “College Country Night,” a popular night among young adults in the area.

On Nov. 7, a gunman, later discovered to be a Thousand Oaks resident, began shooting inside the bar and killed 12 individuals—including Housley. 

Now, her family aims to bring the community together.

“Her family, friends and community will continue to raise her voice to make people be loving, be together, be in the moment,” her father, Arik, wrote in an online fundraiser. “She may be gone in body, but she will be our video of song, voice of strength, voice of spirit and our voice of CHANGE.”

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Money raised from the fund—$81,033 out of a $50,000 goal—will go toward Alaina’s Voice, an organization started by Housley’s family. One of its goals is to “advocate for the media to stop celebratizing the shooters,” according to its website, later adding: “The mental health of this country needs nurturing. We will do all we can to unite us and push for leadership in our country to finally step up. And use Alaina’s Voice.”

A celebration of life was held in her hometown of Napa Valley, Calif., last Sunday. The event, according to reports, was attended by hundreds of people from the community. 

This week, a memorial service will be hosted by Pepperdine University at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, on campus at the Firestone Fieldhouse. University spokesperson Alex Forero confirmed the event will be open to members of the Malibu community.

“Alaina’s friends describe her as incredibly bright, full of life and deeply caring of others. Although she was here for only part of one semester, we are blessed to have known her and are grateful for all that her loving spirit brought to Pepperdine,” Pepperdine Vice President for Student Affairs Connie Horton said in an online statement.

Housley’s parents, Arik and Hannah, and her uncle, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley, are Pepperdine alumni.

The university has also set up the Alaina Housley Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor her memory. 

“Through this scholarship fund, we hope to ensure that, even in her death, she will always continue to change lives for the better,” the university wrote.

Members of the public can send condolences to the family through the university. Cards, notes or letters can be addressed to the Vice President for Student Affairs Office (Tyler Campus Center Suite 210 #4472, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263). To donate to the scholarship fund, visit impact.pepperdine.edu/alaina. Donations can also be made directly to Alaina’s Voice at alainasvoice.org.

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