Ashley Carr said recent headlines have triggered difficult memories.
“You start feeling those same emotions of a loved one being videotaped being killed,” said Carr.
Her sister Atatiana Jefferson was killed in October of 2019 by a Fort Worth police officer who shot her while she was inside her home playing video games with her nephew.
“One of the things that Atatiana liked to do was gaming and STEM,” said Carr.
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After burring her sister, the pandemic came. While quarantined, the family came up with The Atatiana Project – dedicated to exposing children to opportunities in STEM.
“Doing what she was doing with Zion the night of her death, which was gaming,” said Carr. “Giving exposure to coding, giving exposure to software testing, and software development and gaming development.”
Jefferson had a degree in biology from Xavier University in New Orleans. Carr said her sister wanted to discover new treatments for diabetes. She knows Jefferson would be proud.
“She wanted us to be able to use our knowledge that we go to college for and bring it back home and teach our family and friends what we’ve learned,” said Carr.
Carr said the timing is coincidental. The family couldn’t have known while brainstorming the project that George Floyd and Breonna Taylor would be household names.
“When we see different people like Breonna Taylor, those stories are very similar to my sister’s story so I can’t say there is a day that I don’t think of her, that I don’t cry,” she said.
But the family is looking forward to Atatiana’s dream living on through the passion of other children and youth.
“There is anger. There is madness,” said Carr. “But we’re going to take this anger and madness that we have and we’re going to put it into the community and we’re still going to fight for justice for my sister all in the same breath.”
The project will launch Friday, June 19 on E. Allen Avenue in Fort Worth from 2 to 7 p.m.